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ESET North American Partner Conference: What to Expect in 2018

Lessons learned from ESET's 2018 North American Partner Conference. Here's what to expect in the year ahead.

Last week, we flew off to San Diego for the ESET North American Partner Conference to meet with other experts and learn about new and innovative ways to keep businesses secure from cyber threats.

For those who don’t know, ESET is a security company that makes software products that protect computers and networks from malware and cyber threats. They’re one of our main partners and top recommendations for customers because of their high quality and commitment to security. They’re consistently top-ranked for threat detection and performance, too. In fact, we use the same security technology on our customers’ computers as they use over at Google and Tesla.

Here are a few key takeaways from the conference, and what you can expect to see in 2018.

Data is more at-risk than ever before.

The massive growth of data in our businesses and daily lives also brings increased risk. Between big corporate hacks, the growing prevalence of cryptocurrencies, and the availability of off-the-shelf hacks like ransomware-as-a-service, there are more threats out there than ever before.

But governments—and companies—are finally cracking down.

Cybersecurity is more critical now than ever, and that’s a trend that isn’t going away. Governments and businesses are ramping up their response to cyber threats in the face of high-profile data breaches like Equifax and widespread vulnerabilities like Spectre and Meltdown. This has a trickle-down effect of new demands and regulations on small businesses.

“Next Gen” is more hype than substance.

Some cybersecurity companies have been marketing their products as Next Gen (short for “next generation”), using terms like machine learning and artificial intelligence to create the impression that their technology is cutting-edge.

But these terms are mostly hype, and technologies like machine learning have significant flaws when used outside the context of a layered approach to security. Gartner Analysts and ESET agree that “Next Gen” is an overhyped term, and that machine learning and AI have promised more than they are delivering for security. You can learn more by joining the conversation with #NoMoreNextGen.

The EU’s GDPR law will affect US businesses.

The enforcement date for GDPR – the sweeping data protection law in the EU – is fast approaching and will dramatically impact US businesses. The law affects any company with a presence in Europe or that processes personal data of EU residents.

The law is so broad that any US website that can be accessed from Europe could be seen as processing data on EU citizens, as IP addresses are considered personal data under the law. It goes into effect May 25, 2018, and can be enforced internationally with massive fines.

You can expect regulators to target big businesses first, but that impact will quickly trickle down to small businesses, as well. In the second half of 2017, many of our customers began receiving security questionnaires from their clients and being asked to prove their compliance with GDPR.

Ryan and Scott are not pro surfers.

Better stick to security, guys. But hey, props to them for trying to surf something other than the web.

Ryan and Scott try surfing