Our cyber predictions for 2022 and beyond.

Love it or hate it, technology is advancing at an astonishingly rapid pace – and it’s no secret that 2021 has been a tumultuous year for cyber.

After witnessing immense changes in various industries under the pressure of COVID-19 – from the addition of devices to support the influx of patients in hospitals worldwide and a brand-new focus on remote/hybrid working, to the increased adoption of 5G networks and a spike in savvy Internet-of-Things tech – we’re left wondering what kind of state the cyber world will be in, come 2022.

If we’ve learnt anything, it’s that evolving our thinking and philosophy is crucial to optimising our business strategy and getting ahead of the curve. And according to business advisory service PwC, 96% of executives say they will adjust their corporate strategy due to the pandemic – considering cybersecurity and the acceleration of digitisation in every business decision, in order to grow their enterprise as a whole.

Of course, anything can happen, but the experts at Central Networks have compiled a handy list of predictions to inform your strategy for 2022 and beyond, and help you grapple with the potential opportunities and challenges emerging in the coming months.

The rise of Darktrace artificial intelligence (AI)

Founded and developed by government officials, mathematicians and cyber defence experts in 2013, Darktrace is a comprehensive software suite that uses AI to detect cyber-threats and latent vulnerabilities in operational technology. And after recently launching onto the London Stock Exchange, Darktrace’s share price rose by 40% in just one day – but why is it becoming so prominent?

As technology becomes more nuanced, so do the methods used by perpetrators to try to compromise it – but with this software, enterprises can spot anomalies and detect cyberattacks as they happen, allowing a rapid response that protects both organisations and customers from inestimable damage.

We recently wrote a blog about ‘Why artificial intelligence is the key to cyber security’, which discussed this in greater depth.

A new laser-focus on the Security Operation Centre (SOC)

The SOC comprises security analysts, engineers and responders and sounds the alarm when it detects anomalous or suspicious behaviour – enabling the crucial response to mitigate any resulting damage and prevent further threats. And no matter the size or scope of your firm, the harsh reality is that everyone is vulnerable. The most recent Cyber Security Breaches Survey found that almost half of businesses reported a cyber-attack in the 12-month period preceding March 2021.

This service market is expected to witness significant growth throughout 2022 due to the sophistication, in terms of volume and complexity, of cyber security threats and data breaches across the globe following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cloud-based telephony will upsurge

Rather than housing the network and routing elements of a business phone system somewhere in the workplace, cloud-based telephony – also known as hosted telephony – takes everything offsite and securely stores data on an internet server.

By replacing traditional on-site PBX systems, companies can improve the efficiency of their communications process by reducing costs, having better control and access to both valuable data and connected devices, and investing in a solution that is scalable to meet the future demands of the organisation.

Operational expenditure (OpEx) over capital expenditure (CapEx)

Traditionally, IT expenses have been considered as CapEx – whether that’s physical server hardware, data centre infrastructure or software licenses and equipment. But for businesses with tight-budgets or start-ups that have a chunk of savings ready to take advantage of new technology straight-away, CapEx can create a real barrier.

OpEx investments are predicted to become a long-term trend to combat this, offering a subscription-style service model over upfront payments. OpEx enables companies to spread costs over a longer period of time and use their readily available spend for core, revenue-generating operations like lead generation or research and development instead, as well as providing businesses with the flexibility to scale up or down as required.

Utilising Software-defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN)

The SD-WAN model offers a more streamlined way to route branch traffic, using an abstracted architecture to move networks to a centralised location – that way, it can be managed remotely, without the need for an on-site IT team.

One of the key factors behind this growth is that companies are interested in a simpler, more cost-effective management style to improve application performance and end-user experience.

Continued emphasis on flexible, agile working for staff

Like any industry, flexible working is expected to rise in cyber. Latent demand for permanently flexible working arrangements is said to have been unlocked by the pandemic, with many employers offering the opportunity to work from home or a hybrid model.

And although flexible, agile working is not an entirely new concept for those in tech, the shift to a completely remote workforce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic was still an adjustment, to say the least. But the benefits are undeniable – improved health and wellbeing, increased job satisfaction, more inclusive working environments and heightened productivity.

The world of IT and technology is constantly accelerating at a rapid rate, and we’re excited to be spearheading innovation in the sector. In truth, no one knows exactly what the future holds, but we do know that technology developments and cyber advancements will be featuring heavily in 2022 and beyond – they’re most certainly here to stay.

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Central Networks are a strategic technology partner. Excellent technology is a given, customer service, trust and long-term relationships are what drive our business. We support CEOs, Heads of IT, IT technicians and transformation directors to ensure technology provides an edge to their organisations.

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