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5 Cybersecurity Industry Predictions for 2019

With a threat intelligence platform that scans the entire internet three times per day in a never-ending search for the latest threats, Webroot may have a leg up when it comes to predicting which threats are likely to cause headaches in the coming year. It’s not quite a crystal ball for cybercrime, but it helps.

So, as we put the finishing touches on one year and prepare to boldly face another, we surveyed some of Webroot’s threat analysts and product gurus to get their predictions about threats they think will make headlines in 2019. Here’s what they said.

1. 2019 Will Be the Year the Password Dies

Well, maybe that’s extreme, but our threat researchers predict the continued rise of biometric services for account protection. Usernames and passwords will become a legacy method for account security. Facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, even ear scans will continue to usurp them. For an even bolder take, don’t be surprised if the discussion grows surrounding biometric measurements replacing Social Security Numbers as a more secure technique for personal identification.

2. A Data-Privacy Crackdown is Coming. And Fines will Follow

Scandals perpetrated by the likes of Equifax and Facebook/Cambridge Analytica will make the United States see the wisdom in catching up to European standards for data privacy. California passed its own version of “GDPR Lite” this past summer, which forces companies to specify how and why they collect consumer data and who they share it with. Since companies doing business with customers within the European Union are already affected by GDPR, expect resistance to a U.S. version to fall away.

We also predict that, in 2019, a large U.S.-based tech company will make headlines for failing to meet GDPR standards. Because maximum fines for companies can reach up to 4 percent of their annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater, this genuinely imperils American companies, with established industry leaders with healthy margins standing to be the hardest for non-compliance. Any guesses who it will be?

3. Cryptojacking’s Stock Will Continue to Rise, While Ransomware’s Continues to Fall

There are a few related reasons we believe this trend, discussed in our threat report mid-year update (see October’s blog), will continue into the next year. First, the damage wrought by NotPetya and WannaCry in 2017 will not soon be forgotten by IT administrators. That means endpoints should be better secured against the threat and essential data backups should happen with more frequency.

Next and due to the first development, cybercriminals will likely shift their efforts to more targeted and/or less resource-intensive methods of attack. Unsecured RDPs will be a point of focus as an easy avenue to compromising organizations, and cryptojacking will reign supreme as the most discreet and least taxing cybercrime strategy. One Webroot threat analyst even suggests up to half of all attacks in 2019 could involve cryptojacking.

4. The World of IoT will be Targeted for Much-Needed Oversight

Our staff predicts 2019 will be the year the problem of IoT security, or lack thereof, will finally be addressed. This could take the form of certifications, like the Consumer Electrical Safety Certifications already meted out today, or a governmental agency could step in to lay down the law. With the ever-increasing prevalence of internet-connected devices, the potential for IoT to goods to represent a public safety concern is very real.

5. AI will Lead to Increasing Automation of Jobs

This is perhaps the development with the greatest potential for causing disruption and upheaval in society writ large. AI’s impact on industries like shipping and warehousing have been widely discussed for some time, but the automation boogeyman is coming for more than just manual labor positions. Any jobs not requiring high degrees of creativity or emotional intelligence could be candidates for automation.  That means insurance underwriters, tax clerk, credit analysts, even radiologists could see a sea change was over their professions.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Webroot is committed to enhancing the right of all to be safely connected, and our commitment to our customers will still be a feature in 2019. Contact us for more information on how we can help look out for your cybersecurity needs in the year ahead or start your free trial today.


Guest blog courtesy of Webroot. Read more Webroot blogs here.

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