Post-COVID predictions

For many people 2020 was one of the worse years in recent history however, it emphasised the importance of technology in the new age of working from home and limited in-person interaction. This article discusses some predictions for what will happen to technology and cyber security in the years to come.

Working from home is here to stay

Due to the restrictions many countries put into place, many businesses and workplaces told their teams to start working from home, only coming in if it was impossible to do their job from home. The first prediction for the new normal is that working from home becomes commonplace. This would snowball into many other changes in the industry, most notably office spaces will become rarer, if people are able to work from home companies could save money by not having to rent office space. With more people working from home there will be more pressure on ISPs to provide stable and fast internet.

Healthcare as a cyber target

To counter the COVID-19 pandemic many healthcare organisations have developed applications and databases to store, monitor, and track information from many members of the public. While this approach has helped stem the spread of the virus, it has also become a big target for cyber criminals. It has also opened up a way in for many phishing scams using the pandemic as a way to sea re users into hastily clicking links. For example, emails could be sent saying, “Click on this [Malicious] link to book an appointment for your vaccine jab” or “You’ve been in contact with someone with the virus, click here to see when and where.” Healthcare organisations should be prepared for an increase of cyber-attacks in the coming year; many hospitals in America have already been hit by ransomware attacks throughout 2020.

Consumer transparency and antitrust legislation

The relationship between consumers and companies has been trying, especially large data houses like Face book and Google. It is becoming a lot harder to simply take a ‘company’s word for it,’ people want transparency and more control over how their data is used. In America in particular, the Department of Justice has filed antitrust lawsuits against Google and are expecting to file another one against Face book, Apple, and Amazon. There has been a collection of investigations into big tech companies and this will likely be a catalyst for introducing new antitrust legislation.

Automation and AI improvements

The hospitality sector saw many restaurants and cafes closing due to the risk of transmission. To combat this ‘ some cafes have started using robots that are controlled by people in their homes. Although extreme, automation is going to become more significant. An example of current automation is the introduction of contact less and touch less mechanisms of consumer and employee interaction. As the world moves forward Al is also sure to see improvements. ‘

Virtual and augmented reality

It is evident that the pandemic has influenced the direction that technology has evolved in. As people long for ‘normality’ technology has started being developed to create a type of virtual normality. One prediction states that companies will need to invest in augmented reality to help people return to their buying habits. Imagine real estate companies being able to give clients virtual tours without the client having to meet the real estate agent. How about being able to try clothes on without having to step away from your mirror? This could be the closest thing to in-person browsing and viewing without having to worry about being close to someone else.

Find Out More

If you enjoyed this briefing paper, check out our other digital resources which cover a wide range of topics, including quantum computing, social media, and 3D printing.

The Lancashire Cyber Foundry runs a series of business strategy and cyber workshops specifically designed for SMEs in Lancashire. We’re passionate about seeing Lancashire business become more cyber-aware and innovative and so offer funded places for companies to come and learn how to defend, innovate and grow their business. Additionally, we have an experienced technical team ready to help you with your business innovation ideas, particularly around cyber and digital innovation.

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About the Author

Alexander Lee

Alexander Lee is an analyst developer on the Lancashire Cyber Foundry. Having recently graduated from Lancaster University with a master’s in Physics, Alexander has always enjoyed software development building multiple physics based simulations. During his degree he studied Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information Processing sparking an interest in the future of quantum computing.

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