When talking about technology, security is always a top-line issue. Data breaches are costly and a near-constant risk. Today, 54 percent of companies report being the victim of a successful cyber attack. Many companies faced with data loss never recover, so identifying and plugging holes in your security is a crucial task. With the number of cyber attacks always on the rise, you need to keep security at the forefront of your planning. Here are a few data security forecasts to watch for and possible solutions for the next few years.

  1. 99% of breaches exploit known risks. Cyber attacks happen, but the method of attack is often through a hole in security that has been identified for at least a year before the attack happens. Your security professionals know that an attack is possible, so be prepared to focus your efforts where they will do the most good—fixing known vulnerabilities.
  2. Shadow IT is a major risk factor. While many third-party programs offer big productivity boots, shadow IT solutions don’t come with the same protections as those deployed by your IT department. Google Docs might be a quick way to share information and get feedback, but it can also leave your documents exposed to hackers. Develop policies that inform and secure these shadowy programs so your business can stay agile without opening any doors to outsiders.
  3. Cloud-based solutions lead to flying attacks. Analysts predict that the cloud will be a standard part of any IT stack by 2020, which also leads to the need to protect that digital space. Since IT can’t secure cloud data with physical resources, data protection becomes the next best thing. Stronger encryption, better passwords, two-factor authentication, and other increasingly sophisticated strategies will be a must as the cloud becomes part of life on the ground for businesses.
  4. Be prepared to leave passwords behind. As recognition software platforms become more applicable, the need for passwords disappears. When software can use facial recognition, voice recognition or even your typing rhythm, you won’t need to remember a complex password or carry a security token to access systems. Start looking at these security options now, and be ready to deploy them as soon as you feel they are ready.
  5. Invest in IoT security. Predictions say IoT devices could be involved in up to 25 percent of cyber attacks, which means this is an area that needs some better defenses. This is particularly true when you realize that a recent HP report noted that 70 percent of common IoT devices have known security vulnerabilities. Since these devices provide a point of access, you really need to close the gates before malicious code jumps from the IoT to your secured network.

More technology options mean significant improvements to business processes. Unfortunately, this boost comes with the price tag of more attack vectors for malicious coders. More devices and more access points add up to more spending on IT security and education. Done right, IT security can be the guard dog it should be, sending the burglar on to the next, less protected house.