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4 top trends that will impact cybersecurity strategies in 2019

The past year brought a slew of historic cyber-attacks and data breaches, from Marriott’s 4-year-long breach affecting 500 million to the $3 billion of intellectual property stolen from universities by Iranian hackers. With growing political tension and advancing data theft techniques, all signs point to increased security threats in 2019.

To survive this new battleground, companies must rethink their cybersecurity posture to protect against a range of malicious actors. The trends outlined below explore the top concerns for 2019.

1. Cybercrime escalates to a record high

There’s no doubt that cyber attacks will continue. This trend has gained serious momentum in recent years and external factors are propelling it further.

Hackers have developed new, systematic approaches to data theft that are increasing their success rates. Aggressors around the world now have access to highly sophisticated technologies for carrying out their crimes — nearly keeping pace with the advancement of protective tech.

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An attendee types on a keyboard during the MarketplaceLIVE Hackathon, sponsored by Digital Realty Trust Inc., in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. Digital Realty Trust's clients include domestic and international companies ranging from financial services, cloud and information technology services, to manufacturing, energy, gaming, life sciences and consumer products. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg

Another influence is the hostile political environment and growing animosity between global superpowers. State-sponsored attacks are likely to expand. Organizations can expect an increase in targeted and well-funded attacks from countries such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

2. Predictive AI for breach prevention deployed

Companies are starting to deploy new predictive technologies to detect and prevent attacks. With data collection constantly on the rise, there is now an opportunity to anticipate how and when future breaches may occur.

Predictive analytics safeguard corporate networks and resources by sending alerts before it’s too late. As time goes on, these tools will get smarter — achieving greater accuracy and faster intervention with ongoing optimization.

Similarly, as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies mature, more threats will be thwarted before they occur. Suspicious behavior will be automatically identified and quarantined.

According to a recent study by Webroot, 87 percent of cybersecurity professionals in the U.S. are already working at an organization utilizing AI and nearly 100 percent believe AI is necessary to improving an organization’s cybersecurity posture. However, even as U.S. companies increasingly leverage AI, hackers may be doing the same — resulting in a constantly evolving struggle in cyberspace.

3. Higher penalties will increase stakes, drive bigger investments

As penalties for unresolved cyber vulnerabilities grow, there will be increased need for investment in security technologies. Companies will continue to grapple with the financial risk of getting slapped with astronomical fines, on top of extremely damaging PR in the event of a breach. To mitigate these risks they will substantially increase spending to build state-of-the-art cybersecurity systems.

For any organization doing business in the EU, there is the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to contend with. If an entity fails to comply with the regulations, they can be charged up to four percent of their annual global revenue.

Here is just a taste of the strict GDPR requirements include:

  • Companies must notify those affected when a security breach has occurred within 72 hours of discovery.
  • Companies must implement appropriate and effective measures, such as sophisticated cybersecurity technologies, to protect their data.
  • Companies are prohibited from the use of long, convoluted terms and condition statements that consumers have long ignored.

4. MFA for user access becomes ubiquitous

Stronger security requirements for user logins will become more ubiquitous as single password access turns into a thing of the past. Two-factor authentication has slowly been on the rise, but companies lagging behind will need to embrace a more secure strategy soon.

Today, many apps and websites keep users logged-in after the initial account creation. This exposes consumers to unnecessary risks in favor of a frictionless experience. Fortunately, biometric authentication enables a smooth user experience with improved security.

As mobile devices continue to become the principal consumer technology, fingerprint scans, facial recognition like FaceID, and other biometric qualifiers are starting to dominate as the authentication option of choice. With employees using mobile devices for work, ensuring the security of those devices is vital to employers as well.

It’s not all doom and gloom — these improved technologies are helping organizations and individuals protect themselves from cybercrime. But, vigilance is more important than ever. Some of the most dangerous attacks are now invisible...and everyone is vulnerable.

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