4 Technology Trends to Watch Out For In 2020

Technology Trends in 2020

With a new decade upon us, technology will continue to evolve and transform our day-to-day lives. While we cannot make exact predictions about what will happen in 2020, we have a key list of technologies and related trends that we will be paying close attention to as the year progresses. 

With the majority of the modern workforce now consisting of Millennials and Gen Z, we will see a continuation of the rise of remote workers into 2020. The increased demand for remote working options is expected to increase the demand for endpoint security and employee monitoring software as organizations continue to shift to accommodate remote workers in an effort to remain competitive. 

Improvements to wireless technology infrastructure and new 5G-compatible devices entering the market will have widespread 5G wireless technology becoming a reality in 2020. 5G technology will give employees working remotely access to the internet with significantly improved data transfer speeds when working outside the main office – nearly 100x faster than our current 4G technology. 

Organizations new to working with a distributed workforce will need to implement a carefully considered cybersecurity plan. The traditional password is no longer the gold standard of security, and with the continued rise of remote workers in 2020 these organizations will need to ensure that Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) measures are implemented to prevent unauthorized access to endpoint devices such as laptops and cell phones as remote workers attempt to use their devices in public spaces or when traveling. With the anticipated implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in early 2020, data privacy regulations are expected to be a continuing trend that warrants close attention. Regulations to the methods used by industries to collect, store, and use data will require significant changes to maintain compliance as this trend continues into 2020 and beyond.

The Rise of Remote Workers

Advancements in technology have enabled a new way of life for workers looking to save on their commute and collaborate with talent from all corners of the world. From 2005-2015 the number of people working from home has risen by 140%, and this trend is expected to continue to rise in 2020. For some, the option to work at home is an occasional event – for others, remote working from their home office, laptop, or coworking space is their standard workday. Remote workers are not going anywhere, and this trend is expected to continue to grow and evolve in 2020.

Here at CurrentWare, we have team members working remotely from a variety of locations. With team members spread across multiple time zones, the management and security considerations that arise with remote workers have been top-of-mind for us. In the past, we have covered tools for managing remote workers, and earlier this month we published our infographic outlining the potential security risks of remote workers in our guest blog post for ValueWalk.

With the increased prevalence of full-time and occasional remote workers, endpoint security needs for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, and the need to effectively manage a team without the traditional opportunity to meet face-to-face, the Rise of Remote Workers is certain to be a growing trend that we pay careful attention to. Companies that want to successfully manage remote workers need to establish clear policies that outline their expectations surrounding productivity, security, and availability.

Commercialization of 5G

Nearly a decade in the making, with dreams of gigabit speeds allowing us to download full movies in seconds, 5G (fifth generation) wireless technology is expected to become more widespread in 2020. Wireless technology providers will continue to develop and launch their own infrastructure to provide 5G networks while device manufacturers work rapidly to launch their own 5G-compatible devices.

In 2019, Verizon launched its 5G network in Los Angeles for Verizon subscribers, T-Mobile launched its own nationwide low-band spectrum 5G networks, and AT&T expects its low-band 5G coverage to be nationwide in the first half of 2020.

The Decline of Passwords

Passwords have been the default method of user authentication for quite some time. We use passwords to protect sensitive information, verify our identities, and restrict access to our accounts – there’s just one problem – passwords alone simply do not do enough for data loss prevention. 

While passwords are not going away entirely anytime soon, to truly protect sensitive data consumers, SMBs, and large enterprises will need to augment their use of passwords by implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) methods in their data loss prevention plans. With MFA, unauthorized access can be prevented by using multiple forms of verification in conjunction. Potential options for MFA include biometrics (fingerprints, facial recognition),  One-Time Passwords (OTP) through a code generator, and knowledge-based authentication (secret answers).

Data Privacy Regulations

Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day, and much of this data consists of personal information of consumers. With the prevalence of “Big Data” and growing privacy concerns, data privacy and internet safety regulations such as Europe’s GDPR and California’s CCPA are a trend we can expect to continue to evolve into 2020, dramatically changing how industries use and collect data and granting additional rights to consumers.

The continuing trend of individual states in the US developing their own data privacy regulations will require careful attention for businesses that rely on user data as a part of their business model. Continuing this trend into 2020, the rapid spread of state-level legislation is likely to influence the consideration of federal-level consumer data privacy and data security laws similar to Europe’s GDPR. 

Canadian businesses that are not already implementing changes based on GDPR and CCPA-like policies should be following data privacy regulation trends closely. While Canada has had the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) since 2000 (updated in January 2019), a recent mandate letter by the recently re-elected prime minister Justin Trudeau suggests that updates to Canada’s Digital Charter may be on the horizon.

What’s Next?

Beyond these 4 tech trends, there’s much more that can happen in the coming year, including rumors of the iPhone 12, the evolution of eHealth and more commercial applications of Blockchain technology.

Next Up: Top Technology Trends for 2022

Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu is a Product Manager with CurrentWare. He enjoys helping businesses improve their employee productivity & data loss prevention efforts through the deployment of the CurrentWare solutions.

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