Cyber threats evolve quicker than any other species…
Be the creature real, artificial … or somewhere in between.
So just as we can turn our backs on the cybersecurity risks of 2019, we must look towards the cyber-attacks that lie in wait in 2020. The truth is, even as companies, both large and small, start to treat cybersecurity as the serious business it is; the majority are still struggling to take the necessary steps to protect their IT networks.
- Whether inadequate security software is leading to data breaches;
- Or a lack of in-house IT expertise has left some systems vulnerable to a hack.
It’s high-time everyone reviewed the latest cybersecurity trends to ensure you protect your network this year. Without further ado, let’s predict the top eight trends in 2020.
1. Data Breaches
Data breaches remain the leading concern for most IT experts.
At a time where personal data is one of the most valuable currencies on the black market, it’s little surprise. Hackers enjoy a healthy bounty for the details they steal, which is why it’s crucial organizations employ better data privacy tactics.
Even authorities are wising up to the risk with legislation such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), forcing businesses to sharpen their act. Still, outdated third-party applications remain a flaw in many IT security defenses. The lesson for 2020?
Remember to update all software and hardware, regularly.
2. Security Expertise Shortage
Not a cyberthreat per se, but certainly a trend that will put your organization at risk…
Because businesses that choose not to include an IT support function as part of their set-up are putting themselves on course for a data breach in 2020. Presciently, we’ve hit a point where demand for cybersecurity consultants now exceeds supply: upwards of 65% of businesses say they’re struggling the find adequately qualified network security staff.
Outsourcing your tech support to a competent team is one way to keep even a small operation following best security practices — meaning you’ll never have to worry about the embarrassment of a data breach.
3. Vulnerabilities With Cloud Computing
There are myriad efficiencies in moving business infrastructure to the cloud.
However, a cloud-based operation requires an entirely different approach to how you secure your network.
Incorrectly configured data repositories and low-level security protection could leave your organization at risk of a high-level data breach. While it’s all too easy for an employee to add an unauthorized cloud service to the mix, putting your entire network at risk. And with the current lack of available expertise, cloud computing could become a major vulnerability in networks across the country.
4. Mobile-first Cyber Attacks
Smartphones are now ubiquitous.
And as reliance on mobile technology at work continues to rise, so do the risks associated with mobile-focused cyber attacks that look to access data stored on these potentially vulnerable devices. Direct attacks on mobiles are less likely to present a company-wide threat, but they are extremely susceptible to leaking business-critical data.
So your security team must secure every business device to prevent data leaks.
5. State-sponsored Cyber Warfare
As if the threat of a lone hacker targeting your IT network wasn’t enough, state-backed cyber warfare is now a clear and present danger.
That could mean a government launching an attack on another country’s digital infrastructure, using botnets to bring down enterprises, spyware to steal industrial secrets, or deepfakes to sow seeds of misinformation that undermine the social order. The concern around well-funded cyber attacks is that it will take increasingly sophisticated defenses to protect networks.
And if you think your enterprise isn’t a target, think again — businesses represent 81% of all ransomware attacks. While only the most advanced security solutions can detect, then eliminate, these emerging threats.
6. Connected Devices (& The Internet of Things)
The Internet of Things is yet to become the trend some once predicted.
Still, connected devices are becoming increasingly common in the workspace. The leading concern? Most businesses don’t realize that anything that taps into your network is a potential security risk, so if you:
- Set up an Alexa via an insecure wireless connection
- Hard-code access credentials into any product
- Share unencrypted personal data between devices
Then, you’re putting yourself at undue risk in 2020. Even something as routine as an unverified firmware update could compromise your internal servers, so always double-check the source of what you’re downloading.
And if a member of your team wants to connect a fitness tracker, Alexa, or Sonos to your network, always follow strict security protocol — as you would with any computer.
7. Artificial Intelligence & Deepfakes
There have been significant advancements in AI and machine learning in recent years.
Fantastic news for Industry 4.0. Yet, equally exciting for those who work on the darker side of the cyber underworld. Cybercriminals have already figured out how to weaponize artificial intelligence. They are training software to mimic CEOs. They are doctoring video footage to destroy politicians’ credibility.
Now, imagine how easily they could spread fake news about any organization. And as the cost to use such technologies goes down, expect the frequency of worryingly sophisticated attacks to rise … and fast.
8. Plenty More Phishing In The Sea
Sure, 2020 will see a wave of new cyber-tactics flood the scene. Still, age-old favorites will remain as real a threat as ever.
With phishing attacks always reeling in victims hook, line, and sinker — you can expect to see your fair share of speculative phishing emails this year. Phishing emails are the perfect vehicle to steal log-in credentials, payment details, even kick-start the spread of malware.
So, why would the cybercriminal drop their strongest weapon while it’s still so effective?
The same goes for ransomware: timeless tactics are timeless for a reason — accept that these two tricks are likely to be around for many decades to come.
If you’re yet to make a New Year’s resolution (and even if you have!), why not make 2020 the year you tighten up your network security? Mid-Coast Tech can help with all your cybersecurity needs, so feel free to get in touch on 207-223-7613.