Cyber Security: the risks posed by 2019’s hottest tech

The Evolving Hospitality Sector
November 20, 2018
2018 has bought us many technological advances, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) seeing widespread implementation across both businesses and consumers. It is estimated that by 2020 the business spend on IoT technologies, solutions and apps will reach €250 billion [1], with AI investment forecast at $7.3 billion by 2022 [2]. But what does this mean for your business moving into 2019?

In this blog we will look at a few key areas within the technology space which are rapidly expanding and, not only how you can best prepare for any potential security issues arising with these technological advances, but also how to ensure you’re using these technologies safely and securely to comply with the recent GDPR laws.

Artificial Intelligence

AI has impacted many organisations, from machine learning being utilised in marketing all the way through to document scanning within legal firms [3]. However, like all developing technologies, it poses security concerns you should be aware of moving into 2019.

With the rapid development of AI, insecure systems will open the door to hackers which, to a business using AI for the automation of its supply chain or order processing, could pose major risks allowing hackers access to sensitive client details such as payment details, names and addresses.

With this in mind, it is best practice to regularly review your security systems to ensure your business’ digital infrastructure is secure and that you’re keeping your business protected and complying with GDPR.

Internet of Things

Research shows 31% of UK organisations are looking to implement IoT systems into their businesses over the next two years [4]. In many cases, these systems will be used to monitor many tiresome processes, such a stock counts. Therefore, there has never been a better time to consider the security issues with these systems and the best practices you can implement around them.

With 2017 seeing a 600% increase in IoT security attacks [5] as a result of insecure devices allowing a ‘back-door’ into the network, it is imperative that organisations relying on IoT systems carry out thorough audits on all devices with access to their network, especially with 5G approaching, as the risks of hacking are only exacerbated through increased bandwidth speeds.

Ensuring your own internal systems, through comprehensive product audits, are adequately protected, but also meticulous and efficient supplier reviews of their digital systems, will ultimately provide you peace-of-mind that your manufacturing and supply chain systems are safe from hackers [6].

5G

In late 2019/early 2020, 5G is being rolled-out throughout the UK [7], but what is 5G and what could this mean for your business?

5G is fifth generation mobile networks with claims this will bring 100-times faster speeds. However, like all new technological advances, 5G will undoubtedly bring security concerns you should be aware of moving into 2019.

With AI and IoT systems being further implemented by organisations throughout the UK, the security concerns 5G could pose should be duly considered.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is an attack from multiple compromised devices upon a server, website or other network resource, causing a denial of service essentially shutting it down [8]. This risk is further pronounced by a potentially insecure 5G network, as increased bandwidth speeds could open up organisations up to increased attacks [9].

Ensuring you have secured your organisation’s systems will not only reduce the likelihood of a DDoS attack occurring, but ultimately the impact any attack could have on both your organisation’s personal data and your clients’ data. Also to consider is the security and systems in place through your suppliers to guarantee there are no disruptions to your business and supply chain.

In summary

Many of these technological advancements are already transforming the way businesses operate, with skills around machine learning becoming the most in-demand [2]; and who’s to say they can’t transform your businesses performance in 2019? However, as with any new technology, you should be aware of the risks associated with weak cyber security measures as, in the wake of GDPR, negligence could lead to significant financial penalties. So, make it your New Year’s resolution to shore up your security and keep your company covered.
References: [1] http://customerthink.com/statistics-that-prove-iot-will-become-massive-from-2018/
[2] https://towardsdatascience.com/15-artificial-intelligence-ai-stats-you-need-to-know-in-2018-b6c5eac958e5
[3] https://www.ft.com/content/7a990f1a-d067-11e8-9a3c-5d5eac8f1ab4
[4] https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/iot-technology-vital-for-success-of-uk-businesses
[5] https://www.techrepublic.com/article/as-iot-attacks-increase-600-in-one-year-businesses-need-to-up-their-security/
[6] https://www.techrepublic.com/article/ai-iot-and-edge-computing-drive-cybersecurity-concerns-for-2019/
[7] https://5g.co.uk/guides/what-is-5g/ [8] https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/distributed-denial-of-service-attack
[9] https://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/security-and-risk-strategy/the-security-missing-from-5g/d/d-id/1333230

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