zero trust

The tech industry will continue to undergo major transformations next year, driven by the evolving needs of the digital landscape. Let’s explore the top predictions for our 2024 tech forecast:

1. Embracing the new normal in IT: Remote work & security

First off, the remote work trend isn’t just a phase – it’s here to stay, and it’s reshaping the responsibilities of IT administrators. In 2024, expect to see IT admins focusing even more on keeping things secure and compliant, especially with the rise of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and contractor access. We’re moving past the era of traditional VPNs and web gateways; it’s all about innovative solutions for our diverse, remote, and hybrid work environments. And guess what? The Digital Employee Experience (DEX) is now more crucial than ever.

2. Cloud meets AI: A match made in tech heaven

In 2024, the combination of cloud computing and AI will revolutionize how quickly we can develop and launch SaaS (Software as a Service) applications. Productivity gains for developers are through the roof with some seeing more than 50% gains. It means more innovative, efficient software solutions on the horizon. Plus, for those already in the cloud, adopting and using GenAI models will equate to faster time to value.

3. Budgets in IT: A balancing act

IT budgets are constantly evolving. While total spending might not see a huge shift, where the money goes is changing. Think more focus on security, managing endpoints, and securing applications. It’s all about smart spending in 2024 with FinOps being a crucial tool for the IT.

4. The rise of hybrid cloud

The hybrid cloud isn’t just for the big players or regulated industries anymore. In 2024, it’s going mainstream, with more organizations blending on-premises investments with cloud services. This flexible approach is gaining traction. According to the recent 2023 Hybrid Cloud Survey, two-thirds of respondents, 64%, have already implemented a hybrid approach, and 38% of all respondents intend to enhance their adoption of the hybrid cloud within the upcoming year. GenAI is only going to accelerate cloud adoption, and legacy workloads will need the ability to work with these new workloads in the cloud.

5. When vendors change, cloud adoption grows

Vendor decisions have a strong influence on IT strategies.  For example, as vendors like Citrix and VMware evolve through mergers and acquisitions or leave a customer segment, many businesses lean toward a cloud-first strategy. This shift is becoming a significant driver for cloud adoption. This also becomes a time to consolidate vendors. 

6. Legacy apps: The ongoing challenge

Despite rapid cloud adoption, many companies are sticking with on-premises infrastructure due to compatibility issues with legacy apps. According to a recent survey by Parallels, 49% of IT professionals affirmed the ongoing need to support legacy Windows and Linux applications beyond five years. Expect legacy app challenges to be a hot topic well beyond 2024.

7. Safeguarding against browser-borne threats with zero-trust alternatives

With more apps moving to a SaaS model delivered from the cloud, protecting against cyberattacks like malware and phishing originating from browsers will be a priority for IT organizations. Remote Browser Isolation (RBI) is becoming a go-to solution to help neutralize online threats and stave off exposure to malware and other cyberthreats in a zero-trust stack. RBI works by containerizing and isolating individual applications and cloud-hosted environments, to ultimately prevent data leaks from the organization.

8. Generative AI: Shaping our digital world

Generative AI is making waves, from content creation to design and beyond. With cheaper and more accessible APIs, we can expect a lower barrier to the adoption of Large Language Models (LLMs) for a variety of use cases from marketing, sales, data analytics, software development, customer support, and cybersecurity. 

9.Bottom-up tech spending: A new trend

Even with tight top-down budgets, employees and teams are investing in tech tools they find valuable. This bottom-up spending trend signifies a shift in technology adoption within organizations, despite the economic conditions.

10. Looking forward to predictable growth in 2024

Finally, 2024 is shaping up to be a year of predictability in tech. We’re expecting growth in end-user computing device shipments, with a spotlight on Macs in the enterprise world. It’s a welcome change from the uncertainties of recent years.

    In conclusion, our 2024 tech forecast predicts that remote work, AI evolution, and cloud strategies will be key drivers to IT success. It’s all about being adaptable and seizing new opportunities in this ever-changing tech landscape. Stay tuned, stay adaptable, and let’s make the most of these exciting times!

    The future of work is boundless, with employees redefining where, when, and how they work. We call this new business landscape “Work3,” and in Work3, it’s more vital than ever that employees have secure and seamless access to critical applications. We’re not just calling for that change. We’re creating it.  Learn how Parallels Secure Workspace is part of that change.

    Introducing Parallels Secure Workspace

    Formerly known as Parallels Awingu, Parallels Secure Workspaceis not just a name change; it signifies a pivotal step in establishing this cutting-edge solution as an integral part of the Parallels family. While the name is changing, the product itself isn’t—and users can expect the same high-caliber performance they know and love. No action is required for existing users. Fresh installs will now carry the new name and branding to match the Parallels brand.

    Why is Parallels Secure Workspace so important? Security breaches have become all too common, exacerbated by a whirlwind shift from in-person work to remote or hybrid, and sometimes back and forth. It’s a lot for IT managers and employees to handle. In a recent cybersecurity report, 41% of IT professionals reported security breaches in the past year alone. That’s alarming—and emphasizes the pressing market need for secure and user-friendly access wherever your employees work. We’re thrilled to be part of the solution.

    Secure access anywhere, any time

    To experience Parallels Secure Workspace is to love it. Originating as Awingu in Belgium in 2011, this pioneering product boasts a “clientless” approach, operating entirely within web browsers. It offers seamless access to virtual apps, desktops, files, SaaS applications, and cloud storage across all devices. Parallels Secure Workspace is a fantastic, secure alternative to traditional VPNs—and fans rave over its rapid deployment capabilities. Alludo acquired Awingu in 2022, and it has perfectly aligned with and enhanced our efforts to bridge security and ultimate convenience.

