Businesses already have a lot on their plate when it comes to protecting their digital assets from criminals. With the techniques used by hackers becoming ever more sophisticated, IT pros and security solution providers are engaged in a constantly-evolving arms race to stay ahead of the game.
But this challenge may prove to be even more difficult in the future, as new technologies such as big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) change how businesses collect and use information.
A new report from Gartner warns that IoT in particular will require enterprises to take an entirely new approach to their cyber security. The technology involves a wide range of internet-connected sensors sharing data, from smart energy meters and fridges to manufacturing production lines, and much of the data transmitted through it could be hugely valuable to criminals.
For example, several security researchers have already demonstrated that internet-connected cars can be vulnerable to hacking attacks, with individuals able to access systems remotely and take over the controls. But the possibilities for malicious actors as a result of IoT could be much more varied.
Ganesh Ramamoorthy, research vice-president at Gartner, said one of the key challenges of IoT is the fact it adds a physical element into businesses' security concerns, which will redefine the scope of their responsibilities to include new platforms and services.
"Governance, management and operations of security functions will need to be significant to accommodate expanded responsibilities, similar to the ways that bring your own device, mobile and cloud computing delivery have required changes - but on a much larger scale and in greater breadth," he continued.
Gartner added that IoT will be a "conspicuous inflection point" for IT security operations in the coming years, and chief information security officers (CISOs) will be on the front lines when it comes to tackling the complex challenges it results in.
By 2017, it forecast one in five businesses will have digital security services in place that are dedicated to protecting their IoT initiatives.
However, although Mr Ramamoorthy said that while the requirements for securing IoT technologies will be complex, he added: "CISOs will find that the core principles of data, application, network, systems and hardware security are still applicable."