In reflecting on 2018 from a security perspective, some of the major themes, as I\u2019ve written previously, have been about new AI security tools, industry consolidation and the blurring of lines between physical and cyber security. GRDP, the California Consumer Privacy Act and Facebook\u2019s seemingly never-ending scandals related to consumer privacy have also raised regulatory and public awareness of data privacy as a key issue and concern.These discussions will continue into next year and beyond, and there a number of other big trends that are likely to dominate the security industry in 2019. Here are seven that I believe we\u2019ll be looking at in the new year and for some time after that:1. AI will bolster security solutionsAs the number and range of threats continue to grow, it\u2019s clear that only AI can counter them. That\u2019s why we saw some big companies announce AI-based solutions in 2018, including Palo Alto Networks\u2019 behavioral analytics solution Magnifier and Alphabet\u2019s Chronicle. As of 2017, 12% of enterprise organizations have deployed AI-based security analytics extensively and 27% have done so on a limited basis according to ESG Research. As the report notes, these aren\u2019t pure-play AI security solutions. Rather, AI adds analytical heft to existing technologies. Given the spread of AI in general at the corporate level, AI will continue to grow in the security segment as well.2. AI will also bolster cybercriminalsIt\u2019s a familiar dynamic in this industry: the bad guys get access to the same tools \u2013 or even better tools(!) \u2013 as the cybersecurity people. This requires a new set of defensive solutions to be deployed by the good guys merely to keep up with the arms race. That\u2019s where we are with AI. For example, many organizations have gotten smarter about phishing attacks. With anti-phishing solutions, if a gullible employee is intent on clicking on a link to a supposed amusing cat video, a URL blocker would sandbox that link to test it for malicious intent. But now cybercriminals have gotten wise to this maneuver. Using AI-based advanced analytics, hackers now detect when a link goes to an anti-phishing cloud platform so they instead actually send something innocuous, like an actual cat video. The system, assessing the link, gives it a free pass. But when the consumer actually then opens this \u201cgood\u201d link, it is actually the intended malware.\u00a0 That\u2019s just the beginning. As a report from some 26 academics and business execs warned that AI could be used for everything from sophisticated social engineering attacks to weaponized \u201cdrone swarms.\u201d3. Physical security and cybersecurity will continue to mergeThat nightmare scenario leads to my next prediction. In a world of IoT devices, the division between cybersecurity and physical security is fading. While physical security is at least 15 years behind cybersecurity in terms of sophistication, smart organizations are lumping the two together under the heading of Major Incident Management are pooling both teams. As the range of threats across both domains grow, expect more crossover in 2019.4. There will be lots more consolidationBlackBerry\u2019s purchase of cybersecurity firm Cylance is just the latest example of stepped up M&A activity in a year that also included AT&T\u2019s purchase of AlienVault and Spunk\u2019s acquisition of Phantom Cyber.\u00a0 The industry is rife for consolidation. Some 53% of companies with 1,000 or more employees have deployed three or more disparate endpoint security networks across their network, according to ESG Research. This causes lots of waste, as CISOs know all too well. In the coming year, the number of solution providers will decrease as the bigger players add startup technologies into their portfolios to create a broader product and product family offering.5. Regionalization will increaseThe security world doesn\u2019t exist in a vacuum. A new wave of nationalism epitomized by Brexit will prompt more cybersecurity regionalization. Recent scandals involving Russia\u2019s Kaspersky Lab and China\u2019s Huawei and HTC augur a world in which foreign governments are deeply suspicious of each other\u2019s tech security solutions. Thus, we might see more regional security companies and solutions pop-up globally.\u00a0 Within the U.S., we are seeing another form of regionalism, focused on building robust centers for security innovation.\u00a0\u00a0 Clusters of security firm activity are popping up like Maryland\u2019s Cyber Town, USA project. New York City has also introduced Cyber NYC, an initiative to \u201ctransform New York City into a global leader of cybersecurity innovation.\u201d \u00a0It will be interesting to see what other organic security hot-spots like the Bay Area or Boston do to respond to these regional initiatives.6. Biometrics will continue slowly replacing passwordsThe iPhone X\u2019s Face ID has made facial recognition mainstream. As passwords continue to be a vulnerability, expect biometrics to rise to the fore. MasterCard, for instance, will require all of its users to use biometric identification by April 2019.7. Universities will step up their cybersecurity gameTo end things on a positive note, it\u2019s heartening that many universities have expanded their cybersecurity programs. Driven by an acute shortage of cybersecurity professionals, colleges including Texas A&M, College of Maryland, the University of Michigan and Virginia Tech have been investing in security programs. That\u2019s a step in the right direction, but a welcome one. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing a steady uptick of universities stepping up their game in 2019.