Dec 31, 2019
Nov 9, 2023

Workplace security trends for 2020 and beyond

Cybercrime, increased regulatory compliance, and cyber insurance –– just a few of the workplace security trends to watch for 2020.
Workplace security trends for 2020 and beyond

Think for a minute about your company’s workplace security. Many times, businesses take a reactive approach; only after something happens do companies allocate resources to prevent security breaches.

As we head into 2020, it’s time for more strategic thinking. Technology is becoming more advanced, and global cybercrime is becoming increasingly more sophisticated, too. The key is to better anticipate what’s coming next and be on the defensive to protect your company’s data, reputation, and people.

Here are some workplace technology trends we’re seeing to help companies improve security as we move into the new year.

Cybercriminals will have the same workplace technology as we do

AI (artificial intelligence) is changing our lives. Now it’s possible for workplace technology to “know” what we want before we want it, learn our preferences, and automate our day. But the same type of technology benefits cybercriminals. AI technology can be susceptible to malicious attacks, and hackers can learn from attacks that you successfully thwart to get around the barrier next time.

However, despite AI and machine learning continuing to get better on both sides, AI is still one of our best defenses against data breaches and cyberattacks. Companies also rely on this workplace technology to stay vigilant about any vulnerabilities and to provide alerts about any attacks in mere seconds. Because of improvements in AI and machine learning, look for more companies to deploy it in 2020.

Trend: AI is going to get better, yet the chances of successful data breaches will increase.

Friend or foe: meet hacking as a service (HaaS)

Hacking as a Service is expected to become a more common occurrence. Suppose you wanted to hack into a company and steal some information or disrupt business for a while. You could do it yourself, but you’re not sure if you have the skills (see below about the shortage of cybersecurity talent.) Now, you can hire someone to do it for you. The professional hacker assumes the risk, and the person or people who hired them remain anonymous.

Hopefully, though, hackers will realize that fighting cybercrime –– rather than committing it –– is about to get a lot more lucrative as a result.

Trend: Made-to-order hacking will be more available, so companies should regularly test for workplace security vulnerabilities across their tech stack.

It’s a good time to consider a career in cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Ventures reported that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021. That figure is up 350% from 2014. Even though nearly a million people now dedicate their careers In the U.S. to security, about 500,000 positions remain unfilled.

Trend: Watch for increased recruiting for cybersecurity professionals, and look for an uptick in salaries and competition for talent.

The rise of cyber insurance policies

Anytime there’s a risk, insurance companies are ready to cover it. Cyber insurance is now something you should consider for your company. In 2019, losses associated with cyber hacks and extortion were $11.5 million, so it’s no wonder companies are looking at buying insurance. According to the Ponemon Institute, the global average cost of a data breach is $3.9 million.

Interest is high in cyber insurance, so business is good. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the Center for Insurance Policy and Research reported that more than 500 companies bought policies to cover security in 2017. And the market is expected to triple by the end of 2020.

If you decide to select a cyber insurer for your company, be sure to look at the financial stability of the vendor, the type of coverage they offer, and the cost––which, predictably, can be high.

Trend: Cyber attacks aren’t going to stop. Cyber insurance will become more common in 2020.

Cloud-based security will take center stage

The more society moves workplace technology into the cloud, the more vulnerable to attack the cloud becomes. Entrepreneur Magazine reported significant growth in cloud-based security platforms over the last two decades, and that trend will continue. Mission-critical cloud-storage apps must remain secure, not only for the millions of users who depend on these services but for the reputation and compliance of the companies themselves.

In 2019, cloud-security platform sales became a $460 million industry. IT managers like cloud-based security because it allows for growth at scale, better performance, and offers faster regulatory compliance. With the shortage of security professionals, it only makes sense to have a cloud-based platform to help carry the workload.

Trend: Look for a wave of companies of all sizes to move workplace security operations into the cloud in the next year. Kaspersky Lab estimates that 75% of all companies will have cloud-based security in the next few years.

Visitor management will play a bigger role in security

While the media focuses attention on cybercrime and the effect on security, we can’t ignore the reality of the need for physical security in our workplaces. Knowing who is in the building every minute is vital not only for physical safety but for corporate compliance as well. Physical security is a job that needs to be taken seriously. And yet, over a third of companies trust their entire company’s security to the front desk receptionist. Think carefully:

  • Is your receptionist trained as a security professional?
  • Do they have any experience in protecting people from intruders?
  • Do they have the tools and knowledge to ensure that sensitive data and intellectual property doesn’t leave the building?
  • Can they ensure compliance with governmental agencies as visitors sign in and out?
  • Does your receptionist know they’re responsible for so much?

Physical security is a crucial job, but few give it the gravity it deserves. According to our study, 98% of respondents have some form of visitor check-in and identification system in place.

Digital visitor management is much more than a sign-in book. It’s a system that enables front-desk personnel to help you meet your security and compliance goals, keeping sensitive information private, and screening out individuals who might be on a blocked list. Visitor management is also a way to integrate digital and physical security. 97% of respondents said that this link is imperative to complete security, and almost the same number will implement such integrations in the coming year.

Trend: Companies will turn to digital visitor registration solutions to help close the gap between their physical and digital security systems.

Cybersecurity budgets will increase even more

With all of the data breaches and phishing attacks in the news lately, more people are becoming aware of and educated about workplace security. As a result, companies are working harder to protect themselves and their customers with increased spending on security infrastructure.

In our Workplace Security 2020 Report, we learned that 99% of the companies surveyed plan to increase spending on data security, data storage, visitor management, and integrated systems. A Gartner report’s findings a year ago predicted that globally, companies will spend 50% of their annual cybersecurity budgets on security.

A word of caution, however, to SMBs that may think they’re too small to be hit by a cyber attack: think again. There is an enormous gap between the number of SMB CEOs who believe they’ll be attacked (7%) and the number that are — 67% in the past year. The message is crystal clear. No company is too small to be targeted. 2020 is the year to bring in dedicated cybersecurity staff and write an emergency response plan.

Trend: Workplace security will become a priority budget item with even more spend than in 2019, no matter what size the business.

These are just a few of the workplace trends to keep an eye on in the coming year and beyond. Cybercrime and the need for increased regulatory compliance, coupled with a severe shortage of trained security professionals, will shape the landscape of workplace technology. It’ll change the way we think about the people we entrust security to, and make us all look for innovative ways to help the ongoing struggle to keep our workplaces and data safe.

Discover best practices for protecting your people, property, and ideas. Download our 2020 Security Report to get started.

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Pamela Rosen
Pamela Rosen

Pamela is passionate about writing content to help educate and inspire workplace leaders. She covers everything from the visitor and employee experience to space management, to the workplace tech-stack that keeps it all running.

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