Cybcast Blog

Looking Forward: Our Role as a Cybersecurity Futures 2030 Initiative Strategic Partner

By Derek Manky | December 13, 2023

Ask any CISO or security leader about the “must-have” components of an effective cybersecurity program, and you’ll likely hear insights related to confirming the right people, processes, and technology are in place. A team of skilled professionals, a sound risk-management strategy, and access to robust security tools are crucial to staying ahead of today’s threat actors.

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But one of the most effective, yet less talked about, actions institutions can take to address the most pressing cybersecurity challenges is building alliances outside their organization’s walls.

No single institution has all the answers when it comes to halting cybercrime, but every entity has something they can contribute to the broader knowledge base. Creating relationships and exchanging information builds trust, and when public and private organizations trust each other, they’re more comfortable sharing intelligence to help us collectively mobilize protections that can disrupt cybercrime operations at scale.

Disrupting Cybercrime Requires Ongoing Public-Private Collaboration

There’s no better time to enhance our collaborative efforts to thwart today’s threat actors. Rapidly changing technologies, geopolitical events, the ongoing cybersecurity skills gap, and a looming economic crisis make it more difficult for security professionals everywhere to protect their organizations. Meanwhile, adversaries are continually enhancing their operations. In the year’s first half, we observed ransomware becoming increasingly sophisticated and targeted, the growth of advanced persistent threat (APT) group activity, and more. Standard cybersecurity safeguards are no longer enough to halt the latest cybercrime activity or guard against future threats.

While our FortiGuard Labs team monitors the global attack surface and mines that data for new threats, our work reaches beyond the research we do each day. We have a broader commitment to pursuing a common goal of making our digital world more secure and, as an aspect of that effort, facilitating the sharing of actionable threat intelligence among organizations around the globe. We continually invest meaningful resources in many global partnerships created to disrupt cybercrime. For example, we’re proud to be a founding partner of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Centre for Cybersecurity, as well as an active contributor to its Partnership Against Cybercrime and a leader of the Forum’s Cybercrime Atlas initiative.

And we’re thrilled to share our involvement in a newer collaborative effort, which officially launched this month: the Cybersecurity Futures 2030 initiative.

Cybersecurity Futures 2030: Preparing for Tomorrow’s Challenges Today

Cybersecurity Futures 2030—a project led by experts at the University of California Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC) with involvement from WEF, Fortinet, and other strategic partners—is designed to help leaders across the public and private sectors critically examine future-focused scenarios and consider how digital security will evolve over the next several years. Through ongoing scenario planning and workshops, the Cybersecurity Futures 2030 initiative will produce policy and planning recommendations and reports to help decision-makers worldwide and across all industries anticipate and effectively address forthcoming cybersecurity challenges. The Cybersecurity Futures 2030 project builds on CLTC’s Cybersecurity Futures 2020 and Cybersecurity Futures 2025 initiatives, respectively, where findings and recommendations were presented at prominent events such as the WEF Centre for Cybersecurity Annual Meeting, the RSA Conference, and the BlackHat CISO Summit.

The Cybersecurity Futures 2030 inaugural report, Cybersecurity Futures 2030: New Foundationsincludes insights from six global workshops featuring discussions focused on how technological, political, economic, and environmental changes will impact the future of cybersecurity for governments and organizations and how leaders should begin addressing these issues now. Fortinet participated in the discussions earlier this year as a part of the Washington, D.C. working session, where we participated in a hands-on workshop that included analysis between different geographies and scenario planning for 2030. The intent of that dialogue and engagement is to translate our collective expertise into future proactive actions, especially considering the speed of technology and innovation in the industry and for cyber adversaries.

The insights from these workshops directly inform key takeaways identified in the report. The report highlights key considerations leaders must address as they look to 2024 and beyond, such as fundamentally reorienting how they approach ongoing cybersecurity challenges like data privacy, talent development, and even sustainability. An overarching observation from our workshop session was the focus on the long-term feasibility of sustaining these partnerships without valid incentive programs; it’s a topic that doesn’t come up too often, and it’s an interesting objective to pursue as we look toward 2030.

At Fortinet, we often talk about finding the most effective methods to disrupt adversary operations, which requires a thorough understanding of various cybercrime groups and their tactics. With this information, we can more confidently hypothesize about and take steps to guard against cyberattackers’ next moves. This perspective aligns with the mission of the CLTC—to anticipate the cyber challenges of the future and develop solutions now that allow leaders worldwide to adapt and prepare—which is one of the many reasons we’re pleased to be a strategic partner in this important initiative.

Keeping Pace with the Speed and Scale of Digital Disruption Requires a Team Effort

Digital technology will continue transforming our society, with new questions about online safety, privacy, and the security of our networks frequently emerging along the way. By encouraging the bi-directional sharing of knowledge and building trust through initiatives like Cybersecurity Futures 2030, we can look to the future together and begin making the necessary changes to stay ahead of the challenges on the horizon.

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