The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Evolution of Cybersecurity Consultants

A significant take-away from my recent research on Cybersecurity consulting is how much the competitive market for providers changed in just one year.…

| November 14, 2018

A significant take-away from my recent research on Cybersecurity consulting is how much the competitive market for providers changed in just one year. As a result of external mega-trends, consultants are rethinking their approach to cybersecurity consulting. Previously, consulting capabilities offered were driven mainly by regulatory requirements; which was followed by a shift to advanced threat detection as breaches became more common. During this time, the focus was on tools, and maturity, vulnerability and penetration assessments to prevent attacks. But the breathtaking onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, namely digital transformation, is a game-changer for consultants and clients as far as the overall approach and the capabilities needed to secure organizations' environments. The World Economic Forum said that, "The Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. The breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance." 

Cybersecurity, no longer "just" an IT issue, is now about enterprise transformation with a top-down, end-to-end business approach aligned with IT priorities.  This encompasses strategy to execution, involving every function and every employee; using new and emerging technologies to minimize threats to the fullest extent, including analytics, AI, robotics, automation, cloud security, and Security Dev Ops. Consulting firms explain to clients that risks cannot be entirely eliminated, but can be minimized with preparation, risk management and governance aligned with business strategies. Cybersecurity and data privacy must be embedded in all business strategies to ensure that consumers trust organizations with their data; and that Boards are satisfied that every step possible is taken to avoid brand and reputational damage.  

Consulting firms are proactively responding; creating a change in market dynamics, with many firms attempting to provide a vaster breadth of offerings.  Historically, there were distinct tiers of providers offering different capabilities. Management consulting firms focused on strategy and risk consulting, security consulting, breach readiness, change management, talent shortages and managed security services to an extent. 

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