We all like to think that the world gets more secure every year, and it generally it does. Your wealth and property are statistically safer with every passing decade. But this doesn’t come without the hard work of professionals and public awareness of the greatest threats.
Modern criminals and con artist around the world are constantly scheming new ways to subvert and steal. And online, they have greater access to their targets than ever. It’s important that business owners take steps to stay safe from these emerging threats, such as remediation planning and investment in cloud systems.
Here are three of our predictions for the future of cybersecurity in 2019 to keep a close eye on.
1. Cyber Warfare Between First World Nations
Only a few decades ago, the strength of a nation was defined almost entirely by its production capacity and military might that protected it. Computers are the new armaments of sophisticated enemies.
First world nations have long guarded against traditional military aggression, and a decades-old global web of treaties and alliances make it exceptionally risky and costly for any modern nation to try. But a sophisticated state-sponsored cyber attack can theoretically disrupt or destroy billions of dollars in economic activity & intellectual property without crossing these lines.
Largely kept from the general public by omission and not denial, nations have explored and tested each other’s digital infrastructures for years, often with the goal of gathering information. As Russia’s digital dalliance into the 2018 U.S. presidential election shows, there are times when the hacking crosses over into action. But such scenarios are still rarities.
Our primary cybersecurity prediction for 2019 is that cybersecurity will become more militarized as countries worldwide continue to invest in protection against rogue elements and against each other.
2. Thieves Will Increasingly Target Valuable Data Over Money
At least one of the cybersecurity predictions for 2019 has been the same for several years running: thieves will increasingly consider stealing digital data that they can monetize in place of directly stealing funds. This makes it exceedingly important to protect your data as a business.
Thieves operating online can translate the information of just one ideal victim into greater worth than they could burgle from a local bank vault. Digital theft also involves fewer elements of chance. A brave bystander won’t fluster the plan, nor will a call be made to police. The joyride between the crime and getting cuffed is quite a bit longer.
Criminals who steal wealth in literal form outnumber data thieves, but the tide will shift. Future generations will possess ever-greater IT knowledge, as IT increasingly defines daily life. An increase in future cybersecurity threats will drive future cybersecurity to new heights, but the interplay of innovation between hacker and developer has no technological end in sight.
3. More Hacking of Social Media for Business Gain
Number three in our cybersecurity predictions for 2019 is something you may have already encountered: someone hacking into your social media account to promote a product or service.
Exactly how much can a business gain by masquerading as you, and sending your Facebook connections a positive observation or a call-to-action for what’s promoted? If the promotion contains a hyperlink, the answer could be quite a lot. Some of the promotion’s recipients click-through and reach a website — and then it is the seller or the seller’s marketer selling the offer.
The bright side of these unremarkable brushes with the underbelly of online business is that they seldom involve stealing information or delivering a clandestine message that is a crime in itself, such as hate speech. But they’re notorious for being coincidentally embarrassing. If you are the devoted husband who unknowingly sent your wife a notification to join you on an adult friend-finder site, you know what we mean. Hopefully, it didn’t happen on your anniversary.
Will These Future Cybersecurity Threats Affect You?
These cybersecurity predictions for 2019 spread the net wide. The chance that you’ll be affected as an individual is slim, but the risk is greater if you own or manage a business.
You are likelier to feel the pain of pirated data. Digital identity theft is increasing each year. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, “The amount stolen hit $16.8 billion [in 2017], as 30 percent of U.S. consumers were notified exposure to a data breach … an increase of 12 percent from 2016.”
You also have a decent chance of a fraudster using your social media account as a marketing channel. Roughly two-thirds of social media accounts are hacked at some point, and the hacker usually does it for promotion. If you fall prey, the worst thing about it could be an association with what’s promoted. And it won’t be a remastered album of Elvis singing gospel.
Above all, remember that cybersecurity professionals and cybercriminals are mutual innovators. They’re locked in a constant battle to get ahead of the other.
Secure Your Business in 2019
The best way to stay ahead of emerging threats to your business is through the services of a managed IT firm. Contact NIC for a free consultation. We’ll start by identifying where your business, data, and customer information is vulnerable and get you on a cost-effective & reliable path to protection.