2019 Predictions: What Will Be This Year’s Big Trends in Tech?

2018 was a year that saw major developments in machine learning, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, along with some of the largest scale data breaches to date. What will 2019 bring, and how can businesses prepare themselves for the technological developments to come over the next twelve months?

Data security 

More than any other year, 2018 has cemented the importance of keeping data secure online, with many high-profile breaches such as British Airways, Marriott Hotels and Ticketmaster hitting the headlines. 

But despite these breaches, the worrying trend of insecurely storing massive amounts of personal data online is showing no signs of slowing down. As such, cyber criminals will continue to look for ways to exploit data in any way they can: committing fraud, theft or using it to craft highly targeted attacks. With people beginning to grow conscious of the digital footprint they are leaving behind, it's likely that we'll start to see data security being taken far more seriously by businesses over the next year.

This will have a significant impact on larger organisations, who will need to look beyond securing their perimeters and ensure that their networks are robust, especially as these become a more popular attack vector amongst cyber criminals due to the increasing amount of network vulnerabilities. 

Organisations will need to bear in mind that implementing firewalls and securing endpoints are no longer enough to stay secure against evolving threats, and that they will instead need to focus on ensuring they have a robust and thorough security strategy that can handle the complexities of the modern cyber security landscape.

Ethics & legislation

Data, and the legislation that governs it, will continue to be an ongoing source of discussion – and one that could ultimately affect how we interact with technology in the years to come.

With the landmark General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force last year, we should soon see the impact that this will have on organisations, who will be challenged on their data processing and protection procedures. The next twelve months will likely see the first organisations face the penalties that go along with falling foul of GDPR, and organisations would be wise to investigate their own data handling now before it becomes too late.

With many businesses continuing to embrace cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, we will also start to explore the implications of these when it comes to data protection, with updates to existing legislation likely to be required to keep up with the rapid pace of development across businesses.

IoT and AI 

Despite the many advancements made in the world of artificial intelligence over the last year, the technology is still very much in its infancy. With many still sceptical of the scope and usefulness of AI, 2019 will serve to be an important year for exploring its possibilities, along with investigating how it could impact our daily and working lives, particularly when it comes to data handling, cloud technologies and smart home devices.

To sustain the growth of AI, the technology will need to work efficiently alongside IoT devices in order to rapidly process growing swathes of data. The interaction between the two will serve as an interesting case study for their utility over the coming year, and should see major developments and acceptance in the wider working world.

Data will continue to be a crucial consideration for businesses over the coming year, intertwining with many technological advancements, and proving to be a source of ethical and legislative interest. Although it's impossible to predict exactly what might happen over the next twelve months, we can be sure that data will be the focus of many discussions when it comes to security and emerging technologies in 2019.

About the author: With over 25 years' business and technical experience in providing IT solutions, Matt's expertise covers the design, implementation, support and management of complex communications networks.

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