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Tech and Cybersec in 2023: a world that is virtually different

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Technology markets in 2022 were decimated.  Tesla share price collapsed. Netflix stock has dropped more than 50% in the last year. Facebook is in freefall. Even TikTok might be in trouble. Oh, and cryptocurrencies lost 50%-80% in value.

Will 2023 be better? I believe it will be and, continuing this week’s mop-up of the main prediction pieces I’ve stumbled across in the last month, these are the things that will make the 2023 tech world better.

Generally, it's all about where technology is going which is to the Metaverse … good news for Meta?

I’ve said that augmented and virtual realities will change our world for a while – comparing it to walking into the holodeck of the Star Trek ship – and it is finally coming true.

Perhaps the most interesting thing I found around this space is from the British Computer Society (BCS) – I’m a fellow (ed: jolly good fellow?) – and they predict five ways in which it will change our lives in the next few years:

  1. Workplace collaboration will never be the same again
  2. Large scale professional events will go virtual
  3. Bands and DJs will rock your virtual worlds – and so will your date and favourite football team
  4. Brands will express themselves in new ways
  5. Recruitment and onboarding will be transformed

But the best line in their piece is maybe this one: “the metaverse will augment the physical world and all the things we love, rather than substituting them”. Totally agree.

These precitions are expanded by Rita Batalha on Medium, who talks more about Web3, which she cites as “the internet owned by the builders and users, orchestrated with tokens” (as defined by Packy McCormick). In other words, it plays into all the platform, crypto and networked stuff in tech of today.

Although she doesn’t say decentralised, she does say that Web3 is “a more democratic version of today’s online and digital works, where Web3platforms could give creators and users a way to monetize their activity and contributions”.

But there is more to tech 2023 than just the metaverse and Web3, as there’s a buzz around embedded finance, platform business models, AI and ML (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning), quantum and digitalisation in general.

One of the big tips for 2023, more than the metaverse, is the advancement of AI. Manasi Vartak, founder and CEO of Verta, a Palo Alto-based provider of solutions for Operational AI and ML Model Management, gives her six key AI/ML trends for 2023:

  1. Real-time use cases drive changes in the ML tech stack
  2. Increasing AI regulation puts spotlight on tools supporting ethical AI
  3. Model Management becomes the center of gravity for machine learning
  4. Companies build ML platform teams to ensure business-critical models run smoothly
  5. Industrialization of ML drives standardization of ML processes
  6. Generative AI takes the creative arts by storm, raising ethics and fraud concerns

Zac Maufe, Head of Financial Services Solutions at Google Cloud, agrees and adds a few extra trends:

Efficient growth through AI 

In 2023, banks will focus on delivering hyper-personalized buying experiences for customers more efficiently. This is where AI plays a key by being able to drive personalized recommendations at scale down to the individual. While other industries have been successful in building unique permission-based digital customer profiles to enable personalized digital experiences, financial services have been slower at delivering these because of increased regulation and added complexity that comes with dealing with something as highly emotional and personal as finances. The data needed for hyper-personalization may well exist already, it's just in silos. By breaking down these silos, applying a layer of AI and leveraging human engagement in a seamless way, financial institutions can create experiences that address the unique needs of their customers while scaling efficiently.

New perimeters in regulation drive data consistency improvements

As global regulatory expectations continue to increase, the historical approach to having siloed data across operational, financial, and cyber risks is no longer going to work. In 2023, institutions will need to start to break down data silos to enable more precise and consistent regulatory reporting that meets regional and global requirements across all risk disciplines.

New era of security risks will drive new holistic mindset 

Historically, financial institutions have invested in point, on-premise security solutions, which resulted in a proliferation of tools and siloed data sets across their enterprise making a holistic view of the threat landscape hard to compile. As we enter a new era of increased security risks, we’re going to see a significant shift towards a platform-based security approach underpinned by zero trust which allows financial institutions to view cyber security holistically. By doing this financial institutions will be able to unlock insights from the data, detect and remediate threats in a more timely manner, and add a layer of automated controls.

Refocusing on the basics 

In recent years financial institutions moved rapidly to close out any gaps they had in their digital experiences. Often this led to a "lift and shift" of existing processes to digital experiences.  In 2023, organizations will need to reflect on their digitization journey, and assess what is working and what new  digital experiences or processes would need to be built from the ground up. This evaluation will also drive a reassessment of the right distribution mix across channels as more tasks are completed digitally.

The key is to recognise that everything is become smart: “intelligent experiences delivered in real time on smartphones, smart TVs, smart cars—smart everything”.

For me, the thing is that as all things are getting smarter ... including all of the criminals which leads to trends in cybersecurity. After more serious hacks in 2022, this it a top of the agenda item, and a good insight comes from IT World Canada in a two-part review (Part One and Part Two):

Making cybersecurity predictions is easy (“Cybercriminals will become more inventive”). Making actionable ones for IT security leaders is much harder. We’ve assembled what we hope is a useful list of predictions from cybersecurity vendors – people who know what threat actors talk about on dark web forums, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of their customers’ IT infrastructures. There’s no promise that all/most/some of these predictions will come true. The bottom line is, there will be no let-up in attacks. 

There are others you can look at too.

Intelligent CISO features an article from Chad Skipper, Global Security Technologist at VMware, who predicts five key challenges for enterprise cybersecurity teams in 2023: investing in responsive tech; lateral movement; aggressive API attacks; a rise in deepfakes; and cyber warfare.

“We may be entering into a new year, but the primary goal of cybercriminals stays the same: gain the keys to the kingdom, steal credentials, move laterally, acquire data and then monetise it. To improve defence efficiency moving forward, security teams must focus on workloads holistically, inspect in-band traffic, integrate Network Detection and Response (NDR) with Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), embrace Zero Trust principles and conduct continuous threat hunting. Only with this comprehensive rulebook will organisations empower security teams to face the challenges ahead.”

Meantime, Business World sees four key trends: Operational Technology (OT) security will become a necessity; 5Gs revolutionary impact is only as strong as its security; Metaverse is exciting but not without security and ransomware wasn’t the end of it

I guess my conclusion in tech trends 2023 is a line that includes every variation of tech-speak we can throw out there today from John Barber, VP & Head of Europe, Infosys Finacle:

We believe that in 2023, businesses will continue to automate using both established and emerging technologies. These technological advances include open API-driven automation, robotic process automation (RPA), which automatically performs routine and rule-based human tasks, and blockchain-powered private, permissioned networks for payments and trade finance.

Yea …

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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