2019 has seen an influx of innovative trends in the technology landscape, specifically cybersecurity. During the previous year, the sector experienced massive turmoil, with major breaches taking place almost every week. The trend has spilled over into 2019 and cybersecurity remains at the top of every security professional’s and enterprise leader’s mind.
What are some of the exciting developments that have taken root since the beginning of the year? Join us as we uncover some of the most noteworthy trends that have taken center stage in the recent past as well as what the future will hold.
#1 Better regulations and compliance initiatives
In 2018, the global average cost of a data breach is around $3.86 million. Along with the increase in losses resulting from breaches, there have been tighter regulations. For example, in the EU businesses are already required to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The aim of the GDPR is the protection of personal data as well as consumer privacy. To ensure compliance, the penalties are quite high. At the same time, the definition of personal data is rather wide, making it a serious obligation to ensure security.
Similar regulations have been seen elsewhere. These include the Australian Privacy Law, Turkey’s KVKK and Thailand’s new laws on privacy to name a few. In the US, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 has already passed the rigors of law-making. It is expected to go into effect by the end of 2019. Notably, this is where a majority of large tech companies have their headquarters.
#2 A transition to the cloud
More organizations are focusing greater attention on cloud-based platforms. According to a McKinsey report, by 2020 organizations will spend over six times more on cloud-related products than they generally do on IT services.
While this is a positive development, it presents a unique set of challenges. Taking cybersecurity as an example, a majority of traditional IT setups take a perimeter-based approach. But on the cloud, it is more like a modern hotel where one needs a keycard to gain access.
Therefore, making the most of the opportunity requires organizations to reconfigure their legacy systems to become better suited to the cloud.
#3 Rising demand for cybersecurity skills
The year 2019 is also witnessing a global shortage in personnel with cybersecurity skills. More and more companies are realizing that their IT department is far from sufficient in preventing hacks.
Some are, however, insourcing the skills, with internal training programs to equip existing personnel with the skills needed for the sensitive role. Others are turning to subscription services, outsourcing the role to other companies to handle security issues.
Still, others are looking to artificial intelligence and machine learning to control their security systems. Let us see more on that on the next point.
#4 Using AI to meet staffing needs
On one hand, a report from the Global Information Security Workforce Study shows that the shortage of professionals in the cybersecurity sector will reach 1.8 million by 2022. But on the other hand, a different report from ESG indicates that only 9% of millennials are interested in the career line.
As mentioned above, some are subsequently turning to machine learning and AI to address the shortfall. Leveraging the technology to close the gaps in diversity and numbers has proved invaluable and is expected to keep gathering steam.
Less exciting developments
But with these positive developments, a number of other interesting but not so exciting trends are gaining steam. Take a look at some of them:
#5 A rise in sophisticated attacks
Though this is not an exciting trend, it is, however, a fact of life and thus noteworthy. AI-powered attacks have created a new wave of hack attacks. These mostly make use of unethical tactics to manipulate targets who are not aware of the attack. They are becoming so crafty that they emulate behaviors of specific users to create a false sense of trust and fool the targets.
In response to this, security defenders are similarly using AI-powered detection systems to replace rule-based frameworks which are more prone to attacks.
#6 Attackers become bolder and smarter
In the past, attackers mostly relied on “spray and pray” approaches, spreading malware to millions and waiting to reap. But today’s attacks are more targeted and thus more highly likely to succeed.
They take time to stake out victims and hand-deliver targeted malware so as to ensure their ransom demands are met. In addition to becoming more commercially-minded, they are harder to trace. Mostly, they are establishing themselves in jurisdictions where the rules on cybercrime are lenient.
Given their great potential for huge gains, the most recent types of attacks are not likely to go out of style anytime soon.
#7 An increase in the capture of transient data
Another worrying trend is gaining steam and could cause massive risk to businesses as well as individual home WiFi users. Attackers are targeting data in transit, acting as an intermediary to capture sensitive information as it moves from a sender to an ISP.
Every time one submits personal information online, there is a growing risk of exposure to malicious actors. When paying bills and shopping online, the credit card information is similarly at risk.
Staying ahead of the curve
The above trends and developments in the cybersecurity sector are just a tip of the iceberg in this highly dynamic field. While it is true that organizations are striving to be ‘secure by design,’ attackers are also adapting their strategies to the changing times.
This underscores the need to adopt a dynamic strategy that keeps evolving to keep up with the changes, both positive and negative. Only by so doing you can fully protect your business, consumer data and personal information and privacy.
Information remains one of the most valuable business assets. As such, business operators need to implement suitable measures to secure it. Begin by becoming knowledgeable on existing threats as well as possible ones lurking ahead then strive to consistently step up your game to stay ahead of the curve and keep your online environment secure and healthy.
2019 is a year of change in the cybersecurity realm and beyond.