“The long unmeasured pulse of time moves everything. There is nothing hidden that it cannot bring to light, nothing once known that may not become unknown. Nothing is impossible.”
– Sophocles
Here we are at the end of another year… Time to put 2018 to bed and to begin afresh in 2019. Many of us will once again make resolutions that will last a couple weeks and then fall back to old habits. For some 2018 was a great year and for others it was a horrible year. But no matter which perspective you have, everyone can agree that we can all make 2019 a better year.

Let’s look at some of the news from 2018:

We will soon be seeing the list of those that died in 2018 broadcast on every network. And while the list of notables such as President and Mrs. Bush, Aretha Franklin, and Roy Clark deserve recognition, Stephen Hawking made the world of science more approachable for millions of readers. While living with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and bound to a wheelchair, he became something of hero and celebrity for being smart. The odds of becoming world famous at anything must be as likely as winning the lottery, but becoming famous for theoretical physics has to be like winning the lottery every week for an entire year!!!

It seems that every year is now ‘The Year of the Breach’! While this year has had its share: Saks/Lord & Taylor, Ticketfly, Panera, and Facebook all had significant breaches. India created a system called Aadhaar or UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India). 1.1 billion records were breached and the information in the database, including one’s name, address, photo, phone number, and email address, became compromised. The Tribune News Service reported that for a mere 500 rupees (about $7.10) they could buy access to the system and for another 300 rupees (~$4.25) could print an ID card. While a great system for providing identification for government systems, it seems to have failed to protect the people.

Smartphones are the biggest tech innovation ever! They have become completely dominant in everyday life in every corner of the globe. What we used to need a PC computer for, we can now do on our pocket computer (and then some). And for all that technological advancement and human creativity, we have created a world where everyone seems to know everyone and every moment of our existence seems to be newsworthy. But the last few years have been a bit of a let-down in phone development. Yes there have been bigger screens, more cameras, higher resolution, and more speed but nothing revolutionary. Well, except for Huawei who is the second largest manufacturer of phones behind Samsung. They overtook Apple in 2018. Why do I say they are revolutionary? Why don’t we see more of their phones in the US? Huawei found a way to sell that many phones and still have technology that helps China spy on the user. These accusations have kept most Americans from buying phones from them. Whether the accusations are true or not, it seems that there is a lot of evidence pointing to this.

So, has anything good happened in 2018? Of course. They may not be finished but milestones have been reached. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies revealed its plans for a hyperloop link between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and their prototype passenger pod. SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy Rocket and landed two of the three rockets back on the ground like in a science fiction story.

I know I didn’t hit every newsworthy happening in 2018. I am sure there are some even more important than I listed here. Technology moves fast but it seems that the changes and advancements come more slowly and developmentally rather than a sudden announcement of a new invention.

For 2019, I think we will see more of the same… breaches will come and go, more famous people will pass away, and new advancements will happen. But the one thing that I think will continue to be at the center of most advancements (good and bad): your private information. Just remember that any information you put on the internet has a potential of being compromised and seen by people you don’t know or wish to know. You are responsible for protecting your data… don’t trust that others will do that for you.

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curtis-thompsonThroughout his time at YHB Curtis has provided IT audit and consulting to clients, even while holding the position of the firm’s IT director for several years. Now, as head of the YHB Risk Advisory Services Team, Curtis focuses on assisting organizations in a variety of industries with internal audits and IT-related audit and consulting services. Also, he frequently speaks and gives presentations on SOX compliance, internal controls, and data security.

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