Our 2019 industry trends report makes six bold predictions for the digital security sector. Some are welcomed, like the spreading of GDPR-type laws outside of Europe, while others make us a bit queasy, like the thought of a terrorist attack being carried out by a criminal sitting behind a desk somewhere unknown.

2019 industry trends we’re predicting:

  1. Privacy scandals will start drawing massive fines
  2. The influence of GDPR will spread
  3. Facebook’s data privacy issues will continue to weaken its grip as the social media leader
  4. A breach will turn fatal
  5. Quantum cryptography will change the landscape
  6. Post-quantum cryptography won’t be far behind

Now, we can’t actually predict the future, so we’d love to hear what you think of our predictions! Have predictions of your own? Please share them in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to respond.

Whatever happens, we can all agree: The evolution of the digital security industry in 2019 will have long-lasting effects on how governments and businesses think about and handle consumer privacy and digital security issues.

1. Privacy scandals will start drawing massive fines

Based on the regulatory power provided by GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), European countries will start fining transgressors and use that leverage as a means of taxation on American tech giants that exploit fiscal loopholes to evade taxation in Europe. In fact, the French government has already started hinting at dedicated taxation of companies like Amazon and Apple. Outside of the tech giants, we expect fines stemming from GDPR violations—like the 400,000 euro fine slapped on a hospital in Portugal just last week—to accelerate the investment made by businesses to protect user data.

2. The influence of GDPR will spread

In the wake of the European Union rolling out GDPR, more countries will start issuing laws to protect the privacy of their citizens. California has already passed legislation that will take effect on January 1, 2020—however, signs point to federal privacy laws being a few steps behind. We’re expecting similar laws to appear in Asia, even if China will remain a strong exception to the overall trend. The more breaches and leaks there are, the more pressure regulators will get from consumers for privacy protection.

3. Facebook’s data privacy issues will continue to weaken its grip as the social media leader

This is possibly the easiest prediction. Because of privacy concerns and because younger generations are switching to other communication channels and social media platforms, we think that Facebook will be on the decline in 2019 and will have a hard time reinventing itself for the future.

4. A breach will turn fatal

First actual deaths due to cyber attacks

Cybersecurity will become more and more of a weapon both for criminal activities and for warfare. We could see cybersecurity ransoms on vital services—like a hospital IT system that also powers life-support hardware, train system software, or even software that controls nuclear plants.

First terrorist attack with a cybersecurity foundation

Terrorists could also use direct cyber attacks to threaten and harm critical systems. This is potentially scarier than past attacks, as terrorists could carry out plots from the comfort of their own homes, anywhere in the world.

5. Quantum cryptography will change the landscape

There is a lot of R&D currently around quantum computing and its applications for cryptography. The hope of quantum cryptography is to solve problems that are considered impossible today or very complex using classical computing. However, this is still limited to experiments and labs at the current moment. In 2019, we could see the first real-life application of quantum cryptography. While it’s unlikely to have applications in the consumer world, we could see a scenario where cybersecurity companies begin using quantum cryptography in the world of enterprise software.

6. Post-quantum cryptography won’t be far behind

If quantum computing is able to break all the rules of today’s cryptography, some cryptography researchers are looking for the tech that could power hybrid cryptography in a world where both quantum and non-quantum cryptography exist. The goal is to avoid what has been coined as a “Quantum Y2K Moment.” We’re expecting 2019 to be the year where concrete theories and applications begin taking form.

Written by Frederic Rivain, Dashlane’s Chief Technology Officer, and Cyril Leclerc, Dashlane’s Head of Security