Guest Editorial by Eric Trexler, Forcepoint Vice President of Sales, Global Governments and Critical Infrastructure
Around this time last year, the Sunburst hack was discovered. Through the vulnerability, bad actors were able to compromise about 100 private companies and a dozen federal agencies.
In a sense, the high-profile hack was a foreshadowing of the year ahead. In 2021, there were more cyber vulnerabilities reported than ever before. The Colonial Pipeline hack, which shut down over 5,000 miles of pipeline, was perhaps the most notable.
(The federal government confirmed that a Russian criminal group was behind the hack of the Colonial Pipeline company. The pipeline — the largest of its kind in the U.S. — was shut down after a cyber extortion attempt. The Biden administration is working with the company to investigate the hack. William Brangham speaks to Megan Stifel of the Global Cyber Alliance about its implications. Courtesy of PBS News and YouTube. Posted on May 10, 2021.)
With another new year approaching, we must consider the lessons learned in 2021 in order to bring continuous improvement in 2022.
As such, my colleagues from Forcepoint and I have weighed the cybersecurity events of the past year to predict what’s in store for the year ahead.
Here are our top three predictions:
Militaries will leverage cyberattacks.
Earlier this year, a disruptive and high-profile ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline halted thousands of miles of pipeline and disrupted a large part of the east coast of the United States.
Going forward, I expect more nation-states will look for vulnerabilities in government and critical infrastructure as an alternative to warfare, or as part of it.
However, the use of cyberattacks in warfare isn’t new. For instance, in 2017, the Russian military launched a cyberattack that planted ransomware in numerous multinational corporations.
Many years before that, a sophisticated computer worm called Stuxnet, reportedly a joint creation of the U.S. and Israel, destroyed nearly one-fifth of Iran’s operating centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear power.
But in 2022 and beyond, we expect military-sponsored cyberattacks to become frequent. Kinetic efforts will be preceded by cyberattacks, similar to a naval bombardment prior to launching a beach assault in WWII.
More hackers will target supply chains.
One reason we must look back on some of the most high-profile hacks from this year is that savvy cyber-criminals are likely doing the same.
When a technique is proven to work, copycat attacks tend to follow.
After hackers were able to deliver malware through the Sunburst attack, similar attacks followed suit. For example, this past summer, Kaseya, an Irish IT solution provider, suffered a breach when its remote-monitoring tool was infiltrated with malware, giving attackers access to end customers.
Based on these attacks, Stuart Taylor, Senior Director of X-Labs at Forcepoint, predicts that we’ll see a significant rise in criminal copycats delivering malware via software updates in 2022.
Nation-states and hacker groups will likely continue to target supply chain providers across multiple industries, too.
Zero-trust will become the new normal.
Cyberattacks continue to be more frequent and costly, creating tension within the industry.
To address the looming threats, more government organizations will look to adapt their security postures accordingly.
More specifically, Petko Stoyanov, Chief Technology Officer of Forcepoint, expects to see them embrace a standard of 100% prevention, which will be reached through Zero Trust principles.
Thus far, Zero Trust implementation has largely focused on identity and access. But with the recent evolution in hybrid workforces and digital transformation, and government’s usage of content and electronic information everywhere, Zero Trust must now go where data is.
Cyber teams must assume all files are corrupt and employ content disarm and reconstruction (CDR) techniques to sanitize everything and ensure least privileged access.
This aggressive approach to data security may seem like radical thinking, but existential threats like ransomware demand a stringent approach.
The cybersecurity events of 2021 made it glaringly clear that the government must adapt to the evolving cyber threat landscape by addressing its vulnerabilities.
By preparing to face military-sponsored cyberattacks, copycat attempts, and new attack methods in 2022, we can establish a cybersecurity perimeter capable of withstanding these new threats.
(Cybersecurity transformation is here, accelerating to the cloud for a post-pandemic world. A new era where businesses are less constrained by traditional network infrastructures and the edge is everywhere and everyone. Join Forcepoint CEO Manny Rivelo for insights into today’s emerging Unbound Enterprise that pushes controls to the user, understands the edge, and thrives across diverse ecosystems. Courtesy of RSA 2021, Forcepoint and YouTube.)
To Learn More, please see for free download the New Forcepoint 2022 Insight Predictions eBook at https://www.forcepoint.com/resources/ebooks/future-insights-2022.
About the Author
Eric Trexler serves as the Vice President of Sales, Global Governments for Forcepoint, whose Forcepoint Data Diode was named the 2021 Platinum ‘ASTORS’ Award Winner for Best Cyber Critical Infrastructure Solution in AST’s Annual Homeland Security Awards Program.
Eric has more than 21 years of experience in the technology industry with both the public and private sectors including the DoD, Civilian, and Intelligence components.
Prior to joining Forcepoint, Eric was the Executive Director for Civilian and National Security Programs at McAfee, formerly Intel Security. Prior to joining McAfee in 2010, he managed multi-million dollar accounts at Salesforce.com, EMC Corporation, and Sybase, Inc.
