In 2018, the top-end of the corporate sphere was rocked by a number of high-profile breaches – from Facebook and Marriott to British Airways and T-Mobile, negative headlines consumed the business pages. However, as we progress deeper into 2019, this trend is set to accelerate yet further, with experts predicting the forthcoming year to pose a myriad of challenges for enterprise organisations. Here’s a handful of the most important.

1. The Evolution of Phishing

Phishing is a term well-entrenched within the enterprise lexicon – as a form of cyber-attack that uses emails to distribute malicious links to extract valuable data, its value to hackers is prodigious. In fact, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation report, cyber-deviants were able to scam US businesses out of an average of half a billion dollars annually. Meanwhile, the 2019 State of the Phish report highlighted 76% of businesses reported being a victim of phishing last year, serving only to emphasise the eclectic dispersion of the problem. However, despite the already bleak outlook, the threat of phishing is set to get a lot worse this year. In a recent article, Forbes unveiled that hackers were evolving their phishing practices beyond email, instead targeting communication applications such as Slack, Teams, Skype, and Facebook Messenger to pilfer login credentials. With targeted phishing attacks spreading across these different risk vectors and maintaining its trajectory of continued growth, in 2019, enterprise organisations must take the threat of phishing seriously if they are going to avoid falling victim to an attack.

2. The GDPR Reckoning

In 2018, The General Data Protection Regulation was high up on the priority list for just about every security expert. Disbursing severe penalties for non-compliance – up to $20million or 4% of global annual turnover – this came as little surprise. However, after news that Google had been fined over £44 million by a French security watchdog for failing to offer users transparent information on data use, the stakes for enterprise organisations just got a whole lot higher. While the regulation’s punitive powers have, so far, only targeted the search-engine monolith, experts predict that the number of companies ready to face the backlash is set to snowball as litigation procedures become cemented. In 2019, enterprise organisations will find themselves at the mercy of this latest European directive, and failure to abide by the rules risks not only a financial punishment, but also abject reputational damage.

3. The Rise of Cloud Computing Attacks

For many enterprises, the acquisition, implementation, and management of cloud services is no new phenomenon. Many companies have been utilising the public cloud successfully in recent years, improving the flexibility and scalability of their IT resources and reducing expenditure from migrating workloads away from costly on-premises architecture. However, as the influx of cloud services in enterprise organisations continues to grow – with Gartner predicting worldwide public cloud pending to grow by 17.3% in 2019 – hackers are becoming increasingly savvy to the lucrative benefits of cloud cyber-attacks. In a recent article, the Financial Times reported that cyber-attack threat vectors had changed – rather than attacking companies directly, hackers were targeting cloud service providers, attempting to use their networks to spread spying tools to a wide number of companies. With enterprise reliance on cloud services expected to grow yet further in 2019, large businesses must make themselves aware of the threats present within the cloud computing space if they’re to safeguard their valuable data from attack.

4. The Growing Demand for Security Expertise

The cyber-security talent gap has long been the elephant in the room. Well known to those who reside in the network security space, its impact has slowly grown over the last decade or so with varying degrees of devastation. But, in 2019, it is predicted to rear its ugly head farther than ever and start to become a serious problem for enterprise organisations. In a recent report, Cybersecurity Ventures predicted a global shortfall of 3.5 million cyber-security jobs by 2021. While a report from McAfee found that 79% of security experts believe that the shortage of cyber-security skills does direct and measurable damage to their organisation. It’s a big problem and one that enterprises will need to be aware of if they are to stand any chance of avoiding the irreparable reputational damage and significant financial repercussions stemming from a data breach.

How Enterprise Organisations Can Defend Against Online Threats

The online security sphere has undergone rapid transformation over the last 12 months – responding to the needs of enterprise organisations to improve the way they deal with cyber-attacks. However, if enterprise organisations are to navigate the online security space effectively, they need to stay on top of the latest developments in the online security sphere and take steps to adequately protect themselves from attack. If you’d like to learn more about how you can improve your online security to defend against the trends of tomorrow, reduce vulnerabilities, and secure valuable data, get in touch with the experts today.