From the Metaverse to breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the surge in cybercrime, 2022 proved an interesting year for technology. Today we highlight some of the technology stories that shaped the past twelve months, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses.
Cybersecurity & Risk 2022 saw exponential growth in cybercrime, in large part to the success of the campaigns, but also due to the the new tools available to cybercriminals. We predict cybercrime will continue to grow and adopt new and innovative ways to scam people. Small and medium-sized businesses must continue to take cybersecurity seriously. This means increasing the budget for cybersecurity best practices, conducting periodic scans and educating employees. Cybersecurity remains a top priority for regulators, as we continue to see the SEC announce sanctions against firms who fail to set up and implement cybersecurity policies and procedures. We post articles on Cybersecurity throughout the year, staying current with emerging threats. Read some of them here to ensure a solid foundation – based on the latest intelligence – that will keep a business safe.
Research shows that small businesses with fewer than 100 employees are the target of 71% of cyberattacks. This means cyber criminals know the weakest links in the cybersecurity chain and focus their efforts on the population that will yield a reward: SMB............click for more.
The December 2, 2022 Rackspace Hosted Exchange Outage is just another reminder to the entire small and medium-sized business (SMB) community ....click for more.
In July 2019, New York passed the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security (SHIELD) Act, a law that amends existing data breach notification laws and imposes more data security requirements on companies ....click for more
AI (Artificial Intelligence) In some respects, AI has been around for decades, helping industries reduce mundane tasks and detect fraud. In 2022 we saw a surge in AI applications for consumers, this includes Amazon's Alexa, customer service chat bots and self driving cars. Small and medium-sized businesses remain poised to harness AI in ways that will transform business, customer interaction and productivity. The predictive powers of AI make it incredibly useful for businesses that rely on productivity, which is why more and more companies will continue to invest in AI solutions in 2023.
Ransomware The global pandemic changed the world in many ways, but one of the most consequential was the opportunity for cybercriminals to "up their game". Nothing illustrates this so well as the recent Rackspace hack, but there were many others in 2022, such as the hack on Twitter that stole data from 5.4 million accounts or the the student loan data breach that leaked 2.5 million social security numbers.
Working from Home, the ongoing digitization of society, and the increasingly online nature of our lives means greater opportunities for phishers, hackers, scammers, and extortionists. As we head into 2023, there is no sign of cybercrime waning. It is therefore essential for individuals and small businesses to remain aware of the ever-growing avenues of attack as well as what can be done to mitigate the risks!
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) celebrated its fourth anniversary in 2022. A focus on data privacy legislation continues by various countries and states, including New York and Florida. In June 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce voted in favor of the American Data and Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA), which provides federal protection of personal data. Given the trends among the European Union and the various states, small businesses should prepare well in advance of proposed enactments and avoid fines. Privacy is becoming increasingly important to clients who will consider a company’s policies when deciding whether to hire them or not.
Small business owners are forced to compete for customers more than ever, especially with the huge shift to online shopping for products and services. Advancing digital transformations is a top priority for small business owners and will continue as new technologies offer new options. Many small businesses say they will apply more focus to the customer experience in 2023. In fact, a growing number of small businesses cite their customer base as the primary reason for technology investments. When looking at what tech to invest in, small business owners want to empower their teams, and create transformative customer experiences. Technology will certainly prove front and center for small business owners in 2023, but they don’t plan to invest in just any technology. Continuous innovation, digital transformation initiatives, improving internal processes/workflows and harnessing more of the cloud are among the top small business technology trends for 2023.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Initiatives
In 2022 it was investors who applied the pressure to businesses to increase their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives. This shaped how larger companies offered their services and developed their products, trickling down to small and medium sized businesses. ESG is becoming the box to check with many investors. It was only 2021 that many regulators, including the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) made it clear that ESG was a top priority There are many facets of ESG, but many agree on the importance of using resources to make the world a better place. ESG is good for business because conserving energy, using renewable energy, and recycling reduces costs and helps the environment. Millennial job hunters, consumers, and investors value ESG and may bypass a company that doesn’t. With the ongoing high demand for talent, companies that ignore ESG initiatives are not likely to attract younger clientele and may not survive.
We enjoy and look forward to supplying the small and medium-sized business community with practical technology advice that helps keep them safe, compliant and competitive. Your feedback drives our articles, posts and commentary. We strive to cover the most important and applicable technology trends that matter most to the business we serve. We love to hear from you! If you don’t have an IT Partner that you can trust to give you the right support and advice, we’d love to help. Contact us! Happy New Year!