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Technology experts give their predictions for 2022

2021 has been a noteworthy year for the technology industry. The pandemic has encouraged rapid technological advancement, to foster greater connection, collaboration, creativity, and security online. This has developed key areas of innovation including: artificial intelligence, digital infrastructure, cloud services, and cybersecurity.

Here is what 2022 holds for the industry as predicted by senior technology executives.

Ian McShane, Field CTO, Arctic Wolf

Ransomware is just the start of a bigger cyber challenge UK businesses will face in 2022

We’re currently stuck in a culture of ‘the here and now’ around ransomware. The National Cybersecurity Centre’s (NCSC) latest report on the UK’s ‘hacking epidemic’ suggests ransomware is an established threat the government is finally waking up to. Soon though, they will realise this is just the start of a bigger cybersecurity challenge UK businesses will face heading into 2022.

One discussion currently being overlooked is the ever-more complex and evolving threat landscape businesses need to prepare for next year. While ransomware is here to stay, soon it will be recognised there is a bigger issue at play here - the entry point. Often technology is considered to be the first line of defence, but the first line of defence is actually users. Right now, people don’t consider standard technology and users part of the greater supply chain because it does not feel like a security issue. The fact is simply using email is a supply chain concern.

Companies will therefore learn they’ll need to shift their security mindset. Instead of focusing on what to do reactively after being attacked, they will learn how to predict and bolster their security posture by using data science to model scenarios that can highlight any potential weaknesses in the supply chain. This, though, will only come in tandem with greater transparency and we’ll need to decriminalise and destigmatise the “scarlet letter” that comes with disclosure. Rewarding businesses for proper security behaviour and giving them more visibility into how incidents are handled will encourage them to be more security-conscious, and means they’ll be in a much better position to combat the evolving cyber threats coming their way next year.

Craig Lurey, Co-Founder & CTO, Keeper Security

2021 isn’t even over, and yet we’ve seen a record number of cyberattacks and data breaches. We expect this to escalate in 2022 with the permanent shift to a remote workforce for many organisations. There are growing concerns around data leaks as employees remotely access corporate data and infrastructure from company-issued and personal devices like laptops and mobile phones. These devices and employees are, unfortunately, prime targets for data leakage and device infection. Additionally, the expanded usage of cloud-based services and data storage also expands the footprint and potential sources of data leaks, whether accidental or through 3rd party breaches.

The most important thing business leaders can do when it comes to remote work vulnerabilities is to develop strong access management protocols. This means establishing a zero-trust framework as a non-negotiable component of any security implementation. Additionally, the 3rd party cloud providers used by companies must be scrutinised for their data protection methodology and overall security culture.

Nick Mills, General Manager EMEA, CircleCI

Software development, particularly processes related to continuous integration and deployment, will become even more reliant on automation, as the complexity of software dependencies and supply chains becomes an increasingly intricate lacework of collaboration between global developers and loosely coupled architectures. The growing adoption of cloud storage, service-oriented architectures, third-party API-based services, and open source code, makes modern software development monumentally complex.

Therefore, continuous validation - that is, constantly validating that all software changes and dependencies are working - will become absolutely critical to how software teams integrate and manage changes before code hits production, ensuring they deliver and maintain high quality software applications.

Nick Reid, Regional Vice President of Northern Europe, DoubleVerify

There are two key reasons 2022 will be the year attention becomes the dominant advertising currency.

Firstly, disruption, from tighter privacy controls to cookie deprecation, is impacting how brands target consumers and measure performance in their digital campaigns. More than ever, brands in 2022 will be looking for other measures they can take to gauge performance in an accurate, privacy-friendly way. Rather than buying inventory blind, adding attention to the media measurement mix can help ensure accountability over spend.

Secondly, brands will continue to want to drive outcomes from spend. Putting it another way, if you’re advertising a new product, the goal isn’t to drive a specific number of impressions, ultimately it’s to drive an outcome, like a sale. Attention metrics - such as audibility, quartile completion, screen touches, screen real estate and more, provide powerful new sets of data that are more predictive of an outcome - which brands can use to optimise their campaigns. Likewise, brands can achieve this without tracking consumers or requiring personal information.

