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Data security, artificial intelligence and innovation will drive tech in 2019

In 2018, businesses globally experienced a whirlwind of new activity, external security threats and added job titles in the technology field. From global brands including Marriott and Facebook that exposed millions of consumer records, to new global privacy regulations and governance to mitigate risk, the outcome of these major events means that executive planning will need to bring several groups together to ensure success in the New Year. With technology exponentially affecting our business and personal lives, today’s predictions are sure to become tomorrow’s reality.

What can we expect in 2019? There is no roadmap to what the New Year may bring, but with the right planning here are a few technology and cybersecurity predictions to help put you on the right path:

CISOs Will Play a Major Part in C-Suite Activity

Organizations that do not appoint a CISO will have inherent gaps in the organization. As threats become more sophisticated, they are also hyper adaptive and exponentially scalable, making it nearly impossible for technology alone to keep up with them.

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A stream of binary coding, text or computer processor instructions, is seen displayed on a laptop computer screen as a man works to enter data on the computer keyboard in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015. The U.K.s biggest banks fear cyber attacks more than regulation, faltering economic growth and other potential risks, and are concerned that a hack could be so catastrophic that it could lead to a state rescue, according to a survey. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

In 2017, victims of cybercrime lost a total of $172 billion. Organizations are looking to the CISO to prepare and train the staff for all types of threats and adopt new methods of automated prevention methods. CISOs must lead the charge in a unified approach to respond to the increasingly damaging attacks; this includes the establishment of cybersecurity protections, policies, procedures and guidance. Organizations without a CISO in 2019 will be vulnerable to cyberattacks that will negatively affect their business investment and bottom line.

More Buzzwords? AI Is for Real

Enterprises large and small are quick to jump on the latest and greatest technology coming from Silicon Valley. From robotics and drones to machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), B2B and B2C businesses tout the benefits of these technologies. But do they fully understand the true capabilities of the latest technology? Likely not.

Take AI, for example. Enterprises have been so focused on the potential benefits of AI, that it’s become more buzz phrase than reality. In fact, Forrester has predicted that “AI washing,” a term used to describe the hype around AI, will only continue to increase. Rather than focus on the buzz in 2019, businesses should adopt AI applications and projects that offer near-term value to their organizations.

To ensure success, they will need to put a plan in place, including identifying the groups and tools that can actually pilot or incubate new AI technologies to allow adoption enterprise wide. Gradual rollout after testing will help mitigate any major disruptions to everyday business, while enhancing the organization’s future technology footprint.

The Chief Innovation Officer Will Leave Innovation to the People

While organizations may add new C-suite executives to accommodate for ever-changing technology, there are some responsibilities that should not fall to just one person. A CISO is necessary to thwart cyberattacks; yet, innovation should be fully embraced by all executives, not just the Chief Innovation Officer.

In 2019, companies must share accountability for innovation. Every member of the C-Suite should have innovation as part of his or her core role and responsibilities. In the New Year, executives must make innovation part of the central culture and develop an innovation committee across all geographical locations, job levels and functional departments. This will bring new insight, empower the staff and help to align innovation with all departments in the company.

While there is no crystal ball that can forecast what technology and cybersecurity executives can expect in 2019, careful planning coupled with organization-wide tools and procedures can help organizations succeed in 2019. The right preparation can help mitigate threats and enhance new types of technology.

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