Research indicates that cybercrime damages will total $6 trillion a year by 2021—more than double the cost of just a few years ago. Part of that total comes from the growing success of ransomware schemes, which cost about $5 billion a year, up from just $325 million in 2015. These chilling stats point to one reality: Effective IT security measures are growing more important with every passing year.
Faced with a rising tide of cybercrime, organizations in every industry—from healthcare and retail to financial services—are being increasingly challenged to protect important customer and client data, as well as valuable intellectual property, trade secrets, and more. Meanwhile, they must ensure they are meeting industry regulations, which often are a moving target.
It can no doubt be challenging to identify the most effective IT security solutions for your needs. And the problem is only intensified by the sheer size and pace of the IT security landscape: It seems that every quarter there’s a flashier, “better” technology or system released that claims it will end your IT security woes for good. Which trends should you embrace and which should you avoid?
Trends to Adopt
As you plan for 2019, it’s important to ensure your IT security is going to get the job done. Here, we identify the five IT security trends that you absolutely should adopt in 2019—and why:
In the fast-paced digital age, we expect various devices and systems to be able to work well together and share information effectively. That’s true in the consumer realm, and it’s true in the world of IT security. In the face of increasingly sophisticated cybercrime tactics, most stand-alone, siloed systems simply don’t get the job done anymore.
An integrated approach to IT security involves leveraging multilayered security solutions and integrating them into one cohesive system. Depending on a company’s needs, an integrated IT system might include intrusion prevention, web proxy and anti-malware, web application firewalls, VPN, antivirus, data encryption, vulnerability scanning, email security, DNS protection, and more. When these and other tools are working together instead of operating separately, you benefit from better efficiency, reduced costs, and optimized security.
This is another trend that won’t be going away anytime soon. After emerging as a hot topic of discussion years ago, the idea of a “single pane of glass” is now increasingly achievable. It used to be frustrating and time-consuming for IT professionals to have to navigate multiple systems in order to gain a full view of their security status. Now, integrated solutions have enabled the long-awaited single pane of glass, which allows your IT team to view and manage all of your security functions in a single unified console or dashboard.
This improved visibility helps save time, reduce costs, and improve the performance of IT security systems. It also gives companies greater insight into key IT performance indicators and metrics, trends over time, and more.
Emphasis on Analytics
As the number and complexity of IT security threats grow every year, it can seem impossible to stay ahead of cybercriminals. Luckily, IT security analytics is helping companies make sense of the incredibly complicated threat landscape, providing key insights before, during, and after a cyberattack.
Analytics tools collect, aggregate, and analyze important security data quickly and efficiently. Often, these systems use sophisticated detection algorithms to extract insights from enormous data sets. This can improve companies' IT security by providing helpful information, such as what went wrong in a breach, who is trying to breach their systems, and which known spam emails and malware signatures should be blacklisted.
AI-Based Predictive Cyber Protection
With an impending 3.5-million-person shortage in the field of IT security, companies are going to be increasingly challenged to do more with less. AI can fill the void for many by taking over certain tasks that were traditionally done by employees. Emerging AI algorithms use machine learning to better understand and detect malware and cyberattacks over time. Even as cybercriminals evolve their techniques, AI systems can adapt, using data from previous attacks as a basis for understanding a company’s vulnerabilities and the attackers’ tactics.
Data Quality and Governance
No matter how sophisticated IT security becomes, it will always be vital to ensure the quality and control of your data. Data quality refers to having accurate, complete, and timely data that is consistent with all business rules and requirements. Data governance involves the exercise of authority, control, and shared decision-making around data management. Achieving this level of insight into and control over your data is a key step in ensuring its security.
Data quality and governance is particularly important in industries that are regulated by federal standards, such as PCI and HIPAA. By prioritizing the regulation standards that apply to your industry through effective data quality and governance, you’ll have a strong foundation for keeping your data secure.
Looking to 2019
As you can see, not every IT security trend is going to be a flash in the pan. These five important developments are fundamentally changing the way the world does IT security. By adopting them at your own organization for 2019, you’ll be in a better position to combat cybercrime, even as it grows more sophisticated every year.