The Year Ahead: Security Predictions for 2018

• in categories: advice • by: Michelle Balestrat

With a new year comes new security threats, as well as some carryovers from last year. If you’ve just decided to get your security on track – or you’re wondering what to focus on this year, it can be difficult to figure out your biggest threats.

A pocket calendar laying on its side.

Beyond security basics and accounting for human error, it’s important to stay ahead of time-sensitive security issues like software vulnerabilities, certain malware outbreaks and changes to Internet-relevant laws.

Read on to see our list of the topics most likely to make waves in security this year.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Taking effect soon in the European Union, the GDPR will change the legal requirements that companies must follow for storing, processing and securing the personal data of EU citizens.

Companies failing to comply with the new law, in effect from May 25 this year, may face fines of up to 20 million euros (that’s around 30.5 million AUD), or 4% of the company’s turnover of the previous financial year.

With heavy fines like these, there’s been much speculation about the effects these new changes might have abroad. Any business that trades in or with Europe (including many eCommerce stores) will be affected, and due to the global economy, this could well touch many online businesses around the world, not just those based in the EU.


It’s been in the headlines for a solid two years now, and in 2018 the ransomware tide shows no signs of relenting. New variants are coming out daily, with particularly nasty strains pushing the boundaries of cybercrime every few weeks.

Hopefully we’ve learned a thing or two since WannaCry, namely that backups are a very useful tool. Cloud backups have had a bit of negative press of late, yet remain one of the safest and most convenient ways to secure your data. Don’t be afraid to incorporate them into your security strategy – just use common sense and ensure you’re using a strong password and 2FA!

Machine Learning and AI

Automation is spreading in just about every area of industry and day-to-day life, and security is certainly no exception.

The development of deep learning technologies that can predict patterns of breaches and hacker activity raises the lingering question of whether security could become rapidly automated.

Is there really any replacement for human expertise when it comes to preventing cybercrime? At this stage, we have no clear answers – and certainly no precedents!

This is such a wide-reaching topic that it even has its own article here on BreachAlarm, where we look at some emerging technologies and their potential to change the security landscape.

The Internet of Things is Still a Leaky Boat

The production of Internet-integrated devices, from home appliances to vehicles and even toys for young children are showing no signs of slowing down this year.

However, this boom is marked by a distinct lack of legal protections for consumers, many of whom are under the age of 18. Connected devices often suffer from leaky Bluetooth connections, unregulated or continuous collection of data, or generally poor storage of this data by parent companies.

This is an area where technology is simply moving too quickly for regional laws to catch up, and many manufacturers of IoT devices are taking advantage of the lag – flooding the market with products that promise convenience, but put users at great risk.

Be sure to follow expert guidelines for all your IoT devices, especially those you’re giving to kids. Not all IoT devices are a security disaster, so do your research and be sure to give your money only to companies who take your security seriously.

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