2018 saw huge advances across the technical board. AI made strides in industries from medicine to image editing while migrating away from solely hardware supercomputers to the cloud and the edge. User interfaces are moving more and more toward natural language processing and virtual assistants. Processors are moving away from the lowly CPU and more toward powerhouse GPUs and purpose-built Intelligence Processing Units (IPUs). 2018 truly was a watershed year for technological advancement in so many fields, and as we approach the end of the year, we wanted to take a minute to lay out our top prediction for 2019.
I know, I know — cybersecurity has been on the radar for years. Companies large to small have taken steps to protect themselves from digital intruders. The U.S. government is building new labs to tackle the issue specifically. But over the course of the last few years, attackers have grown more and more advanced while the attacks have grown increasingly devastating. State actors are becoming more brazen while the total instances of attacks aren’t showing any signs of abating. This is why we think in 2019 cybersecurity will go from a ‘thing-people-consider’ to a chief concern among all businesses, Fortune 100 to 5 person L.L.C.s alike.
FireEye, one of the foremost experts in cybersecurity, put out a white paper for 2019 that lays out the problems most companies have when it comes to approaching cybersecurity correctly, namely that “companies will be more focused on compliance rather than actually maturing their security posture… organizations need to begin shifting from a compliance-based approach to a security-based approach. This includes implementing and enabling capabilities to detect attacks at the different phases of the attack life cycle, and developing strategies to quickly adapt and react to incidents to minimize the impact to the business.”
As data security standards gain the force of law around the world, compliance is certainly an important aspect of cybersecurity. Whether its HIPPA concerns for medical data or Europe’s sweeping General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), compliance matters and is a great starting point for data handling. But, it’s nowhere near enough to truly protect industry from motivated threat agents.
FireEye continues, outlining a change in mindset for companies moving into 2019 given the evolving nature of digital intruders:
Organizations should stop thinking about how to implement controls to block an attacker, and start thinking about how to implement controls to promptly detect the attacker when they are on the network and in an environment. Security teams then need to be trained to react accordingly to minimize the impact. When the incident is resolved, organizations should be focusing on adapting their capabilities based on takeaways from the incident. This could mean applying a set of reliable controls to other similar processes.
The good news is that a lot of the technologies we started to experiment with and advance in 2018 can and will be utilized in this fight. AI for cybersecurity is already a real thing that could prove hugely valuable if leveraged effectively. There will be more advances like this, and firms like ours are ready and eager to implement the type of security protocols that can help protect our clients and their digital assets + intellectual property. We think cybersecurity will move closer and closer to the core of companies’ priorities, and that’s why we’re predicting 2019 is the year of cybersecurity.