By Bernhard Schroeder
Privacy is about to become a large industry. The analyst firm Gartner, best known for crunching device market share data, charting technology hype cycles, and churning out predictive lists of emergent capabilities at software’s cutting edge has now put businesses on watch. Companies need to think beyond the usual crop of nascent technologies; organizations need to be thinking about wider impacts next year, on both individuals and society as a result of privacy and security trends.
Call it a sign of the times but digital ethics and privacy has been named as one of Gartner’s top ten strategic technology trends for 2019. That, is progress of a sort. It also underlines how low certain tech industry practices have sunk that ethics and privacy is suddenly a cutting-edge trend, a couple of decades into the mainstream consumer Internet. Here are the security and privacy trends that will create opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Managing privacy: Privacy will continue on a similar path as the evolution of cybersecurity. Data breaches and privacy-related incidents aren’t going away just because of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other laws, so expect a standard of constant privacy to become the new normal and for compliance to be a continuous exercise. In 2019, consumers will become more aware of and better understand the rights and mechanisms that regulations like the GDPR have made available to them to manage and protect their data. As a result, we will see consumers become more engaged and active in controlling their privacy settings, such as sharing less information, unsubscribing from marketing communications, and requesting copies of their data or that companies delete their data entirely from marketing databases. Could private “drop boxes” built on blockchain be better for consumers than cloud storage solutions?
Brands rethink cloud security: As cloud adoption and multi-cloud deployments are spreading exponentially, organizations are faced with unmanaged security risks and data exposure. That’s why in 2019, organizations will begin focusing on creating solutions for their cloud and hybrid environments. Also expect to see more companies address cloud security by moving away from public cloud formats and returning to the private cloud. We first saw an inkling of this trend in 2016, when Dropbox announced it was moving 600 petabytes of data from AWS to its own data center. The reason was primarily to improve security, but it also addressed availability and performance concerns. Consumers will punish brands that have data breaches.
Cybercriminals rise: In 2019, the McAfee Labs 2019 Threats Prediction Report anticipates the hacker forums, chat rooms, and marketplaces where one can purchase exploit kits and other nefarious offerings that the cybercriminal underground will consolidate. In turn, we’ll see a rise in malware as a service, and these new malware families will work closely together. This will drive more sophisticated crypto currency breaches, rapid exploitation of new vulnerabilities, and increases in mobile malware and stolen credit cards and credentials. As crime ware becomes a service, it could lead to even more destructive attacks. We are already seeing where entire cities are being held at ransom with malware and hackers demanding payments to restore files.
Brands under attack: Fake news is going to become more prevalent in 2019 as cybercriminals use social media to spread misinformation and extortion campaigns. McAfee however, predicts the focus this time will be on brands and corporations, instead of elections. The increased number of botnet accounts will look more legitimate and will be harder to take down. Botnet operators will continue to harass organizations with the intent to do serious, if not permanent, damage to their reputation and financials. Cybercriminals will repurpose these campaigns to extort companies by threatening to damage their brands. Organizations face a serious danger from these sophisticated criminals. Brand protection will rise as a sub industry as related to cyber security.
Small organizations move to enterprise cybersecurity: 2019 will be the year where small businesses take a leap forward in their cybersecurity efforts. This new attitude and approach should have an impact on the overall supply chain. If smaller companies are more serious about their security efforts, it will become more difficult for cybercriminals to target the suppliers as a backdoor into large enterprise networks. This presents opportunities for small business cyber security solutions that protects their enterprise and customer data.