2019 Tech Trends for Small Business
Hello, 2019! What will the new year bring for you and your small business? Every new year, we like to encourage our clients to think about the future of their technology. If 2018 has taught us anything, it is that new technology moves at an alarming rate and that it’s time to get smarter about anticipating change.
When thinking about the future of technology, I like to consider the future of many things. My approach predicting new trends doesn’t involve a crystal ball. Instead, I look at the strong and weak points surrounding existing technology.
Below is a roundup of my top five 2019 tech trends for small business. Enjoy!
Connect from everywhere on anything
Remote work is no longer just a privilege, it’s a necessity for small business owners. In 2019, more small businesses will access their data and systems outside of the corporate office.
According to the New York Times, 43% of the American workforce spends at least a portion of the week working from remote locations. As remote work becomes increasingly common, more small businesses will take advantage of new technology and services that make telecommuting more possible.
Remote access can look like many things depending on the business. In fact, remote solutions are getting more diverse. Some SMBs may opt for cloud computing, where others have a remote access plan they rely on.
However, it’s important to note, that no solution is 100% safe and stable, which leads us to my next 2019 tech trend…
More cyber-attacks and threats
In 2018, 81% of all data breaches happened to small and medium-sized businesses. The sad news is that cyber-attacks are likely to increase in volume in 2019. Here are three things we expect to see:
- Malware will become more sophisticated. Hackers are constantly refining malware tools to make them more efficient and effective.
- Cyber-attacks will target people more than networks. People remain the weak links in every security system. In 2019, we can expect more phishing emails and fake websites designed to trick folks into sharing sensitive data.
- Hackers will target more smart devices. Internet-connected devices, like smart speakers, offer new ways for hackers to break into your network.
While the threat landscape continues to elevate itself, small businesses will have trouble defending themselves.
In 2019, many small businesses will turn to managed security service providers (MSSP) to help them with their security woes. These cybersecurity providers understand the current threat environment and work towards helping their clients get ahead of cyber-attacks.
MSSPs are equipped with the latest in threat management technology–and some even help educate your employees on policy and best practices.
FYI: If you’re unsure about how MSPs differ from MSSPS, make sure you check out this blog post.
Companies investing in cybersecurity endpoint training
Cybersecurity alone is not going to be enough to protect your most sensitive data. As I mentioned before, people are weak links in every security system. Therefore, all companies, regardless of size, must educate their employees in cybersecurity best practices.
An essential part of cybersecurity is educating employees to make smart decisions. I recommend SMBs create regular security training sessions for your employees that cover security basics. A good cyber awareness training program covers topics like security policies, how to spot a phishing email and how to create a strong password.
Upgrading outdated antivirus for advanced endpoint protection
Sometimes, training your employees isn’t enough. And that outdated antivirus isn’t going to stop an attacker from breaching one. That’s why I expect to see a rise in advanced endpoint protection in 2019.
Advanced endpoint security is focused on locking down endpoints, like individual workstations and servers, in order to keep data safe. This security solution operates through software agents and a centralized endpoint security management system that monitors and controls the agents.
Basically, advanced endpoint protection delivers antivirus, antispyware, personal firewall, application control, and other host intrusion prevention capabilities all under one single umbrella.
More privacy regulation from lawmakers
Lastly, standard groups, industries, and governments are constantly implementing new security policies. In 2018, we saw the EU introduce data protection legislation under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). And in the United States, leaders of tech giants testified before Congress regarding data privacy and protection.
Rising concern over how companies use and protect personal information will encourage many Americans to hold companies more accountable. Because let’s face it, no one wants to learn that their private information is running wild on the internet.
As lawmakers define a new data protection baseline, we can expect more privacy legislation from the state and the federal government in 2019. In fact, the California Consumer Privacy Act has already passed into law and goes into effect in 2020.
With more legislation and stiff penalties for violations, companies will start seriously thinking about a privacy first-approach to data. Large enterprises will need AI-powered, automated, outcome-driven data management solutions to address privacy challenges. But where does that lead small businesses?
It puts small businesses in a tricky situation. Above all, compliance can be very overwhelming for small businesses with fewer resources.
In conclusion, if your small business is subject to new regulations, we suggest you consult with an expert to understand the data privacy policies and how they might impact your business
The 2019 tech trends for small business may be more about laying better groundwork than big technology breakthroughs.
To sum up, my final recommendation for small businesses is to understand that there is no “silver bullet” technology solution to solve all of their cybersecurity and data privacy challenges. Therefore, they should not desire a “perfect” solution, but an approach that will allow for technologies and strategies to continually evolve over time.