There are steps to take to audit your data privacy programs as hackers become more and more creative.

The first step is knowing and understanding the threats businesses will face in 2019. Get educated, and then get prepared!

2018 was a big year for cybersecurity.

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and high profile data breaches dominated tech headlines this year. Familiar consumer brands, including Facebook, Under Armour, Panera, and Ticketfly, faced breaches of immense proportions. Although big companies were impacted, a recent study showed 61% of all cybersecurity breaches struck small businesses.

As 2018 ends and we look ahead to 2019, it’s time to take a closer look at what threats and issues are likely to arise:

Artificial Intelligence Attacks

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is progressing at an exponential speed. AI poses a cybersecurity threat because it may allow hackers to search files and pull out highly specific data at previously unseen speeds. AI also gives hackers the ability to hack passwords more rapidly than ever. Your company must implement policies that require sufficient, difficult to hack passwords and take precautions to account for AI!

Ransomware Infecting the Internet of Things (IoT)

Do you love controlling your smart thermostat with your phone? We are fortunate to live in a time where the Internet of Things (IoT) makes our lives infinitely more convenient. However, IoT integration is posing new opportunities for hackers. What happens when a hacker takes control of your IoT business assets and demands a ransom to unlock it? Does your company have a plan in place for dealing with a ransomware attack?

Companies Out of Compliance with GDPR

We covered the basics of GDPR in e-alerts this year, but some businesses still have not addressed it. We expect GDPR will begin to rain penalties on companies that are not in compliance with its new stringent standards. Check your customers’ geography, remember GDPR is an international regulation, and ensure you are up to date in your privacy practices!

Cyber War

State-sponsored hackings will likely rise. High profile attacks on nations and companies made news regularly this year, with the surprising trend that foreign governments were behind some of these attacks. If current headlines are an indicator, it appears the frequency of state-sponsored hackings will continue to rise.

If you have any questions concerning cybersecurity and data privacy—or are interested in our Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Executive and Board Training, please contact a member of the Woods Rogers Cybersecurity Practice, chaired by attorney Beth Waller.