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2021 Prediction: Surviving Major IT Failures

February 15, 2021 Leave a comment DRI Admin

The DRI International Future Vision Committee has released its 6th Annual Predictions Report, looking ahead to 2021 and its impact on the resilience community. Click here to download the complete report free from the DRI Library, and read on for a prediction on the health of IT infrastructure.

Prediction: Many major IT failures at both government institutions and high-profile global firms

The increased dependence of society on Information Technologies (IT) will be adversely impacted by more disruptions of major platforms and critical infrastructure services. This will create obvious short-term inconveniences in everyday life and increase the risk of individuals exposed to identity theft, fraud, spying, and personal data manipulation. Many such problems will come from deliberate cyber attacks, but many are likely to result from human error or technical deficiencies.

Two factors will make 2021 particularly open to an escalation of such problems. First, the attention paid to reconfiguring IT for alternate ways of working in 2020 has reduced resources, focus, and attention paid to regular security monitoring and investigation. Second, the financial impact of the crisis has delayed expenditure of the regular levels of system and software upgrades needed. The combination of reduced expenditure and reduced vigilance (as a result of Covid-19 restrictions) is well understood by cyber criminals, and they will take advantage of these security loopholes.

Simple operational failures to IT services will happen more frequently this year due to aging, bloated, and poorly-connected systems and networks. A major national or international operation easily can be disrupted by a single weak point or vulnerability. This failure will be identified by the public which sees interruptions to availability and access to transportation, delivery of goods, ATM’s and on-line banking, and the information services they take as normal. There will also be increased regulatory pressure on “big-tech” for use of private data and claimed unfair market domination. Data privacy will be at the center of much public policy.

Join us for the free online Resilience Excellence Summit Mar. 1-3 to continue the conversation. DRI Future Vision Committee Chair Lyndon Bird will be on hand with a panel on Mar. 2 discussing the findings of these reports and the shape of the coming year.