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How Can We Be Prepared for Where Technology is Going in 2021?

business networks are evolving to anticipated cybersecurity threats that need to be managed. Not being ready for what’s coming can lead to a year of playing catchup and being caught off guard with unexpected downtime or cyberattacks. 38% of small businesses say they’ve seen increased sales and revenue as a result of using the right digital tools. Is your North Texas business looking ahead to 2021? Here are several trends to anticipate so you can be prepared and take advantage of where technology is going this year.

Finally, 5G Begins to Make a Difference 5G has been more of a promise than a reality over the last few years. But wireless service providers spent much of 2020 putting network infrastructure in place, and in 2021 we should finally begin to see some of those dividends paying off. Networks using 5G are expected to bring connections that are as much as 200x faster than 4G LTE and that have near zero latency. How You Can Be Ready: When purchasing any mobile devices or laptops this year, look for 5G compatibility as a feature. Additionally, you may want to check with your ISP to see if they have any plans to add 5G to their service options.

Identity Management Is Going to Get More Complex89% of surveyed organizations say access security has an increasingly important place in their overall digital strategy. With much of company data and business email going to a cloud model, user login credentials have become a hot commodity. Some recent statistics from Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report that illustrate this trend include:

  1. 77% of all cloud account breaches are due to compromised login credentials

  2. The #1 malware used in data breaches is now password dumpers

  3. Stealing user login credentials has become the top goal of phishing attacks How You Can Be Ready: Look beyond simple multi-factor authentication into more robust identity management through single sign-on (SSO) technologies. These include the ability to add challenge questions based on user location or access level, and much more.

The Use of AI in More Everyday Applications Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have both been used increasingly in enterprise-class systems to automate processes and anticipate user needs. AI is no longer a tool of “big corporations” only. It’s being used in everyday tools, such as Microsoft Office applications and tools like Adobe Photoshop. As AI becomes easier for developers to implement, more features will continue coming that allow you to do things that used to take hours, in just minutes. For example, a recent AI-powered feature in Photoshop adds realistic smiles to frowning faces at the click of a button (something that used to take hours of expertise to manage). How You Can Be Ready: Take time to explore, learn, and train staff on new AI-powered features in the application tools you use. These types of enhancements can take hours off a workflow and supercharge productivity (if you know how to use them!).

Cloud Consolidation and Optimization In 2019, cloud waste nearly doubled, spend was up 50%, and the average small business had an app redundancy rate of 2.3 duplicates. This points to a poor use of the cloud on a large scale, and the pandemic in 2020 only made things worse as companies scrambled to find cloud applications to power remote teams without much chance for planning. This year, companies will be coming out of the cloud adoption phase and going into cloud optimization and consolidation. This means being mindful about how all cloud tools connect and share data and removing redundancies and inefficiencies in SaaS environments. How You Can Be Ready: Do a thorough review of your cloud application environment with an eye towards using as few tools as possible, moving to all-in-one platforms, and not adding applications that don’t fully integrate with existing cloud tools.

Cybersecurity Stops Trusting Anyone The sophistication of today’s malware attacks and data breaches continue to become more complex all the time. As soon as developers build systems to detect a certain type of malware, hackers design new ways to get past those systems. This has led to a new drive towards a Zero Trust security posture. This means that systems no longer need to know which programs or code to keep out of a network, they only need to know which are allowed in. They keep all others out by default. This type of cybersecurity includes many components that impact user authentication as well as code and application verification. How You Can Be Ready: It’s a good idea to have a cybersecurity assessment done by an I.T. consultant to identify areas of your network that are vulnerable to attack and can be bolstered by zero trust policies and systems.

Work With Texas I.T. Pros to Get a Jump Start on 2021 Don’t let your Denton or Wise County business straggle behind when it comes to digital preparedness. We’ll help you do a full assessment of your current I.T. ecosystem and recommend forward-thinking upgrades. Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.