3 things to expect in 2017

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“Change is the only constant in life.”

The words Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said could not be any truer than in today’s world.

As we get close to the end of the year, it is a good time to reflect on what has been accomplished over the last 12 months and what we face in the year to come. Below are 3 things to expect in 2017:

Data breaches and hacks continue

Let’s face it. Data breaches and hacks aren’t disappearing any time soon. As software and policies get more sophisticated, the hackers are moving in that direction too. This isn’t to say that we should give up or stop innovating in the security space. (I wouldn’t have co-founded an identity access management company if I was going to concede that quickly!) But rather this is to get us refocused and back into the realm of reality.

Research shows the average enterprise company uses 738 cloud services, which is 10 times more than what IT believes is being used within the organization.  This is pretty startling fact. It also shows that we, as business and IT decision makers, need to better understand what’s going on in our workplace. We don’t need to go full Big Brother on our employees but we do need to gain better visibility into what apps and services are -- and are not -- being used by our teams, and how they are being used. Furthermore, we should also take it upon ourselves to better educate our employees on what it means to have good security hygiene. With more than 90% of all cyber attacks being successfully executed as a result of employee error, education and transparency are critical in the fight to protect our data.

Identity evolves

Identity means different things to different people in different scenarios. These varying definitions have caused some difficulty in establishing standard practices and policies, particularly in the security space.

In 2017, identity is going to continue to evolve, primarily as a result of new entries into the security arena or existing ones changing their approach.

Companies like Slack and Facebook will look to leverage their massive user bases to start competing in identity. (Remember the Google-coined phrase, “users first, monetization later”? Well it’s evolved to “users first, product diversification later.”)

Consolidation is happening

Over the last year, our competitors and partners have been acquired by private equity groups, merged with other competitors and announced tentative plans to go public in the year to come -- just to name a few scenarios. Outside of our specific industry, there’s even more consolidation happening, including some of thebiggest acquisition announcements in technology history. This is going to continue over the next year with smaller startups getting rolled up into larger companies.

While this shift from startup diversification to consolidation may seem scary, the winners in both scenarios are the users, who are most important. Innovation will continue, providing users and partners with the best technology possible.

Change can be nerve wracking but it is the only constant in life. I’m excited to see what changes are in store in 2017 and how the security industry and its users will benefit.