Eric served as an Airborne Ranger with the United States Army for four years, specializing in communications. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and an MBA with a concentration in strategy, both from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Editor’s Note: Thank you Eric for your service to our nation!
Forcepoint is a global leader in data-first security, with behavior-based solutions that adapt to risk in real-time and are delivered through a cloud-native SASE security platform.
Forcepoint’s portfolio of products protects users, devices, and networks as people access the web and cloud, while preventing the theft or loss of sensitive data and intellectual property no matter where people are working, and eliminates breaches caused by insiders.
Based in Austin, Texas, Forcepoint creates safe, trusted environments for thousands of enterprise and government customers and their employees in more than 150 countries.
Please visit www.forcepoint.com to learn how Forcepoint can benefit your organization today.
Forcepoint Named Platinum Award Winner in Third ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program
American Security Today’s Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program, and now entering it’s Seventh Year, continues to recognize industry leaders of Physical and Border Security, Cybersecurity, Emergency Preparedness – Management and Response, Law Enforcement, First Responders, as well as federal, state and municipal government agencies in the acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to Keep our Nation Secure.
Best Cyber Critical Infrastructure Solution
Government organizations need to be able to move data from an unclassified network to a classified one with the assurance that data never moves in the opposite direction.
The Forcepoint Data Diode enables rapid, uni-directional, automated transfer of highly complex data to segment and protect networks, devices, and other digital assets (including databases, historians, SCADA, PLCs, DCS, and more) from external cyber threats.
With a diode, data is transmitted one way, much like an ATM offers one-way cash transfers. The customer doesn’t have access to the whole vault—just an authorized amount.
This cost-effective solution integrates seamlessly with cross-domain technologies, ensuring one-way transfer traffic can also be deeply inspected at the content level.
(See how you can access and transfer sensitive data resident on multiple, separate networks to secure information sharing and mission success. Protect the human point with Forcepoint Cross Domain Solutions. Courtesy of Forcepoint and YouTube.)
*Forcepoint was also a Winner in the 2019, and 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program.
The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards highlights the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.
The United States was forever changed 20 years ago on September 11th, and we were fortunate to have many of those who responded to those horrific tragedies join us at the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon.
In the days that followed 9/11, the critical needs of protecting our country catapulted us into new and innovative ways to secure our homeland – which is how many of the agencies and enterprise organizations that are today ‘ASTORS’ Awards Champions, came into being.
Our keynote speaker featured a moving and informative address from TSA Administrator and Vice-Admiral of the United States Coast Guard (Ret), David Pekoske; to our attendees who traveled from across the United States and abroad, on the strategic priorities of the 64,000 member TSA workforce in securing the transportation system, enabling safe, and in many cases, contactless travel.
Legendary Police Commissioner William Bratton of the New York Police Department, the Boston Police Department, and former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department was also live at the event, meeting with attendees and signing copies of his latest work ‘The Profession: A Memoir of Community, Race, and the Arc of Policing in America,’ courtesy of the generosity of our 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Premier Sponsors.
The 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program was Proudly Sponsored by AMAROK, Fortior Solutions and SIMS Software, along with Returning Premier Sponsors ATI Systems, Attivo Networks, Automatic Systems, and Reed Exhibitions.
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2022 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at https://americansecuritytoday.com/ast-awards/.
|Access Control/ Identification||Personal/Protective Equipment||Law Enforcement Counter- Terrorism|
|Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System||Interagency Interdiction Operation||Cloud Computing/Storage Solution|
|Facial/IRIS Recognition||Body Worn Video Product||Cyber Security|
|Video Surveillance/VMS||Mobile Technology||Anti-Malware|
|Audio Analytics||Disaster Preparedness||ID Management|
|Thermal/Infrared Camera||Mass Notification System||Fire & Safety|
|Metal/Weapon Detection||Rescue Operations||Critical Infrastructure|
|License Plate Recognition||Detection Products||COVID Innovations|
|Workforce Management||Government Security Programs||And Many Others to Choose From!|
Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?
Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why American Security Today?
The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast-changing security landscape.
American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State, and local levels of government as well as firms allied to the government.
American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers’ eyes throughout the story with cutting-edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.
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AST Digital Publications are distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals, in federal, state, local, and private security sectors.
‘PROTECTING OUR NATION, ONE CITY AT A TIME’
AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.
Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture, and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.
These experts are from Government at the federal, state, and local level as well as from private firms allied to the government.
AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website, and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.
AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.
Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.
(See just a few highlights of American Security Today’s 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East. Courtesy of My Pristine Images and Vimeo.)
To learn more about ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, please see the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2021 ‘A Year in Review’.
The Annual CHAMPIONS edition includes a review of Annual ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firm’s products and services, including video interviews and more.
It serves as your Go-To Source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2021 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and/or organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.
From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection, and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.
It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.
For a complete list of 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Award Winners, begin HERE.
For more information on All Things American Security Today, as well as the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at email@example.com.
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