(Words by Firas Jadalla, Regional Director for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) at Genetec)
2018 was a year in which many countries focused on implementing and embracing new technologies. In tandem, many nations also witnessed cyber and physical security challenges such as back to back cyberattacks. According to Emirates News Agency (WAM), 274 cyberattacks targeted the UAE alone for the first seven months of 2018, out of which 39 were extremely detrimental. That said, as we move forward to 2019, we clearly notice the continuation of several important trends and the development of some new ones. These trends will have an important role to play in the security sector. From the continued focus on cybersecurity to the acquisition of global players, we have highlighted the top five security related trends to look forward to in 2019.
1. Continued Focus on Cybersecurity
The first trend we see is a continued focus on cybersecurity. There continues to be a growing number of high-profile breaches in our industry. Along with governmental regulations designed to strengthen security, privacy, and mitigate the damage caused by these increasing cyberattacks, we have to be more vigilant than ever. Cybercrime and criminal cyber activity are not only costly, but they can cause tremendous damage to an organization’s reputation. Very recently, Facebook lost another 50 million users when their data was breached. While the financial cost may not represent a lot in terms of Facebook’s bottom line, the loss of trust and damage to their brand is significant.
Another important part of concerns around cybersecurity is the increasing awareness of untrustworthy devices. It has become clear that this lack of trust is not a function of engineering, but more often malicious intent that can come from any number of sources. For our part, we have developed countermeasures that can help isolate untrustworthy devices on the network. Our systems are customized to keep these untrustworthy devices from sending sensitive or private information to unauthorized recipients. It also protects other systems, including command and control systems, from being accessed.
All of us have a responsibility to protect our security platforms and networks, and all the systems they connect to through vigilance and transparency. As technology providers, we must ensure that we are not only good data stewards, but also upstanding global citizens.
2. Greater Attention to Risk Assessment
Despite the fact that some businesses believe that their networks are secure, in many cases, it takes mere seconds to guess device passwords and gain access to sensitive systems. When governments have concerns about potential risks to their systems, this naturally becomes an indication to other organizations that they too should take a closer look at their vulnerabilities. As a result, we are now seeing large organizations balancing out their risk assessment by leveraging cyber-litigation insurance. And this is surely to increase throughout 2019.
3. Increased Unification That Leads to Better Understanding
In terms of the technology, we are sure to see even more unification of systems in 2019. Organizations are already experiencing the benefits of unifying access control systems with video surveillance, and this will only grow. What will also increase is the ability to employ analytics tools to leverage the vast amounts of data that physical security systems and other devices are already collecting. When organizations are able to understand and leverage their data, they can use it to improve any number of business functions, including efficiency, operations, customer service and revenue generation. The challenges here will arise around sharing information between stakeholders, particularly in terms of maintaining individual privacy and control over sensitive data. But we will see solutions that will allow for disparate organizations to collaborate effectively to achieve even greater understanding.
4. More Organizations Adopting Hybrid-Cloud Storage
We are seeing an increasing number of organizations moving their storage to hybrid-cloud solutions. This allows them to divide their data between cloud and on-premises options. There are tremendous benefits here as people can take advantage of the greater flexibility and cost-savings associated with cloud solutions — often for long term archival — while maintaining the all-important feeling of control of their data. This also includes having the business data secured and protected from Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks while protecting sensitive information and transaction.
5. Continued Acquisition of Global Players
In recent years, we have seen several companies consolidate as major players acquire other organizations. While the bringing together of technology has the potential to yield compelling advancements, it can also slow test cycles for these businesses. 2019 will bring many opportunities for companies such as Genetec to help its end users and partners put an enterprise-grade security platform in place, with an open-architecture, scalable, and extensible solution.