Whichever way you look at it, 2018 was a pivotal year for cybersecurity. Massive data breaches virtually every other week became the norm and affected globally recognizable names like Quora and Marriot Hotel. And which cybersecurity professional can forget that the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force in May?
These developments and more meant that cybersecurity was top of mind for every major business leader. It also drove comprehensive reviews of security products in the market (see DNSstuff Reviews). With the stakes for keeping your organization’s systems and data safe being higher than they’ve ever been before, it’s only going to get more intense in 2019. So what cybersecurity trends are we looking at dominating conversation this year?
Evolving Security Regulation
GDPR may be a law that applies to citizens of the EU and companies doing business in the EU but its coming into effect has triggered a domino effect worldwide as regulators elsewhere scramble to review their own cybersecurity laws. Given the size of the EU market, it’s not surprising that the GDPR seems to be slowly morphing into a global standard.
Expect to see various governments take a second look at their laws in order to cater to the rapid changes that have taken place in the IT and Internet space over the last few years. New regulations must strike a fine balance between ensuring the protection of users and the public on the one hand, while not needlessly hampering business on the other.
Greater Demand for Cyber Risk Insurance
One of the provisions of GDPR that had multinational CEO eyes popping is that organizations that violate the new regulation could face a fine that’s as much as 4 percent of their global revenues. For the largest corporations, this can translate to billions or hundreds of millions of dollars, an amount that would be better applied to expand the business.
Cyber risk insurance has been around for years but the entry of regulations like GDPR is bound to drive more companies to take it up. Existing policies may need to be revised to ensure they cover not just the cost of lost reputation, lost future revenue and repair costs but also the cost of regulatory fines.
Data Manipulation Replacing Data Theft
Traditionally, the goal of hacking was to obtain large volumes of sensitive data from a target system. Such data would include passwords, credit card numbers and social security numbers. The stolen data would then be used to perpetrate fraud. We are going to start to see that change in 2019 as data theft begins to give way to data manipulation.
Data manipulation involves accessing a system and altering the data therein. Unlike data theft, the objective of data manipulation is more about malice than financial benefit. It’s meant to inflict persistent reputational damage on the target individual or organization by getting users and customers to doubt the integrity of the entire system.
Rising Demand for Security Professionals
There’s been a global shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals for many years now. The good news for security professionals (and perhaps disappointing news for employers) is that the demand for security skills will continue to significantly exceed the available talent in 2019.
Cybersecurity professionals are already highly paid but organizations will have to be willing to dig even deeper into their pockets if they want to attract the kind of expertise that would best help keep them safe from hackers. Hiring cybersecurity professionals will have to be combined with internal training and upskilling of existing IT staff. That will ensure the entire team is well equipped to deal with modern security threats.
If cybersecurity is a topic that excites you, 2019 is certainly a year that’s worth looking forward to.