Buckle up, because cyber security issues aren’t going away in 2019. In fact, they may increase and take some challenging new forms. However, there are some steps you can take to prepare.
Cybersecurity is on everyone’s mind these days, as businesses and individuals alike recently saw their private information exposed by a Marriott and Starwood security breach that affected millions. In the 12 months from March 2017 to 2018 alone, there were 2,216 data breaches and more than 53,000 cybersecurity incidents reported in 65 countries. By understanding the challenges ahead, you can be ready.
Gil Press, a tech and innovation contributor to Forbes, talked to top security experts who shared some predictions about cybersecurity in 2019:
- Information technology (IT) security won’t simply be about protecting sensitive data and warding off hackers. With greater reliance on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and efforts to increase interoperability, security will have to focus on enabling companies to share, collaborate on, and leverage data safely and privately.
- AI-driven chatbots will “go rogue.” Expect cyber criminals and hackers to create “malicious chatbots” that will attempt to get their victims to click links, download files, or share private information. Sophisticated criminals could even use human speech bots to engage victims over the phone.
- There likely will be “a new breed of ‘smart’ attacks,” including the use of intelligent malware.
- Automation will help “filter out the noise” and enable security professionals to use their time more efficiently.
- There likely will be more cyber terrorist-related attacks on population centers. Instead of ransomware, these terrorists will use new tools to attack data integrity and destroy software and hardware.
- Two main targets for cyber attacks in the new year will be the Cloud and user devices.
- New services will enable consumers/patients to take greater control over their own personal data and “rent it back” to companies.
Among the steps that can help step-up security in the new year:
- Have plans and systems in place to guard against threats from intelligent malware, sophisticated chatbots, and other next-generation threats. Remind staff not to open suspect emails or messages from unknown sources and to report any suspicious activity promptly.
- Have thought-out, detailed policies and procedures regarding privacy and the use of company technology and personal devices used to communicate company-related information. Make sure that all employees understand the importance of having strong passwords and changing them frequently.
- Both office equipment and portable/mobile devices alike need to be planned, tested, and audited for security.
- If employees, consultants, or others need to have portable/mobile devices or access to client/patient information over the holidays, make sure that they know and use privacy/security protocols.
- Have an incident response plan that addresses four levels of breach: someone trying (unsuccessfully) to get into your system, potential harm (such as detecting the presence of Malware), a breach of the system (someone got in but no data was accessed), and a breach in which actual data has been disclosed.
While strong preparation doesn’t guarantee your system’s security, it can minimize your risk and help keep your data safe.