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As the stores start to stock Christmas-related goods, the radio stations slowly introduce festive music and social media is awash with countdown memes, it can mean only one thing. It is time for those 2019 IT security trend prediction articles, blogs and reports.

Who are we to buck a tradition?

Infinigate UK has had a busy year working with our established vendor partners, introducing some newer offerings to our portfolio and supporting of highly valued reseller partners – which has not only given us great insight into the challenges faced by the IT security team over the past year but also revealed where 2019 is going to take the market.

So, without further ado, here are our top four areas of focus for the IT security market in 2019.

Managed Security Services

In January of this year, we decided to ask 15 of our valued added reseller partners what their customers were telling them would be a focus over the next three years. Almost unanimously, the feedback was an increase in the use of managed security services providers (MSSP).

With cyber security no longer posing a threat for just the larger of the world’s organizations, small- and medium-sized businesses have been forced to look at how they can access highly skilled resources and adopt enterprise-class solutions on a restricted budget.

Managed security services providers are providing such access through managed solutions offered at smaller subscription rates and contracting their professional services resources on daily rates. This leveling of the playing fields between different sized organizations through managed security services has been popular throughout 2018, and we expect it to continue into next year and beyond.

Automation Technologies

As organizations become more and more digitalized, their reliance on their IT systems being both fast and hyper available increases respectively.

One area where we have seen this play out is in the automation space whether it be the automated movement of data or the incident response solutions that can enrich, investigate and remediate without human interaction.

Take incident response as an example. Security automation orchestration and response, otherwise known as SOAR in the industry, has been gaining in attention throughout the year. However, we believe 2019 is the year where SOAR will really take off (pun intended).

Such solutions can detect or learn of an incident, potentially enrich the information with security intelligence feeds, change the configuration of other security solutions through the network to respond to the threat and notify stakeholders while presenting all evidence.

This is just one example of an array of automation-based technologies that are appearing on the market today.

Regulatory Compliance

You would be the most envied reader of this blog if you hadn’t borne witness to the build-up of the GDPR enforcement date.

2018 could be thought of as the year of the regulatory compliance and industry standards with a plethora of new and updated requirements. Examples include GDPR, the NIS Directive, PCI-DSS 3.2.1, the Minimum-Security Standard, SWIFT, the Californian Data Protection Act and the impending update to the Cyber Essentials Scheme.

While it would have been ideal to be able to implement all of those to which an organization has exposure at the time of release, both realism and journalists tell us that this is not the case and that, in fact, compliance is a fluid situation based on budgets and how it “affects the neighbor.”

And yet, even for those who have ticked all the boxes and are content with the situation, newly added parts of the network, implemented solutions and other changes must also be weighed up against those subscribed requirements.

Artificial Intelligence

Yet another buzz term that seems to be gaining popularity amongst the mainstream medium, where everything electronic appears to be artificial intelligence powered.

However, for those in the know, deep learning technologies that can sift through large data lakes and cognitively learn much faster than a human can present some interesting outcomes, some of which can be used for the purpose of security.

One such early adopter has been the malware or antivirus industry, which has been on a sort of artificial intelligence revolution over the past two years. Long gone are the days of looking only for signature-based indicators of malware. Now we also have huge intelligence data lakes, which AI powered agents use to look for malicious or unusual behavior.

Since the 1980s, computers have been designed to outsmart human beings, albeit originally for the purpose of the chess board. Today, we are attempting to relay these capabilities to deal with cyber security threats where AI powered defenses can detect the early indicators of malicious behavior and alter the network defenses to be able to counter it.

The advantages are obvious, and we think that in 2019 that the march toward artificial intelligence-fed security solutions will only continue.

How to Find Out More

Every November, Infinigate UK runs the IT security channels most popular event, bringing together innovative and award-winning international vendors with some of the United Kingdom’s brightest value-added resellers.

With thought leadership seminars and multi-streamed panel discussions, topics such as managed security services, automation, regulatory compliance and artificial intelligence are not in short supply. Tripwire is a proud Gold Sponsor of VSEC 2018 and will present on key topics, such as the challenges and considerations of cloud environments and incident readiness & response planning.

Join Infinigate UK and Tripwire on the 20 November 2018 at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London, where we will be hosting the British Medical Journal, Gatwick Airport and Travers Smiths, as well as many others for another highly-rated event.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripwire, Inc.