New Year, New Vulnerabilities: An In-Depth Look at the Cyber Security Trends That Will Dominate 2020

It’s estimated a Ransomware attack is launched every 14 seconds. If experts have it correctly, this could become even more frequent in 2020.

If you run a company or work with IT on any level, cyber threats are a serious concern. With the ongoing data breaches of 2019, many companies began investing more money into cyber security. But what does 2020 have in store?

Knowing what to look for is key to stopping cyber security threats. Continue reading to find out the cyber security trends that will dominate in 2020.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is a term that refers to safety measures taken online. A form of cyber security most people are familiar with is anti-virus software. It protects your computer from harmful downloads or hacking attempts.

Businesses have much more intricate cyber security measures in place. For example, a hospital will have their patient’s personal health information encrypted when not in use. Banks do the same thing with their client’s account information.

Why is Cyber Security Important?

The modern world is digital. Any information you want is at your fingertips. All your accounts can be accessed online for the utmost convenience.

Unfortunately, this presents a whole new form of crime that many have taken full advantage of. Cybercrimes can range from harmless to catastrophic.

On the harmless end, your computer might crash from a virus. This might sound horrible, but it’s comparatively docile. A crashed computer can usually be wiped and rebooted, but at least your personal information wasn’t hacked.

That brings us to the catastrophic end of cybercrimes. Data breaches are among the worst crimes.

These allow unauthorized users to get information you don’t want them to have. Prime examples include bank accounts, social security numbers, and personal health information.

When a data breach occurs on a single computer, it sucks for the person involved. But when a data breach occurs on a wide scale, hundreds or even thousands of people could be involved. On a large enough scale, a data breach has the potential to disrupt the economy, if only slightly.

Imagine if an entire bank branch was breached and all the account information taken. If a hacker was successful in taking every customer’s money, thousands of households could be temporarily without funds. Cyber security is a very real problem and hackers grow smarter with each passing year.

Dominating Cyber Security Trends for 2020

In 2019 the world saw a lot of cyber security threats. There were wide-scale data breaches, information leaks, and the continued onslaught of small-scale scams out to steal personal information.

Many wonder what 2020 has in store. Experts agree the following cyber security trends will dominate the scene in 2020. Individuals and businesses of all sizes should keep an eye on these trends.

Ransomware Will Be a Larger Threat

Many experts believe ransomware will be a larger threat in 2020 than in any year prior. Why? The malware has been steadily improving and becoming harder to get rid of.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts important data so it can’t be read. The targets are usually large corporations and government entities, but anyone can become a victim.

The data encrypted won’t be just any information. Hackers target vital information and then block access to it until a ransom is paid. This ransom is usually a ridiculous amount of money.

Ransomware is very hard to get rid of once it’s been placed inside a system. The only real solution is to pay the money.

Phishing Will Continue

The most common form of phishing is through email. A person clicks on an unsafe link and allows a virus or malware software onto their device. Through this, hackers can gain personal information.

Your computer stores everything. When hackers get access to your personal information, that means everything from your Facebook password to your bank account information.

The good news is phishing on a small scale can usually be remedied through changing your passwords across the board. If possible, update all your accounts to two-factor authentication to further protect your information. This remedy only works if the attempt is caught quickly enough.

The 5G Hype Has Its Downfalls

Everyone (especially phone companies) have been hyping 5G as the next big thing. Experts have to disagree, however. They warn the widespread use of 5G in 2020 could lead to disaster.

5G is a switch to mostly all-software networks. This leaves all connected devices vulnerable to cyber attacks. Some think 5G will even make it possible to launch cyberattacks on a widespread level like a horrifying dystopian film.

There’s more. The United States government has been worried the equipment necessary for 5G will allow other countries to spy on US citizens. With so many connected devices sending and receiving information, 5G creates a minefield for cyber security professionals.

A Hacked Election

America will choose a new president in 2020 and cyber security experts believe there will be some hacking involved. In 2016, hacking was used to widely spread misinformation about candidates. Experts believe the country will see more of the same in 2020.

Experts also believe foreign and domestic entities will likely try to breach voter data. They might even try to alter results. An attempt was made in 2016 and with four years to improve their skills, hackers will likely take another swing at it.

Another thing experts are expecting to see? The potential for a lot of personal candidate information to be leaked to the public.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Issues

Cyber security experts are particularly concerned with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) moving into 2020. The issue with these programs is that they are very data-intensive. To learn something, AI must be fed the data that will tell it how to handle the situation or task.

Due to this, most AI is trained off-site at special companies that have invested in the appropriate, high-cost devices. Cyber security professionals who work with AI can’t be positive what they’re receiving. Even worse, the way these machines work makes it even harder to know if a company is being placed at risk.

