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The 11 biggest issues IT faces today

From securing IoT to retraining IT talent to finding new revenue streams, CIOs have more than their share of concerns keeping them up at night.

Each year we talk with tech leaders about the biggest problems they’ll face in the near future, and we’re starting to see some subtle and not-so-subtle shifts from the worries of 2018.

Data overload, a major concern 12 months ago, has evolved as new data-hungry tools and AI help make sense of data and drive business decisions. This year CIOs say they’re more concerned with how to protect that data, as organizations grapple with new privacy regulations.

As the economy continues to improve, CIOs are less hampered in 2019 by tightening budgets. And worries about moving to the cloud are less of an issue, since many companies have already made the jump. Executives put more emphasis now on securing their cloud-based assets across multiple cloud environments.  

Read on to see what experts from the C-suite, recruiters, and those in the trenches say are today’s top-of-mind concerns — and how to deal with them.

1. New security threats

Headline-grabbing recent events may spark surprising new security threats, says Rick Grinnell, founder and managing partner of Glasswing Ventures.

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“The government shutdown helped contribute to a great cyber threat to the U.S. government, critical infrastructure and other public and private organizations,” Grinnell says. “With the shutdown, many of the security professionals watching for threats at a national level were not on duty, creating a bigger hole for attackers. Time will tell if a month of lowered defenses will have deeper repercussions in 2019 and beyond.”

Tech leaders are also gearing-up for next-generation, AI-driven cyber attacks.

“Security professionals must be extra vigilant with detection and training against these threats,” says John Samuel, CIO at CGS. “This year, companies will need to introduce AI-based protection systems to be able to contain any such attacks introduced by this next-gen tech.”

Grinnell says AI wasn’t a factor in the most notable attacks of the last year, but he expects that to change.

“I believe 2019 will bring the first of many AI-driven attacks on U.S. companies, critical infrastructure and government agencies,” he says. “Let’s hope I’m wrong.”

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