Today, my team published Forrester’s predictions for the cybersecurity industry in 2019. We listed five key trends that we think will impact the industry over the next 12 months.

Here is my take on how three of these trends will play out in the European cybersecurity market:

  1. Economic espionage in Europe will increase due to the US-China trade war. Forty-one percent of security decision makers in Europe listed geopolitical risks as a high-priority concern for their organizations.[i] Our predictions report outlines the uncanny resemblance in the correlation between the industries listed as priority areas of investment in the last (11th) five-year Chinese industry investment plan and those that were targeted via hacks around 2015. Readers of the latest plan (12th 5-year plan) will realize that several key European industries are under threat. With the fallout from the US-China trade war, this is going to accelerate over the next 12 months and beyond. This should serve as an early warning sign for industries such as: 1) new energy vehicles (e.g., car manufacturers in Germany, France, and the UK); 2) power equipment (e.g., Switzerland and Germany); and 3) aerospace (France, the UK, and Italy). CISOs serving such companies should assume that they are targets. CISOs should take care to focus their security measures on protecting their key intellectual property in 2019 and beyond.
  2. Smart devices are undertaking surveillance in your home and will lead to drama. EU Directive 347/2013 is driving energy companies across the EU to implement smart metering and smart grid infrastructure. The volume of data and devices connected to our state utilities has improved dramatically over the past few years. This has improved the level of customer targeting that utilities perform to put forward bespoke customer offerings. We predict in 2019 that a major utility is going to cause a major public relations gaffe. Utilities will inadvertently use data in ways that have not been formally consented to by customers. This will cause embarrassment and expose the large level of surveillance insight that utilities have into our daily lives.
  3. Demand for more diversity in the security workforce will continue to rise. As some of the reactions I’ve seen in the robust response to bad practices at trade shows such as Infosecurity Europe 2018 indicate, there is a big demand to get more underrepresented groups more fully into the security workforce, such as women and all other more diverse demographics in Europe. According to the CISO of Xerox: “How can we expect to solve the skills shortage when we only recruit from less than 50% of the available talent pool?”[ii] By 2020, we expect 20% of CISOs to be female. We expect this to apply in Europe, as well. Further diversification of the workforce brings a broader range of perspectives and talents to our fight against adversaries. This ultimately allows us to serve our organizations better.

Read our full predictions report on cybersecurity in 2019 to find out more, or contact me or one of the authors to discuss these trends in more detail and how they apply to your organization.

[i] Source: Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics® Security Survey, 2018

[ii] CISO of Xerox quoted at Forrester’s Privacy & Security 2018 Forum, Washington D.C., September 25–26