Scottish business AST Risk Consultancy & Training Services Ltd is predicting that 2018 will present businesses with a greater range and complexity of security challenges as technological development gathers pace.
Company founder Alan Stenhouse, who has spent his career advising businesses of all sizes on security, believes the pace of change must be accompanied by an increased understanding of how to tackle the potential risks that new and emerging technology brings.
Alan said: “The pace of innovation and technological capability will undoubtedly continue, if not increase, in 2018.
“Businesses will continue to transform the way they work, adopting greater digital focus and becoming more agile to exploit back office optimisation through automation. “Organisations will also continue to explore usage of the Internet of Things to gain competitive advantage. “Clearly, there is a strategic threat from disruptive technology. However, this also brings significant opportunities in which to develop services or consumer products that really stand out from the pack.
“With increasing dependency on customer information, intellectual property or HR records being held in digital format, businesses will also look to greater use of Cloud Services or outsourcing for data processing, storage or back-up facilities. “However, they must be confident that suppliers have established strong security protocols to stave off the cyber threat. “Businesses will require assurance that their data is safe and secure from attack so their focus on Supply Chain or Vendor Risk Management has to increase.
“This is essential as we approach the GDPR live date on May 25th where more punitive fines will be levied for data breaches where organisations are found to be negligent in approach. “Let’s also be clear, the cyber threat is not going to go away anytime soon and will continue to become more sophisticated and disruptive in 2018.
“As technology advances, it is critical that the risks associated with these new capabilities are fully understood and managed. If not, we are merely opening new avenues in which attacks can be perpetrated. “All in all, we should not be fearful as we head into 2018, albeit I fully expect that manifesting a cyber awareness culture through staff behaviour must be a key focus for organisational training and awareness programmes if we are serious about effectively managing the threats that lie ahead.”