2019: 5 Powerful Predictions in IT Protection

Bill Haber | CO-Founder, Partner-TechOps

It’s 2019, and you’ve likely seen many prediction posts foretelling what to expect this year. Here’s 5 that get right to the point, which we believe you can take to the bank… 


Increased worldwide activity in the form of cyber theft and cyber espionage has escalated across both enterprise and nation-states in recent months. This will explode further in 2019, and will resemble an undeclared state of war. Countries like China, North Korea & Russia are increasingly scrutinized for clear actions resulting in high profile arrests and indictments over recent months, and their business communities want action from their governments. Western defense activities and strategy are quietly are shifting, and investments are changing accordingly. The US Cyber Command is working to deter foreign actors meddling with elections, and streamline operations through Cybercom consolidation, while individual branches of The US military are spinning up their own cyber defense teams. Consistent condemnation from our alliances with Australia, NATO and the EU increases, and we see mutual collaboration accelerating. Look for harder lines to be drawn, and a national definition of values becoming increasingly important.


Enterprise cyber claims grew significantly year-on-year over the last 18 months. Enormous breaches made headlines in education, healthcare, government, and even among the most trusted tech brands. Orbitz and Marriott stuck it to their business traveler customers around the world, and consumer leaders from Delis to Department Stores improperly protected their patrons, and paid the price. In 2019 the volumes of records will continue to show hockey stick growth, getting larger in both frequency and size. Without proper protections in place and security assurance initiatives that provide greater confidence, consumers will begin to retreat from sharing the most basic data. 


We will see the commercial insurance market hardening, and costs increase as they relate to IT Protection in 2019.  Exposures increase and breach claims drive costs upward economy is a question mark Reports show general commercial insurance markets firming, and cyber and IT protections are moving right along with this trend. We see costs growing beyond the 5%+ predictions, however, and resembling something closer to 12-15% by years end. We believe this to be conservative, given the size and frequency of breaches, and the massive claims data still settling from 2018.


While every carrier and his dog has put out products with some form of cyber coverage, many are weak and lack the deep bench of experts required to truly protect their clients. Most do not deliberate to appreciate the true needs of their clients, nor offer the means to explore how best to match a client’s actual technology risk with the specific, customized policy language that delivers high value. Often what passes as a cyber product today is not broad enough, too limited in terms and puts far too much obligation on the insured. Still, without the ability to help clients prepare for the inevitable breach and make themselves a less attractive target, increased breach activity will break many of these players. When the market hardens, we expect to see several players retreat from supporting these products further, leaving clients in the lurch and causing some avoidable market shuffling in 2019. Expect to observe several players quietly exit the market.   


Executive awareness and prioritization sponsorship of protection strategies will explode in 2019. Most are becoming aware of the responsibilities that cyber coverage and D&O coverage require, and growing responsibility put on leadership to assure high deliberation in  IT Security. This will also extend to the Board of Directors. Personal Liability issues are finding their way into forward-thinking municipalities, public company requirements, and even state law. We expect to see more critical adoption of IT Security Initiatives in 2019 as a direct result of regulation and growing visibility of risks.

We look forward to discussing what these issues may mean to you.

-BH  bh@hhitpp.com