Increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks and fast-emerging technology, such as quantum computing, have completely upended our assumptions about security programs.

One thing is clear: Trust matters more than ever. Security leaders in the Intelligent Enterprise must find a way forward and take decisive action.

To establish and build trust-based partnerships, leaders are tackling the challenges head-on. They’re addressing hardware vulnerabilities that have exposed attack surfaces and are getting a firm grip on new regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act.

Indeed, security underpins each of the five trends in the Accenture Technology Vision 2018. In our Security Technology Vision, we go further, detailing the challenges ahead and offer concrete steps for security leaders to better protect customers and the enterprise.

"Security executives must rethink the foundations of security programs to enable trust-based partnerships with customers, employees, business partners and governments."

– LISA O’CONNOR, Managing Director, Cybersecurity Research and Development, Accenture Labs

The tipping point for cryptography

Remember Y2K? Thanks to years of careful preparation, it was largely a non-event.

Now, nearly two decades later, the security sector faces a much larger potential disruption from quantum computing, which may override existing cryptography methods and make current infrastructure and application protections irrelevant.

The Intelligent Enterprise must prepare now with a comprehensive strategy and upgraded cryptographic infrastructure—while ensuring business partners and digital ecosystems are equally safeguarded.

Hard lessons on hardware

In early 2018, business leaders got a rude awakening that shifted attention back to an unexpected place: hardware.

Meltdown and Spectre, CPU-level bugs in microprocessor design discovered by security researchers, jolted any notion that microprocessor technologies were inherently safe.

While hardware attacks are not new, Meltdown and Spectre were unprecedented in light of the tremendous scope of affected vendors and chipsets going all the way back to CPUs manufactured in 1995.

The lessons from Meltdown and Spectre are now abundantly clear. The security community should have suspected hardware would be vulnerable and taken steps to mitigate the risk.

Building explainable security programs under GDPR

Complying with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), taking affect May 25, is just the beginning. GDPR is upping the ante, but the scope is well beyond data privacy protections.

The Intelligent Enterprise’s new mandate is to create and maintain transparent and explainable security programs globally—and proactively share them with customers, employees and partners to reinforce trust. Future growth will depend upon it.

Even as companies finalize their GDPR compliance policies and procedures, a bigger question looms: What’s on the horizon?

There’s no doubt that stricter data privacy regulations will continue to emerge. At each juncture, security executives will need to aim for the “high-water mark” to make their companies regulation-resilient and 100-percent ready to conduct business.

Your move

Each of five accelerating technology forces profiled in the Accenture Technology Vision 2018 offers vast potential for business, and each requires a deeper commitment to security.

Through secure technology-enabled access across each level of the Intelligent Enterprise—from strategy through operations—you build deeper, trust-based partnerships with people: your employees and customers, as well as governments and other stakeholders. Opportunities and growth follow.

Clearly the time to start is now – but where and how? Read the full Security Technology Vision 2018 report and learn how we secure the Intelligent Enterprise.