2018 has been a roller coaster of a year with many dynamic security challenges to overcome.
The overall security situation in the United States and Western Europe has been fragile with a large number of attacks on civilian ‘soft targets’ and large corporations (ex, in the United States alone there were over 300 mass shootings in 2018). The attacks were not only physical shootings but also major cyber-attacks. While the level of fear associated with a physical attack differs monumentally from the sentiment around a cyber-attack, billions of people are being negatively impacted by data breaches. The world is not getting any safer, and with the speed of technology and general political instability, as well as with the strain on infrastructure, 2019 might not see a downward trend in security incidents. The Interfor team is here to share some of the insights we see regarding security trends in 2019.
Data breaches will continue:
Sadly, breaches of our data safeguards are not going to go away, and there is the chance they may continue to increase. We can only know what is reported in the media so there could be a lot being hidden from us by organizations who don’t want to admit their defenses were breached (despite mandates on reporting requirements). Financial institutions are the most susceptible and this is the fear that keeps CTOs awake at night; that a major breach could take down their institution.
IoT will be threatened in a major way by hackings:
It is common knowledge that wherever technology trends are moving towards, so too does the risk of being hacked. IoT (Internet of Things) is coming into its own, not just as wearable devices, but in the home as well. With the mind boggling number of 20 billion IoT connected devices by 2020, the risk for hackings will only increase. And we haven’t even gotten to automated vehicles yet.
Fake news and disinformation will spread to new spheres:
The fake news spread by Russian affiliated outlets during the Yellow Vest protests in Paris at the end of last year exemplify this trend. While “fake news” in general is not just the spread of falsehoods, it is also an entrenchment of one’s beliefs, and sometimes those beliefs can lead to violence. Judging from the current political situation in the United States, questionable news sites and social media will be ripe for Russian manipulation and other would-be copycats. In 2019, as always, it’s a good idea to closely examine where you are getting your news from.
Big Tech will continue to struggle with privacy:
While 2018 was not a good year for Facebook, 2019 might see the spotlight on other tech giants. There is a lot we don’t know about how many tech companies use our data (which we continue to give away so freely), and in Facebook’s defense it was the platform of choice for Russian affiliated bots and fake news, thus it bore the brunt of the public’s criticism. We’ll see how things with Amazon, Google, Netflix, et al. play out this year.
Gun violence will continue:
We really wish we didn’t have to make this prediction, but nothing has changed socially or politically on this front since last year. In fact, as we write this, the government is shut down and the rifts in our society still seem like a chasm we can’t cross. We cover this issue extensively at Interfor because it’s so important and close to home; remember to always stay vigilant, and if you feel something is not right, say something!
The New Year might be the time for resolutions and self-improvement, but it is also the time to take stock of the year ahead. We don’t think about our personal safety and that of our families until the unexpected happens. There is so much we can’t control, what we can control is how prepared we are and how we react to an unexpected security situation. We wish you a safe and quiet 2019 but know that the team at Interfor is here if the unexpected ever arises.