Lock up the Internet of Things in 2018

Every New Year brings with it an exciting array of technical possibilities. Many of these, just a few years ago, would have been considered futuristic and improbable.

So, what main are the main themes predicted for 2018?:

• Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning look set to thrive. A pronounced industry shift is predicted as AI becomes ever more integrated into the platforms and technologies people use in day-to-day life.
• The world’s billionaires will continue their race to be the first to build reusable rockets.
• Electric, autonomous vehicles will revolutionise the way people drive (and park) their cars, and will make significant changes to how online shopping orders are delivered.

>See also: The future of the ‘Internet of Things’ security issues

• Other legitimate uses may even materialise for crypto-currencies which will spoil all the fun for the speculators.
• Focusing on the security sector, it is likely that cyber security and data protection concerns will weigh more heavily than ever on organisations this year.

Overall, here are five predictions for 2018.

1. Mainstream breakthroughs for futuristic technologies

The rise of AI, robots and autonomous vehicles will progress at a rapid pace. Voice assistants and their interaction with connected devices and IoT will result in spoken commands outstripping traditional keyboard interactions for the first time in the home – and in business before too long.

2. Hackers will go into overdrive

Cyber criminals will increasingly use AI and machine learning to create automated attack systems that learn how to defeat security barriers as they spread.

IoT devices and autonomous vehicles will be the subject of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks of ever increasing ferocity and duration.

>See also: Ransomware of IoT: the new security nightmare

Default security on most connected devices across the world remains weak. In 2018 another global malware or ransomware attack, similar to WannaCry, will hit the headlines simply because companies and organisations still do not adequately patch their systems.

3. Cyber security will become a government priority

Cyber security will become a consumer protection issue and governments around the world will be forced to regulate the connectivity of consumer devices in the same way that they do today for electrical connections and battery power.

In the US, we may finally see culpable senior executives sent to jail. The Data Security and Breach Notification Act will enforce custodial sentences for white collar crimes relating to data breaches. And if leaks in the US in 2017 are anything to go by – from 200 million Republican voter records to 33 million Dun & Bradstreet records – it could be a dramatic year.

4. The regulators will show their teeth

Some large fines will be imposed on organisations in Europe or the US as a result of a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), particularly if an organisation fails to meet its obligations on transparency and covers up a breach.

>See also: EXCLUSIVE: Top female CIO on IoT implementation and security

That said, it is unlikely to be the 4% of global turnover often mentioned in relation to GDPR. Regulators such as the ICO in the UK will want to help educate industry on their new data protection obligations rather than punish them straight away.

5. The security skills gap will widen

The downside of the GDPR is that the need for organisations to appoint a chief data officer will draw many skilled security professionals away from the coalface and into compliance and privacy management roles, widening the skills gap for CIOs and CISOs still further.

All in all, businesses are seeing an increasingly complicated compliance landscape that has to take into account the advance of technologies in the AI and IoT fields, along with entirely new sectors such as the crypto currency market.

>See also: It’s time to take IoT security seriously

Regulators are having to race to keep up, but there’s no doubt that the GDPR in Europe, along with the data security and Breach Notification Act in the US, will make a huge difference to the security of customer data.

It will be interesting to see how the tech industry responds to these new challenges, but there should be optimism that 2018 will be the year when organisations really begin to take information security seriously.


Sourced by Tim Critchley – CEO, Ben Rafferty – Global Solutions director and Shane Lewis, head of Information Security, Semafone

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...