    Check it out for yourself

    If you haven’t had the chance to try Parallels Secure Workspace before the name change, consider this your official invitation. Parallels Secure Workspace caters to mid-sized enterprises and large corporations, supporting Zero Trust security initiatives, secure BYOD programs, remote work setups, and controlled contractor access.

    For our valued channel partners, we’ve introduced Parallels Secure Workspace certification courses. These courses, available free of charge through our partner portal, offer a convenient way to enhance skills and knowledge. This, in turn, equips our partners to deliver exceptional solutions and services to our customers.

    Want to learn more? Visit the Parallels Secure Workspacewebsite for information on how to tryParallels Secure Workspace and explore a boundless, secure, convenient future of work.

    Where is your data?
    Who has access?
    What’s at stake if it falls into the wrong hands?

    These are the questions that keep IT and security professionals up at night. And for good reason, given the alarming rise in both frequency and sophistication of cyber threats. Threats feel more ubiquitous than ever, in part due to a new wave of less-savvy hackers leveraging AI to level up their capabilities.

    The threat landscape has evolved. If your data security strategy hasn’t evolved along with it, the time is now. As in, sound-the-alarm-bells, all-hands-on-deck, right now.

    This isn’t an easy fix, given the triple challenge of complex cyber threats, changing regulatory environments, and the proliferation of interconnected devices.

    We know the stakes are enormous. But what’s the real scope of the data security threat? And, most importantly, what can leaders do to protect their organizations’ data?

    The state of data security

    In short, a whole lot of data is in play. And that data may not be as safe as IT and security teams would like to think.

    Take these findings from a recent WinZip survey of nearly 500 cybersecurity-focused IT professionals at large companies.

    • Sensitive data is everywhere. Among respondents, nearly 8 in 10 (79%) report that their company works with sensitive data including personally identifiable information (PII), payment card information (PCI), and/or personal health information.

    Here’s where things get a little scary.

    • Leaders are aware of gaps… Fewer than half (48%) of respondents describe their organization’s data security as “very strong.”
    • …but don’t connect those gaps to real risk. Despite the stat above, the majority (64%) of respondents claim they are confident their organization will not experience a data security breach within the next 12 months.

    Some of those folks, unfortunately, are likely to be wrong. A whopping 41% of respondents said that they had experienced at least one data breach in the past year.

    Businesses in highly regulated industries should be particularly proactive. Failure to comply with data protection regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) can result in severe legal and financial consequences.

    Can more investments in data security combat the high cost of breaches?

    Post-breach remediation carries an astronomical cost, both in reputation repair (which may be irreparable), and in associated fines and labor. The average cost of a data breach stood at $4.35 million in 2022. With 4 in 10 of businesses falling victim in just one years’ time, there’s a clear need for proactive, anti-breach measures.

    To be fair, it’s not as though IT and security teams are standing by, waiting for something to happen. The report found that 87% of respondents state that data security is “extremely important” at their companies. So, it’s a priority — but not yet a success story. And there’s a clear gap between what is prioritized from a policy perspective and what is actually implemented.

    The good news: That gap may be narrowing. There’s a clear trend toward ramping up security expenditures, with 78% of respondents reporting that they will elevate their security budgets either moderately or significantly within the next year.

    Of course, it’s not only about the amount invested, but also where and how the investments are made.

    What can IT and security leaders do?

    Things aren’t all doom-and-gloom. A few key strategies and best practices can enhance an organization’s data security position. Plus, consider this: Data security is usually discussed in the negative, as in, “Lack of data security causes XYZ problems,” However, implementing data security can be a huge positive for a business. Strong data security is a major selling point for customers and partners and can deliver competitive advantage far above and beyond loss prevention.

    Strategies include:

    • A zero trust security model. The traditional perimeter-based security model is becoming obsolete as more employees access company data from various devices and locations. “The zero-trust approach is a powerful, flexible and granular way to control access to data across an organization’s IT, network and security landscape,” according to Prashant Ketkar, our Chief Technology and Product Officer. Zero trust security considers every access attempt as potentially risky until proven otherwise. It incorporates principles like identity verification, multi-factor authentication, and granular access controls.
    • Encryption. Encryption is another critical element of a successful data security program. Encryption can not only protect PII, PCI, and health information, but it is also an important part of human resources. Securing employee information is just as important as securing customer and partner information.

    Zero trust security and IT-controlled encryption can be combined with regular data backups, employee training, multi-factor authentication and a well-defined incident response plan to shore up data security.

    Staying three steps ahead

    The threat landscape isn’t static, so data security can’t be, either. It is an ever-evolving field that demands constant vigilance and adaptability—made even more complicated by a dynamic regulatory landscape and hybrid work environments. “With remote and hybrid work becoming an integral part of the new work culture, IT administrators need to be focused on providing a digital workspace that ensures security and productivity no matter where employees are working in 2023 and beyond,” added Ketkar.

    While specific threats and appropriate responses may change (and have probably changed in the time you’ve read this article), the basic principles are the same: Implement zero trust. Prioritize employee training. Don’t become complacent.

    To make it easier, invest in technologies with security and encryption built in. Let your platforms do some of the work for you.  After all, it’s tough out there. Protecting your organization’s data should be your top priority. Now is the time to work smarter, not harder.