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5 Data Security Trends and Insights for 2020

Data Security Trends You Can Expect to See in 2020

It’s that time of year when gyms fill up, desks are organized, travel plans are booked, and a multitude of other resolutions are made. 

If you usually make New Year’s resolutions, focusing on your business’s cybersecurity should be at the top of your list. Whether or not you’ve personally experienced a data breach, it’s always wise to shore up your defenses and create a plan for the coming year.  

With how quickly the world changes and the rate at which new technologies are being introduced, security can’t be static but must remain top-of-mind for companies dealing with sensitive data. How you protect your information should adapt along with the rest of the tools at your disposal.  

The beginning of a new year (and decade!) is the time to re-assess your security and compliance and see how you stack up against would–be hackers and fraudsters.  

Here are some things we can expect in 2020: 

1. Data Breaches Will Still Be a Top Threat:  

Cybercriminals and data breaches won’t be going away anytime soon, and certainly not in 2020. In the first half of 2019 alone, 4.1 billion records were exposed by data breaches with 71% of those attacks being financially motivated. The tried-and-true method for stealing information will still be a top concern for those who handle sensitive data, and the hospitality industry is especially susceptible to breaches. Personal data remains a valuable commodity to cybercriminals, and hotels are handling data-rich information daily.  

Going forward, it’s important to make sure your website is compliant with privacy laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act, and that your employees are aware of the risks and proper protocol for data protection. Additionally, organizations are becoming more aware of the impact a breach can have on their reputation and realizing a proactive approach is the best defense.  

2. Automation and Integration Will Be Key:  

This past decade we’ve seen more organizations looking for an automated and streamlined way to conduct business agreements. In 2020, we’ll see this trend carry over into security as well. Automated tools are becoming essential for organizations wishing to maintain strong security and compliance. By automating tasks such as identity and access management, patching, malware detection, data protection and multi-factor authentication, you can save your organization valuable time and resources. 

For those who have a small team, like many in the hospitality industry, having these tools will be essential to ensure that web services are being maintained and updated on a regular basis. Improperly secured sites can put organizations at a major risk for data breaches, but with automated cybersecurity tools, they can work efficiently to secure multiple web applications effortlessly. Employees can get back to helping customers instead of worrying about potential breaches. 

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Be at the Forefront of Security:  

The rapid growth of technology has led to a rise in cloud-based attacks, and organizations are struggling to keep their personal data secure while still offering the kind of technology their customers expect. Organizations will need to branch out and turn to new security tools instead of relying on the same methods as before. With AI, real-time threat detection and fraud tools will be available to organizations and will be a crucial element in protecting themselves and their customers.  

As AI gets more advanced, it will not only be able to detect weaknesses in your system that hackers may take advantage of, but it will automatically prevent those flaws from being exploited. Better yet, AI can be integrated into existing tools and work to protect you with advanced fraud detection, two-factor authentications, and crisis responses which will send automatic incident responses when malicious activity is detected. A combination of AI, automation tools, and human involvement, will be the most powerful security system available.  

4. There Will Be Increased Levels of Sophistication Among Hackers:  

On the flip side, AI will also be used by criminals to develop more sophisticated malware and advanced attack methods. This will force organizations to respond with more advanced security measures of their own, rather than relying on previous techniques. AI has the potential to do great things for security, but when it falls into the wrong hands, it can have damaging effects.  

With AI, information will be easier to steal, phishing attacks will be even more convincing, and criminals can use smart malware to target victims with increased accuracy. The more personalized the attacks, the more likely organizations are to fall prey to hackers. Cybercriminals are also able to use AI to bypass spam filters, initiate fake voice commands, and get around algorithms set up to detect their presence. Going forward, organizations will need to stay one step ahead and be vigilant with their security. AI fraud detection and security tools will no longer be a luxury, but a necessity.  

5. Increased Amounts of Sensitive Data Will Be Stored on Mobile Devices: 

With the majority of employees using a smartphone, and the number using it for work-related activities increasing, there’s a significant amount of sensitive data being stored on these devices. In fact, 60% of all employees use a mobile device for work-related activity, and 71% of those employees spend over two hours a week accessing company information on their smartphone. In 2020 we may see an increase in data breaches on mobile devices as well as misuse surrounding them. If employees are using a mobile device for work-related activities, that’s one more endpoint from which a hacker can access and steal data.  

Advanced tactics in AI are even allowing hackers to work around facial recognition on newer smartphone models. When thinking about the security of your organization, don’t neglect the role smartphones play and evaluate who has access to your data.  

2020 will be all about keeping your PCI compliance validation and cybersecurity up to date. You can check out our full PCI compliance guide here. Employees should receive annual trainings to stay current on new trends, and organizations should frequently test for weaknesses and vulnerabilities that may be putting them at risk. With the help of AI and other tools, security experts can create proactive defense plans and stay ahead of would-be cybercriminals.