Moving forward in 2020, experts are concerned AI will be fed data meant to purposefully poison their algorithms. This would be especially difficult to detect because it would appear like the artificial intelligence was working but it would be producing the wrong results.

Another issue with AI and ML in 2020 is experts expect hackers to manipulate these devices. They could potentially start using AI to uncover unknown vulnerabilities in systems. AI could then be used to misguide cyber security software from the inside, thus allowing outsiders access.

Increase in Cloud Vulnerability

More organizations will be moving their data to the cloud in 2020. Unfortunately, a lack of proper planning and an increase in incoming data will prove the cloud more vulnerable than in previous years.

The main problem is that organizations aren’t taking proper security measures from the first step. When in transit, data is particularly vulnerable to hacking. Even if transmitting data takes two seconds, a hacker could take the information if they hit at the right point.

Cyber security trends point towards more data breaches this year and more regulatory fines leveraged at organizations not taking the proper precautions. The cloud is going to be central to this.

To avoid issues, organizations need to encrypt their data before it’s ever transmitted to the cloud. They need to layer on additional protective measures while the data is being stored or processed. By doing this, information can be kept safe while stored in the cloud.

Investors Will Take Cyber Security More Seriously

With 2019 leading prior years in data breaches, investors will be taking cyber security more seriously. An ongoing cyber security trend will be to access information on how secure a company is before financially backing it.

This could lead to a downturn in investments for many companies. Recent research shows over half of Fortune 500 companies have at least one insecurity that leaves them open to cyber threats.

The ability to research data on cyber security for specific companies is still limited. Cyber security research will continue in development through 2020.

How to Keep Your Company Safe in 2020

It’s one thing to know the dominating cyber security trends of 2020, but what are you supposed to do about it? Experts highly suggest making cyber security a priority. A few of the most important things you can do to keep your company safe are described below.

Take Cloud Safety Precautions

Companies in 2020 need to take precautions when moving information to the cloud and interacting with it while it’s there. Encrypt data when data isn’t in use.

If data is particularly sensitive, choose a multi-cloud for storage purposes. This is a system where companies have two separate clouds for private and public data. The two clouds won’t interact with each other or share information so it is the safest current option.

Company Internet Safety Training

Cyber security is a company-wide issue. Any employee can accidentally click a phishing link and allow hackers a gateway inside. The best way to protect against this is through company internet safety training.

Some cyber security companies offer training or certifications in internet awareness. But you can have your cyber security officer talk to employees. Discuss the most common cyber security trends and how to stay safe.

Infrastructure Updates

You should have regularly scheduled inspections of your infrastructure. During these inspections, both the physical and virtual components of your company’s infrastructure need to be looked at. Cyber threats are more likely to be successful if the infrastructure is poor.

Have an audit done of your current safety measures at least once this year. You should work with an outside company. Since they’re removed from the company, they might see things your IT staff doesn’t.

If any weaknesses are spotted in your current cyber security, update them immediately. Cyber security isn’t an area you want to neglect or put off until later. Doing so could result in successful cyberattacks that will cost a lot more than that update.

Practice Due Diligence

Another common reason companies are successfully attacked virtually is a false sense of security. Business owners and staff who haven’t fallen victim to a cyber attack for years start to feel safe.

The unfortunate truth is that your company is never safe from a cyber attack. It might not happen for ten or twenty years. It might happen in an hour or two.

You never know when a cyber attack will happen. It’s always better to practice due diligence and be overcautious instead of too relaxed.

Work With Professional IT Personnel

Most companies have a cyber security officer or a team of IT personnel who are trained to deal with cyber threats. If you don’t, it’s going to be even more important to enlist these professionals in 2020.

Your IT staff needs to be professionally trained in cyber safety best practices. This applies to companies who hiring internally or outsource their IT. If outsourcing, verify your IT company’s credentials to be certain they’ll keep your information safe.

Stay Updated

It’s impossible to protect against something if you don’t know what to look for. Business owners and IT staff need to stay current on the latest safety issues.

Although the cyber security trends listed above are what experts believe will dominate in 2020, things can change. At any time, a hacker or hacking organization could develop and launch a new type of attack. The only way to prepare is to keep an eye on the headlines to see what’s going on in any given week.

For More Information

The cyber security trends of 2020 are estimated to be even more serious than those faced in 2019. Experts recommend a strong focus on cyber security. Businesses should be especially cautious when dealing with email or cloud storage.

Do you still have questions about the dominating cyber security trends of 2020? Contact us today. One of our associates would be more than happy to assist you.

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