5 experimental cybersecurity trends your business needs to know about

These early-stage security trends have not yet seen widespread adoption, but may in the near future, according to CB Insights.

Cybersecurity predictions: More cyberattacks, social engineering, and scary IoT Kevin Mitnick, founder, Mitnick Security Consulting, discusses emerging cybersecurity trends and how we can defend ourselves with TechRepublic's Dan Patterson.

Cybersecurity is becoming a major priority across all industries, as enterprises seek out technologies and tactics to protect their data from increasingly sophisticated threats, according to CB Insights' NExxTT Framework: Emerging Trends in Cybersecurity report, released Tuesday. 

While some trends, including container security and software defined networking, have seen great interest and adoption, a number of emerging cybersecurity trends fall into an "experimental" category, representing conceptual or early-stage trends with few functional products that have not yet reached widespread adoption, the report found. However, these trends have sparked proof-of-concept work, and companies should be on the lookout for their spread in the future.

Here are five experimental cybersecurity trends businesses should pay attention to: 

SEE: 27 ways to reduce insider security threats (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

1. Disinformation defense

Information warfare, including the rise of "deepfakes," represents a threat to societal and political systems worldwide. Now, new technologies are emerging to fight this digital deception, including those that authenticate digital media at scale, the report noted. 

"People are already confusing fact and fiction; however, the technologies behind the spread of disinformation and deception online are still in their infancy, and the problem of authenticating information is only starting to take shape," the report stated. "Put simply, this is only the beginning."

2. Open source security

Enterprises are increasingly adopting open source software, which also increases the risk of exposure to open source security vulnerabilities, according to CB Insights. However, new tools on the market can help secure open source code so developers and companies can reap its benefits. 

"Startups are already rising to help secure the open-source software market, which analysts estimate to be worth around $14B today," the report stated. "Look out for companies that are developing systems for continuously monitoring open-source application dependencies and those that let analysts quickly respond when new vulnerabilities are disclosed." 

SEE: How to protect against 10 common browser threats (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

3. Zero-knowledge proofs

Zero-knowledge proofs represent a breakthrough in data privacy, allowing multiple parties to confirm that they have knowledge of confidential information, without actually revealing that information, according to the report. 

"A zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) is an authentication scheme that enables ultra-secure communications and private financial transactions and file sharing," the report stated. "The technology also eliminates the need to exchange passwords, and theoretically could reduce the number of data breaches from stolen login credentials."

Applying ZKP to cryptocurrency could lead to advances in privacy as well, the report noted. While the technology remains computationally expensive, experiments are underway in industries including finance and pharmaceuticals, it added. 

4. Homomorphic encryption 

Homomorphic encryption (HE) is often called the holy grail of enterprise data security, as it keeps data secure while it is in use, according to the report. While in the past, HE has been computationally intensive and slow, advances in computer processing power are making it more usable, and businesses are now using the technology to analyze medical datasets, protect cloud data, and prevent data breaches, the report noted. 

"In the future, look for homomorphic encryption to play an important role in securing data in use across a multitude of industries," the report stated. 

5. Blockchain security

Though some of the hype around blockchain is dying down, blockchain security tools (also known as smart contract security) can secure enterprise blockchains that are in use from targeted attacks. "Securing enterprise blockchain ecosystems and auditing smart contracts will become more important as institutions incorporate these technologies into critical business applications," the report stated. 

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Human Hand Drawing Security Concepts

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