As we start 2018 it’s interesting to look ahead at the risks that might resonate in the tech scene this year. Here are some of our thoughts:
Blockchain & DLT
Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency, gained a lot of headlines towards the end of 2017, as its market capital increased exponentially. Some more adventurous businesses are already accepting bitcoin to settle transactions, which presents new risks, not least the volatility of Bitcoin as a currency.
However the underlying technology, blockchain, is likely to find more applications particularly in start-ups and therefore we believe will start to appear on risk registers in 2018.
Smart Tech & Internet of Things (IoT)
Although Smart Devices have been around for a while, the cost and functionality improvements have brought them into the mainstream in recent months.
Smart homes including thermostats that manage your heating, digital assistants to answer your questions and WIFI light bulbs that can be turned on and off remotely, can be found in more and more domestic and business premises.
The benefits of the IoT extend beyond home comforts and include improved physical security and measurable energy efficiencies.
However, with any Internet connected device, there will also be risks which we believe will be entering risk registers, if they haven’t already,
Wearables & HealthTech
Wearable technology didn’t take off quite as many expected after modest sales of the Apple Watch and the ‘refocusing’ of the Google Glass project.
However, smartwatches and other healthtech devices have crept in to daily life, and have been transmitting your data back to their respective services.
With GDPR approached in May 2018, we think wearables, and the services behind them, will start to be looked at with fresh eyes, and risks that require control may be identified.
Fintech has been a growing sector for a while and with both Open Banking and PSD2 set to arrive in 2018, the variety of fintech services available is set to increase, bring with it an array of new cyber security and supply chain risks to manage.
The financial services industry remains heavily regulated and extremely important to the UK; together with the uncertainty of Brexit, there will be many organisational risks to manage.
- Five Big Banks to Miss “Open Banking” Deadline: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/12/19/five-big-banks-miss-open-banking-deadline-changes-designed-boost/
- Open Banking and PSD2: Clarifying the Differences: https://www.paymentsuk.org.uk/news-events/news/open-banking-and-psd2-clarifying-differences
Edtech is an exciting scene where Assent is pleased to be supporting clients and while the types of data firms are processing will vary, in some cases this will include data relating to Children.
GDPR has impacted firms processing all data but those handling Children’s data should pay particular attention to the regulations, and the imminent Data Protection Bill.
While not all of the above issues may affect you directly, it is still important to consider them as part of a Horizon Scan of potential future issues or within your supply chain.