Cybersecurity, first known as system security and then information security, was considered a dead-end field some three decades ago. The field largely consisted of investigating incidents of internal malfeasance like theft and embezzlement. However, Matthew Rosenquist saw a silver lining inside this cloud. With his love for technology and penchant for going up against intelligent adversaries, Rosenquist found a way to marry his passion for digital innovation and knack for investigation when he joined Intel – an outcome of what he delights in referring to as his love for dealing with ambiguous and chaotic situations.

“You see,” Matthew explains, “our industry is essentially about responding to the malevolent actions of the bad guys. But not just responding, we have to be a step ahead, aspiring to preempt what’s evolving, anticipating the rise and adaptation of digital tech adoption and reliance. Which in turn, exponentially increases the attraction for our digital adversaries.”

Rosenquist expertly identifies four areas where he anticipates challenges and innovations to mushroom. Firstly, he notes the rapidly evolving landscape shaped by cyber attackers. The perpetrators, once considered a fraternity of loose cannon individuals in basements, have now transformed into organizations with increased resources and speed in detecting and exploiting tech loopholes.

“Imagine a group of attackers probing billions, or tens of billions of systems that consequently waterfall into our defense perimeter,” Matthew opines. “This certainly spells an unprecedented level of challenge.”

The second aspect lies in the magnified expectations that hinge on cybersecurity firms like never before. From boards to employers to business suppliers, vendors, and virtually everyone an organization interacts with – Rosenquist anticipates a marked increase in security assurance, expectations, and pressure to minimize impacts of potential incidents.

This escalation of everything, believes Rosenquist, conversely makes it arduous to hold meaningfully engaged discussions about the value of security. “If you’re at the top end of the security range, bad things don’t happen and they won’t understand why they’ll need you. If you’re the worst and everything goes south, there’s substantial loss and payout. Combine this with the perennial clamour for budget increases, justifying the demand becomes harder.”

The final challenge, as identified by Matthew, orbits around the adoption of advanced technologies. Embracing AI, gen AI, and quantum computing, especially in a world where attackers can undermine public and private keys, poses new frontiers of risks. As tech evolves at a breakneck speed, it often minimizes deliberation on security, private safety, and trust – until the issues rear their ugly heads. The technology industry often does not value or invest in cybersecurity until after a failure occurs.

As cybersecurity continues its path of rapid evolution, planters like Matthew Rosenquist remain at the frontline of defense, drawing from their rich reservoir of experience, bracing themselves for the inevitable challenges and changes that dance on the horizon. Their invaluable insights offer a roadmap of what to expect, how to respond, and how to stay one step ahead in the forever rattling cyber minefield.