From IoT to AI: 5 Things You Need to Know about Cybersecurity in 2019

Following the cyberattacks we’ve all seen in 2018, you’d think businesses have learned their lesson. But ten months are on the board for 2019, and we’re seeing more of the same: More exploits. More malware. More large-scale data breaches

Whether you’re running a small business or a large corporation, no one’s safe from cyberthreats. 

A Microsoft-commissioned study revealed that more than half of the organisations in the country have experienced cyber attacks in the first half of 2018. It can happen at any time. And when they do, it’s a massive mess. 

Another study, this time by IBM, showed that businesses lost $3 million in 2018, and it had taken an average of 281 days to manage a data breach.

What this means is that companies need to ramp up their security to reduce their risk. The key is to always be ahead, to know what’s on the horizon in cybersecurity. 

So let’s dive right into what you need to know. Here are the major cybersecurity trends in 2019. 


1. IoT-Based Devices

Many devices with little to no built-in security are now connected to the internet and linked to corporate IT systems. When it comes to corporate networks, security is only as strong as the weakest link. 

Does your company keep a complete inventory of everything connected to their systems? Do you have a set security protocol in place so that they can disconnect devices that are at risk? Are your employees regularly using their own devices on the company network? 

If your answer to these questions is yes, then you need to ensure data and devices are secure. Many cloud-based systems can keep data enclosed within apps so the data is never natively held on unsecured devices. 

2. Intelligence-Driven Cybersecurity

The use of AI and machine learning is on a rise, and it has become an arms race between businesses and cybercriminals. 

Businesses use AI to detect the hallmarks of shady behaviour, reacting to intruders quickly. On the other hand, cybercriminals react to these AI systems in an antagonistic way, exploring the AI systems themselves and finding ways to trick them. 

AI, a next-generation cybersecurity solution, is valuable to companies today because they can defeat many threats. But companies need to keep their systems updated and cannot rely solely on a single system or method to combat increasingly innovative cybercriminals. 


3. Supply Chain Exploits

Australian businesses frequently share their information with vendors and other third parties, and these vendors are often vulnerable to attack. When these third-parties get hit, they impact any of the information that they have access to, including yours.

A supply chain infiltration is a tech expert’s worst nightmare. It’s a growing threat IT leaders have long feared, and there’s no known solution. A former National Security Agency analyst even said, “This sort of attack undermines every security control we have in place today.” 

Since businesses aren’t in control of the security of their vendors or third-parties, they have limited control over what occurs or even whether they’re aware a security breach has happened. 

To protect your company from supply chain attacks, you need to hold your vendors to the same security standards as you hold your business. Be careful about the vendors you interact with, limiting access and monitoring their behaviour.


4. Small Businesses Will Be on the Radar

Small businesses remain a leading target for cybercriminals.  87% of small businesses stated that they didn’t think they were at risk for a cybersecurity breach. 

While small businesses are becoming savvier, they’re so not ready for a data breach aftermath. 

A single large data breach could cost millions of dollars, a loss of reputation, and even the closure of a business. Small businesses won’t have the funds needed to react to cybersecurity threats, and liquidity is the leading cause of business closure.  


5. Data Privacy Laws

Data privacy laws continue to change, with new regulations being introduced all the time. Companies need to be careful to follow these new regulations and to operate in full compliance with these laws. 

Repeated breaches of data privacy and data security could lead to hefty fines: fines substantial enough to shut a business down. These regulations are in direct response to the many data breaches that have made the headlines over the past few years, and they will likely evolve and strengthen over time. 

Bonus: The Weakest Link in Your IT Security Armour

Security is only as strong as your weakest link. When attacking a knight, you wouldn’t want to try and pierce the armour, right? That would be a foolish thing to do. You’d go for the gaps between the plates. 

So where are your IT security weak points? I’ll give you a clue: you don’t have to look that far. 

The chink in your security armour? The users. 

In 2018, a report stated that 58% of attacks were targeted at SMBs. Also, 78% of security professionals think employee negligence for security practices is the biggest threat to endpoint security.

So here’s a little something to think about: what steps are you taking this year so every member of your staff can recognise a security threat when they see one? 

cybersecurity trends blackbirdit

At Blackbird IT, our mission is to secure South Australia. Our big hairy audacious goal? Zero data breach headlines in South Australia by 2020. We do this by educating South Australian businesses on the pitfalls and common misconceptions around cybersecurity. Learn more here.


Let’s Wrap It Up

Cybersecurity in 2019 continues to evolve, with new data privacy initiatives being launched and new threats being developed every day. 

Cybercriminals are getting savvier and smarter with each passing day. So your organisation needs to be on guard. Your employees need to be aware.

And this is where an IT partner can help as an extension to your internal team. 

Many companies can no longer get by with a small internal IT team. Managing IoT devices and personal devices, training staff on cybersecurity, updating security systems to next-generation solutions, and identifying and mitigating threats quickly — all these may be too large for a small team to handle. 

A small IT team can rely upon the strength and vast experience of its IT partner while focusing on the internal IT initiatives that matter. 

Keen to learn how your organisation can benefit from a strategic IT security partner? Fill out the form below, and we’ll be in touch.

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