In the cyber security world, 2018 was a big year, and not always for the positive. Cyber criminals were successful in pulling off significant data breaches in both the public and private sectors, impacting major businesses – such as the Marriott, Panera Bread, Facebook and Polar – and billions of consumers worldwide. Cybersecurity is undoubtedly in the mind of consumers, business owners and governments as seemingly no realm has been left unscathed. As 2019 makes its appearance in less than a month, the following are some cybersecurity trends, both positive and negative, to be aware of.
When organizations do not have qualified cybersecurity firms handling their data, it is unquestionable that those businesses become an easier and more desirable target. As the risk of a cyber attack becomes more prevalent and the information on these attacks is more accessible and in the news, the demand for cybersecurity professionals will be on the rise in 2019. Companies will continue to realize and acknowledge that their IT strategies are not effective and seek professionals, both internally and externally, to protect their businesses and consumers from cyber threats. Internally, business will develop new job titles and departments that focus only on cybersecurity.
Traditionally, we think of a business as the main victim of cyber attacks and consumers as an injured bystander. However, as 2019 nears, there continues to grow an increasing likelihood that consumers will become the main target. Every day consumers use multiple connected devices that could pose a cyber risk to both them and businesses. From cell phones to tablets, to computers, and even Smart TVs, the risk of a cyberattack continues to grow for consumers. Ransomware, an attack through a device that locks the device and requires a fee to regain access, may become more prevalent outside the business world.
Businesses have different types of insurance – such as professional liability, product liability and workers’ compensation – to protect them against claims that have the potential to significantly harm their business. In 2019, cyber risk insurance will become an increasingly more popular form of insurance that businesses will invest in. Cyber risk insurance will be tailored to each insured business to protect against loss to consumer investments, revenue and goodwill.
Stopping cyber threats has traditionally been difficult because cybercriminals are usually one step ahead of businesses who do not have an IT company or the means to see the threat. In 2019, our ability to detect cybercrime will advance, and as such, hackers will become more organized and more intelligent in attempts to stay ahead. Cybercriminals will establish themselves in countries that do not recognize or prosecute cybercrime and will be equipped at writing targeted code to improve quicker than it can be defended.
Cybersecurity, like many other internet related legal issues, has been traditionally difficult to regulate. Cyber attacks far outpace laws and regulations because the internet is a dynamic arena that is faceless and constantly changing. 2019 will (or at least should) begin to recognize the need for improved regulation to protect against and prosecute for cyber crimes.
Cyber attacks are a massive impending threat for businesses that hold consumer information of any type, as well as businesses that hold important trade secrets or other tangible or intangible property of value. As a new year approaches, it is imperative to plan to protect yourself from cyber threats with the help of a top cybersecurity and IT firm.