The shift in focus to attention metrics, alongside advancements in areas such as contextual targeting, is the natural next step in providing advertisers with better quality inventory and stronger results. Privacy regulations and the deprecation of cookies are undoubtedly accelerating this change. However, the shift to attention as the industry’s new currency isn’t only reactive, but grows out of verification solutions. Advances in verification in recent years have continually improved the baseline quality for ads by tackling fraudsters, boosting safety, and providing brands with clarity over their ad performance - the attention ecosystem is the next stage in its evolution.

Ethan McMahon, Economist, Chainalysis

The NFT marketplace has truly boomed in 2021. So much so that the word NFT has become Collins Dictionary’s word of the year. Our research has shown that users have sent at least $26.9 billion worth of cryptocurrency to Ethereum smart contracts associated with NFT marketplaces and collections. And NFTs have achieved popularity all over the world, with no specific region making up more than 40% of monthly web visits since March 2021.

We’ve also identified that only a tiny group of highly-sophisticated investors rake in most of the profits from NFT collecting. This is especially true in minting, where the whitelisting process gives early supporters of collection access to lower prices that result in greater profits. In 2022, we predict investment techniques, such as the use of bots by investors looking to purchase during minting events, will continue to develop and could potentially shut out less sophisticated users.

We also anticipate the NFT market will continue to evolve over the next year, as more artists, creators, celebrities, and even video game makers launch collections catering to their fans, along with many other use cases that haven’t even been invented yet.

Guy Podjarny, Co-Founder & President, Snyk

2021 proved that supply chains are more susceptible than ever to cyber attacks. The risk is growing largely because of the increasing reliance on proprietary and open source code and is compounded by the speed and complexity of modern apps, as well as the increasing sophistication of potential intruders. In 2022 we’d expect to see this trend continue, with geopolitical tensions still high and COVID continuing to drive businesses to become digital and embrace cloud faster.

However, there are things developers can do to mitigate further risk. They need to identify and fix weaknesses in the components they use, and invest in strong security hygiene practices. Security teams should embrace a DevSecOps approach, focusing on helping the people doing the work make secure decisions and investing in breaking silos and increasing automation.

While developers can’t stop people from attempting to hack and exploit their systems, they can stop them from succeeding. Putting security at the heart of the development process is the only way to achieve that at scale.

John Morrison, Senior Vice President EMEA, Extreme Networks

Traditionally, most businesses have considered networks to only consist of two separate layers: software and hardware. In 2022, organisations will begin to discover the value of viewing their networks holistically and will come to appreciate how their networks are in fact multi-layered.

Going forward, networks will only continue to become more intricate and complex, with many more parts now comprising the whole. Thus, companies must reflect on their infrastructure in the same way - as a whole. They can do this by finding ways to combine the power of cloud management with next-generation switches and access points, utilising the likes of AI and ML and deciding whether public cloud, private cloud, and/or on-premises solutions best cater to them. This approach allows them to achieve both diverse business connectivity and their commercial needs.

These actions are vital for firms to future-proof themselves and become what we call ‘infinite enterprises’ - enterprises which are capable of scaling, meeting users wherever they are and delivering a consumer-centric experience where technology revolves around the user’s needs. Making possible networks that can meet these goals reliably and securely will keep people connected, engaged and productive in the more distributed environment that is coming to shape our reality.

Breaking out of this binary perspective and realising that networking technology is much more powerful and nuanced will be the key to success for firms in 2022 and beyond.

Marc Vontobel, Co-founder & CEO of Starmind

Large organizations are struggling to get data overload and growing volumes of inaccessible knowledge under control. In 2022, how this is dealt with will determine business success or failure.

The more data we continue to create, the harder it’s becoming to find what we need at work. Endless searches for information are damaging business productivity and employee satisfaction. And, the bigger the business, the more challenging this problem is. At the same time, businesses are failing to enable access to the expert knowledge that does reside in their organization. We must rethink knowledge management to shine a light on these blind spots and make it easier for employees, whether newly onboarded or moving to a new career opportunity, to access and share mission-critical knowledge. If we do, the entire organization will benefit. If we don’t, productivity and the bottom line will suffer.

AI will transform the way we work and our expectations around it. While legacy knowledge management tools log data leaving it to become outdated and trivial, AI can identify relevant information or experts in real-time, continuously refining or even ‘recycling’ elements of this knowledge-network based on the latest information. In 2022, having a centralized source mapping the expertise and knowledge of the entire organization will be vital. It will enable businesses to connect employees, promote human centricity and retain their competitive advantage through an agile and productive market presence.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Technology Experts .

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