Chetan Anand, Associate Vice President – Information Security and CISO, Profinch Solutions, and ISACA Global Mentor

Chetan brings over 18 years of professional experience in information and cyber security, business continuity, privacy, risk and quality. He has worked in various industries such as IT, ITES, Fintech, Healthcare / Pharma, Manufacturing, Research and Development, in various capacities including Technical, Managerial and Leadership roles. He has contributed to the ISF’s research on Continuous Supply Chain Assurance, report review and functionality testing of ISF tools. He is a member of and volunteers with ISACA. He is an ISACA Global Mentor, is on the review panel of ISACA Journal and has contributed to ISACA whitepaper and blog.

 

As we welcome 2022, it is a great time to explore trends that may impact the IT industry. Let us take a look at those trends specifically related to cloud computing, given its increasing importance today.

With the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations have opted for online and hybrid models for their work environments. Information technology assumed centre stage with new technologies that were harnessed to their full potential to keep the wheels of the economy moving. The need for online collaboration increased within organizations and with external parties such as customers and suppliers using cloud technology.

While cloud has made life a lot easier, it is still in its nascent stage in India and continues to evolve with each passing day. One of the biggest challenges that cloud computing poses is the threat of hacking, although there are numerous options available to protect data from external threats and attacks.

As cloud computing continues to evolve as we enter 2022, I foresee a few trends that will define the space:

New Use Cases

2020 and 2021 witnessed large adoption of virtual meeting applications. With the buzz around 5G and Wi-Fi 6E gaining momentum, this means that more new types of data can be streamed. Studies and expert opinions reveal that the arrival of cloud virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) can lead to cheaper and smaller headsets. With this cloud technology, every other technology becomes faster, lighter and more accessible to the end user, which will propel more services migrations to cloud platforms.

Hybrid Cloud

As the name suggests, this upcoming year could witness increased adoption of multiple cloud platforms – private and public. The combination of hybrid cloud will be used to allow workloads to juggle between public and private clouds, giving clients greater adaptability.

Zero Emissions

Per the World Economic Forum, the next big cloud competition is the race to zero emissions. Cloud computing and data centres have become core global infrastructure – the roads and bridges of the internet economy. But they’ve also become a significant driver of carbon emissions, responsible for an estimated 1.8% of US electricity consumption and the plurality of emissions for many tech companies. Google is working towards 24/7 clean power for its data centres, Amazon is shooting for 100% renewables by 2025, and Microsoft is leading the way on transparency for its cloud customers. But these targets are just the beginning. Cloud computing and data centres are responsible for the majority of emissions for many tech companies, creating competition to provide cleaner cloud services. The more savvy and transparent corporations get about their carbon footprint, the more pressure they’ll place on major cloud providers to accelerate the road to zero carbon.

Cloud Audits

Upskilling is necessary for everyone no matter how many years of practical IT experience you have on your team. One of the areas that will become even more important to gain training and knowledge in is cloud audit, as cloud auditing is essential to effective cloud management. ISACA, a global leader in training, education, and certification for information security and information technology professionals, in association with Cloud Security Alliance, a global leader in cloud security research, training and credentialing, offer the Certificate of Cloud Auditing Knowledge (CCAK). CCAK is the first-ever, technical, vendor-neutral credential for cloud auditing. This certificate fills a gap in the industry for competent technical professionals who can help organizations mitigate risks and optimize ROI in the cloud. CCAK prepares IT professionals to address the unique challenges of auditing the cloud, ensuring the right controls for confidentiality, integrity and accessibility and mitigating risks and costs of audit management and non-compliance.

Changes to ISO 27001 and ISO 27002 Standards

Organizations will also need to ensure they are conforming to the latest standards that relate to information security. Professionals should pay close attention specifically to ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Information technology – Security techniques – Information security management systems – Requirements and the ISO/IEC 27002:2013 Information technology – Security techniques – Code of practice for information security controls standard, which are both undergoing changes. The latter will become the “Information security, cybersecurity and privacy protection – Information security controls.” As per the ANSI National Accreditation Board in the US, twelve new controls will be introduced in these standards, including information security for use of cloud services. This means organizations that are certified for the ISO 27001 information security management system standard need to gear up to implement this control once the standard is released.

Serverless  

Cloud computing envisages a design where businesses access IT infrastructure on-demand without the need for any investments on servers and infrastructure. Serverless is a subset of PaaS, which needs more processing power, but in intervals or bursts. Serverless cloud is also used by companies that are developing new applications but lack the resources to deal with the required infrastructure.

Automation

A key element to cloud computing is automation. With data and systems on a centralized cloud, companies can automate many of their internal processes – be it data consolidation from different sources or business intelligence dashboard creation. Organizations today are looking to tighten connections between different pieces of software and make sure that solutions from multiple vendors work seamlessly.

Edge Computing

With thousands of IoT devices connecting to the internet every second, organizations are bound to face security, latency and bandwidth issues. With organizations using more advanced technologies like robotics and artificial intelligence, the need for more power and faster processing increases. Going forward, organizations will decentralize the entire cloud environment and create localized data centres that offer readily available storage and computing power near places where they are needed.

As dependence on cloud continues well into 2022, the complexity of the cloud environment will also grow and continue to challenge businesses to innovate and find newer ways to harness its full potential, as well as to provide their teams with relevant training and credentials to stay up-to-date with cloud knowledge and trends.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author are solely the author’s and do not reflect the views and beliefs of Profinch Solutions and ISACA; their affiliates, or employees.

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