2020 Cybersecurity Predictions for Software Development and Enterprise Architecture

This is our first annual roundup of expert predictions for the coming year. Here’s what leading industry figures have to say about cybersecurity trends in software development and enterprise architecture coming in 2020.


  • API data breaches will represent more than 50 percent of records lost in 2020, and be the single largest vector of large-scale hacking. According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Incident Report, external hacking remained the largest threat actor (69 percent) and threat action (53 percent), respectively, for data breaches reported last year. And the top threat vector that gets successfully attacked was web applications at approximately 67 percent of the time.  Lately, when new reports announcing a company has tens or hundreds of millions of their records compromised or stolen, the specific web attack vector appears to be RESTful APIs. It is our prediction that these incidents of large-scale data breaches from APIs connected to both mobile and web applications will create the largest and most significant data breach headlines in 2020 and beyond. – Doug Dooley, COO of Data Theorem


  • Shadow APIs will emerge as a new threat for cloud-first enterprises. According to the ESG Report on Security for DevOps, the top new investment that enterprises plan to make to secure cloud-native apps will be API Security (37 percent of all respondents marked this as the most important new control needed for cloud security). Cloud services enable businesses to ship new applications (mobile and web) faster and cheaper with more scalability. As a result, the number of new microservices and APIs grows exponentially with cloud-native apps. Enterprise security teams are struggling to keep pace with their DevOps counterparts. New APIs are popping up everywhere and being labeled as “Shadow APIs” since it’s not clear who owns them and who is responsible for their ongoing security and compliance. – Doug Dooley, COO of Data Theorem


  • Serverless will continue to outpace Kubernetes and Container usage in 2020 and beyond, and will pose a new security challenge. As much as Kubernetes is being praised by many DevOps thought leaders, the data tells us that most developers appreciate the convenience, speed, and ease of building applications with serverless computing. According to CB Insights, serverless is now the highest growth public cloud service ahead of containers, batch computing, machine learning, and IoT services. Serverless spending is expected to reach $7.7B by 2021, up from $1.9B in 2016 with an estimated CAGR of 33 percent.  Today, very few existing security tools can address application security issues specific to serverless applications. I predict this will be an important new security challenge in 2020. – Doug Dooley, COO of Data Theorem


  • Organizations will continue to ‘shift left’ and finally close the loop on software development lifecycle (SDLC) risk. By mapping how IT enables and impacts businesses to create an accurate cybersecurity data ontology, Cyber Risk Management 2.0 provides a unique opportunity to introduce security early into SDLC processes. This makes it an ideal framework for the prevalent DevSecOps trend to “shift left”. Not only does this drastically reduce the cost of identifying and remediating vulnerabilities, it delivers software that is more robust, secure, and reliable. Further, Cyber Risk Management 2.0 delivers new insights into the origin and nature of risks within organizations’ SDCL processes. Organizations will use these insights in 2020 to adjust employee cybersecurity training and education to address the root causes of cyber risk, thereby closing the loop and reducing the volume and severity of risks entering the SDLC process in the first place. – Syed Abdur, Director of Products at Brinqa


  • Concern for container security will continue to increase significantly and with good reason. With 90% of enterprises currently implementing containers(5), securing these assets is now a top priority. While the prevention technologies like TwistLock, Aqua, and StackRox are important, the ability to map vulnerabilities to individual container assets (static and run-time), which has proven so valuable for securing other parts of the IT attack surface, is sorely lacking. One of the leading security vulnerabilities that will need to be addressed in 2020 is that far too many containers are running with far too many privileges. In these scenarios, if one container is compromised, an attack can quickly laterally across the enterprise IT infrastructure. –  Srinivas Mukkamala, CEO of RiskSense 


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