The rapid evolution of cybersecurity remained a major issue for small businesses in 2019, being named the top concern for all businesses, regardless of their size. Along with an increase in the number of cybercrimes, the cost of recovering from an attack means keeping ahead of the curve is vital for SMBs going forward.
By Amie Thurlow
This is challenging enough for businesses operating on a small budget, but fast-paced changes in technology mean that security resources are increasingly being stretched in several directions. Rather than protecting a single, traditional office, security must now cover a whole range of devices used for IoT and mobile working.
Proactivity is now essential to an effective security strategy. By looking ahead to the trends of the next 12 months, SMBs can begin to identify the new challenges around cybersecurity that they will need to prepare for.
A trend that is set to continue from 2019 is increased cybersecurity spending. The International Data Corporation (IDC) expects spending on security solutions was estimated to reach $103 billion in 2019, a 9.4% increase on the previous year, with that trajectory continuing into 2020 and beyond. These figures are not exclusive to small business, but it does demonstrate how seriously cybersecurity is now being taken.
It may well not be possible for SMBs to increase their budget on that scale each year. However, the trend for regularly raising spending suggests that it would be prudent to conduct an audit of existing hardware, software and services, to make sure that current solutions are providing the best protection available on your budget. Increases in spending can then be focused on minimizing risk, by improving the security awareness of your workforce with training.
The continued growth of IoT
While the Internet of Things (IoT) has rapidly become a huge consideration, the reality is that this is just the start. Currently, the pace with which these new devices are being implemented continues to surpass the rate at which security solutions are being created to manage them.
While some IoT devices have benefits for the workplace, others might be causing more issues than they are solving. Take the time to carefully consider the introduction of new devices to your network, to make sure that the benefits they offer are worth the increase in security weak points that their inclusion creates.
5G wireless Internet
Over the next few years, the rollout of 5G wireless internet will bring faster internet speeds to peoples pockets. But as this is a new technology, dont be surprised to hear of a range of attacks as security weaknesses are exposed and then patched during the early years of its rollout.
It might not be a direct issue for your network in 2020, but with the mobile workforce set to continue its rapid growth in the coming years, staff could well start using early 5G networks on their personal devices to complete their work, putting sensitive documents at risk.
Awareness is the key to minimize this threat. If regular security training sessions are held, they are the ideal platform for highlighting the dangers and reminding staff to apply security patches as soon as they become available.
Automation and AI
An area of technological innovation that is set for dramatic growth in the coming years is automation and AI. A report titled Global Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity Market, 2019-2026 has projected that the market for AI in cybersecurity could reach US$38.2 billion by 2026, an almost US$30 billion increase on the 8.8 billion estimated in 2019.
Alongside entirely new threats, increased implementation of automation and artificial intelligence could begin to see traditional forms of attack such as phishing take on a new guise, becoming harder to detect. But it isnt all bad news. Automation also plays an important role in protecting against attacks, by improving threat detection and identifying vulnerabilities.
Any new technologies can be expensive to set up and can require additional training, but as the implementation of AI grows, costs will continue to fall, making AI solutions viable for SMBs who are looking to implement a modern security setup.
There can be no doubt that cybersecurity is going to continue becoming a greater consideration for companies of all sizes in the coming years. As rapidly as technology advances, so too do the resources that hackers have at their disposal. While SMBs may not have the financial muscle to immediately invest in the latest tools, they can still take large steps towards remaining secure by being proactive.
Keeping antivirus, VPNs, firewalls and endpoint security software up to date will protect against the latest vulnerabilities. But no matter which new threats emerge, the best way to reduce the risk of an attack remains looking after the simple things.
Research conducted by Apricorn in 2019 discovered that 63 percent of UK organizations considered human error the main cause of data breaches within their organization. This means that providing regular training, BYOD policies for mobile workers, and a holistic attitude to security best practices, remains one of the best ways to stay protected in the new year.
Views expressed in this article are personal. The facts, opinions, and language in the article do not reflect the views of CISO MAG and CISO MAG does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
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Cybersecurity 2020: The Trends SMBs will Need to Prepare For - CISO MAG
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