It’s not an easy task to remember a week in 2018 without a major data leak or security breach. Passwords were leaking, new sophisticated malware attacks were spreading, data was breached and Governments around the world once again overturned privacy rules. According to NordVPN’s digital privacy expert Daniel Markuson, cyber security threats will continue to worsen in 2019.
“The year 2018 not only shocked the world by highlighting systemic cyber security issues,” explained Markuson. “Multiple Governments adopted new rules and laws, which are making a global impact now and will echo for years to come. 2019 can bring some hope for the future, but only if Governments and corporations understand the importance of digital privacy and security.”
Based on the outcomes from 2018, NordVPN’s Markuson has listed five significant trends that will shape cyber security and digital privacy in 2019. These are as follows:
Identity theft, phishing scams and personal data loss will hit a new high
From Facebook and Google to Quora and Marriott Hotels, 2018’s data breaches affected more than one billion people around the globe. Add that to the existing pool of leaked data and hackers will have an invaluable resource for tailoring a phishing scam or taking over Facebook or Netflix accounts. Such tactics will be used in 2019
Some Governments will lean towards higher data security standards
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has established a new set of game rules by regulating the way in which corporations protect their customers’ data. It’s still too early to tell whether the new law has made a positive impact, but it has realised a shift towards the more responsible use of private data. In 2019, some non-EU countries will likely follow the example set and introduce similar laws for data protection as well. This year, all eyes will be on the US, where California has set a high bar by passing the Consumer Privacy Act. However, it’s still unclear if other American States will follow
Use of encrypted communications will face new challenges
In December, Australia passed the Assistance and Access Bill, also known as the anti-encryption law – all despite an uproar within society. The Bill requires tech companies to create backdoor access to the encrypted communications of their users. It would be used by law enforcement agencies to intercept and read the content of private messages. Despite opposition to the law, similar ideas have been floated in multiple countries (including the US). Having in mind the everlasting itch to spy on their citizens, it wouldn’t be a shocking surprise if other members of the ‘14 Eyes’ countries would follow this example in 2019
Tech companies will look for new ways in which to win the trust of potential customers
Much data was stolen in 2018 despite companies’ size and significance, their self-proclaimed ‘best security practices’ and the risk of being fined under the GDPR. It’s no surprise that ensuring customers’ trust will become more critical than ever. Companies will learn (albeit slowly) from their mistakes and invest in penetration testing, security audits and Artificial Intelligence while also implementing zero-trust policies to prove that they’re making an effort to protect their clients
Cloud security will become a bigger issue
As people change locations and devices, cloud computing becomes inevitable both for private users and corporations. At the same time, it becomes a bigger security problem. GoDaddy, Los Angeles 211 Center, Viacom and (only recently) the United Nations had data records harvested from cloud storage. The biggest issue is still simple configuration errors and user neglect. Nevertheless, as we can expect more leaks and breaches here, new cloud security measures and services will evolve in 2019.