The fight for cybersecurity has turned into a never-ending struggle for businesses. Keeping your network safe from hackers now requires constant vigilance, access to the right tools, and a comprehensive strategy that involves every single employee in the organization.
The cyber threat landscape is always changing, too, making it even harder for businesses to keep up. Just when you think you have a firm grasp on a particular threat, a new one rears its ugly head.
So, where should you even start? To help get you up to speed for 2019, we compiled an overview of some of the biggest trends taking place in cybersecurity.
Top Cybersecurity Trends This Year
Ransomware is here to stay, as it’s proven to be a remarkably effective — and lucrative — tool for cybercriminals. The problem is especially bad in healthcare, with targeted attacks on healthcare organizations expected to quadruple by 2020. Employees should be extra careful when searching the web, and when exchanging files with customers. Ransomware is typically spread through infected advertisements and email attachments, and it can be hard to spot.
Security experts are now warning about the rise of “smart” cyberattacks, that leverage technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence. We could see a cyber “arms” race developing, as businesses are being forced to invest in security tools that are smart and powerful enough to match the power of these next-generation threats.
Over the last few years, we have been seeing a major uptick in biometric security adoption, such as thumbprint scanning, as businesses and consumers have grown increasingly comfortable with the idea of using unique traits to secure their identities. This market is maturing and in 2019 we will see the technology be employed across many more endpoints — especially mobile devices and communications platforms.
Privacy Crackdown: GDPR
One of the biggest stories in 2018 was the start of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), one of the largest cybersecurity overhauls to date. Now, as we approach the one-year anniversary of GDPR, it’s still unclear as to how the EU will punish organizations who are falling behind in their data protection efforts.
Making matters more complicated, businesses will also have to prepare for the looming California Privacy Act of 2018, which is set to begin on January 1, 2020. This legislation gives California consumers the right to request to know what personal data businesses are using, as well as the right to revoke consent. Other states are also considering implementing new privacy reforms, and so it’s possible that we could see more related announcements this year.
What Current Cybersecurity Trends Mean For Communications
Communications, it should be noted, remain a major cybersecurity blind spot for businesses across all major vertical markets. In many organizations, employees are using a variety of disparate messaging, phone, video, and fax services to exchange sensitive data. A fragmented communications environment opens the door to “shadow IT” making it very difficult to control sensitive data, and for IT to identify vulnerabilities.
Businesses can improve their cybersecurity by using unified communications (UC), which involves centralizing and securing all communications over a single, cloud-based platform. UC will encrypt all inbound and outbound voice and data traffic, preventing interlopers from snooping in on conversations. A robust UC platform will also offer supporting security technologies such as packet filtering, private IP addresses, around-the-clock monitoring, and managed network services.