Technology has integrated itself into just about every business. New innovations have created opportunities for businesses to operate faster and more efficiently than ever before. No matter the industry, businesses need to use technology to not only stay competitive, but also survive.

Unfortunately, new technology brings new cyber threats. In fact, industry experts believe cybercrime damages will cost $6 trillion annually by 2021. Because most organizations utilize technology for business operations, cyber safeguards are major business security trends. Here are the top three to watch for in 2019.

1. Artificially Intelligent Cyber Security

Advances in AI (artificial intelligence) have not only helped businesses improve operations, but also helped enhance cyber security.

AI uses algorithms and computer software programs to imitate humans’ ability to learn, identify patterns and make a prediction. With AI-based computer security tools, businesses will be able to spot risks before they happen and speed up incident response time. According to Microsoft, a cyber attacker hides within a network for an average of 146 days without being detected. An AI-based cyber security tool can help business automatically identify threats and take action before any damage can occur.

With more businesses making the digital transformation and the increasing amount of new cyber threats, expect more AI-based cyber security tools to surface throughout 2019.

2. Multifactor Authentication

2018 was a notable year for data breaches. From Facebook to Uber, millions of customers had their data exposed by hackers.

As the amount of consumer data businesses store online continues to grow in size and value, the tools to secure that information, like passwords, remain outdated or inadequate. Because of this, we expect to see an increase in more advanced authentication tools, including biometric verification and multifactor authentication, which requires users to complete several steps for access.

3. More Internet of Things Security

Industry experts believe there are close to 8 billion active connected devices.

Connected, or Internet of Things (IoT) devices, use an IP address to connect to the Internet. Business specific IoT devices range from security cameras and smart locks to wireless speakers and personal voice assistants. Despite the convenience of these devices, security is often overlooked when it comes to IoT, making them a serious target for cyber criminals.

According to a 2018 report from Trustwave, 64 percent of surveyed organizations utilize connected devices and another 20 percent plan to use them within the next year. However, only 28 percent of those organizations think IoT security is “very important,” while more than a third think it’s somewhat or not important at all.

While IoT devices make business more convenient, a cyber attack has the potential to impact your business’ bottom line. Keep an eye out for IoT devices with more advanced security in 2019.

Secure your Business

Cyber attacks threaten a business’ reputation, customers and employees. To prevent your business from becoming the target of a cyber attack, take the following precautions: