10 Cybersecurity Challenges Businesses Should Watch Out for in 2020
The rate by which cybercrimes are growing increases day by day. A Clark School study conducted at the University of Maryland revealed that a cyber attack happens every 39 seconds. Although most of these attacks are aimed towards small businesses, big companies and individuals are not immune to the risks as well. These cybersecurity attacks can happen to anyone, anywhere.
Cybercrimes have grown prevalent these days, accounting for trillions of dollars in losses every year. According to Juniper’s research, the damages this year alone caused by cybercrime amounts to two trillion dollars. This amount is projected to double in 2021. This is why businesses and organizations are investing heavily in cybersecurity and employee training, especially on awareness campaigns against online scams and malware attacks.
But cybersecurity is a mouse-and-cat game. As businesses arm themselves with the latest in online security technology, hackers are also finding other ways to beat the system. And the cycle never ends.
This year, a new set of cybersecurity challenges faces the digital world, and the best way to overcome them is by getting to know every one of them. This article introduces the top 10 security challenges that users have to watch out for in the coming months and what preparations you can make to mitigate the effects.
1. Increased IoT Attacks.
According to a recent report by security company Symantec, there will be around 200 billion connected devices by 2020. There are already 25 connected devices per 100 people in the US. The more devices connected to the internet, the higher the risk of attacks. The fact that not all of these devices are equipped with robust security software only creates more openings for attackers.
FireEye’s annual threat report has revealed one of the most recent IoT attacks using Reaper malware. After exploiting vulnerabilities in IoT devices, the malware gains access and spreads itself, compromising millions of IoT devices and facilitating massive-scale attacks.
The only way to prevent IoT attacks is by creating a thorough inventory of all your internet-connected devices and making sure that their firmware is regularly updated.
2. Phishing Scams Remain Number One.
Although recent studies show that hacker sophistication will continue to grow, phishing remains the top threat vector. Phishing attacks are a form of social engineering attack where the hacker creates a fraudulent website, text, or email to trick users into giving their personal or login information.
Phishing tactics have also evolved over the years. Instead of the mass-produced and non-specific phishing attacks, attackers are now leaning towards targeted phishing strategies. And the most likely target? Businesses and companies. Hence, providing training and awareness campaigns can help employees recognize phishing attempts better.
Another adequate protection against phishing and malware is by using a good VPN. It masks the user’s real IP address, encrypts all communication, and protects the user’s anonymity.
3. Growing Use of Mobile as an Attack Vector.
Most people own a mobile device these days. People use it to send out emails, post to social media, do online banking transactions, listen to music, and do online shopping. Mobile devices make our lives convenient because we can do almost everything on a mobile phone. But this convenience comes with a lot of risks, particularly for people who use their mobile devices for both work and personal use. A lot of people are guilty of this, and this spells out concerns regarding cybersecurity.
According to RSA’s 2019 Current State of Cybercrime whitepaper, 70% of fraud transactions originated from a mobile device. The extensive use of smartphones, coupled with the limited security features of mobile operating systems, makes mobile devices a critical channel of opportunity for cybercrime.
4. Growth in Data Privacy Legislation and Compliance.
Ever since the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was rolled out in May 2018, various states and countries all over the work have started reviewing their data-privacy regulations. After the GDPR, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) immediately followed suit, and a lot of copycats had submitted their versions of the CCPA.
The goal of these regulations is to implement higher data security and online privacy standards to protect consumers and individuals. As the cybersecurity threats increase, the more people realize the importance of having laws to protect their privacy. So we can expect more GDPR and CCPA regulations in the years to come.
5. Cybersecurity Automation
Automation has been gaining a foothold in the cybersecurity industry over the years. According to the Ponemon Institute’s research, 79% of IT security practitioners are using automation tools and platforms. These tools help them perform tasks, such as collecting data to be used for monitoring and analysis, keeping track of software and hardware within the organization, updating these software and hardware assets, and performing vulnerability assessments.
The growing trend in automation seems like a good thing, but the adoption rate is so slow because of various limitations, such as lack of technical knowledge or expertise.
6. Increased Attacks on Utilities and Public Infrastructure
People rely heavily on utilities for everyday survival. For example, communication facilities are crucial to the modern economy, making them excellent targets for cyber attacks. Critical infrastructure serves millions of people around the world, but they are usually run by old and outdated technology. The recent attacks on US utility companies last July and the ransomware attack in Johannesburg, South Africa, show that attackers are starting to realize the impact of these attacks.
7. Increase in Supply-Chain Attacks
You’ve probably heard of the pre-installed malware on Android phones that was discovered earlier this year. This is clear evidence of how attackers are turning to the software and hardware supply-chain as a new target for cyber attacks. Cybercriminals are bundling malware together with legitimate software packages at the supplier, manufacturer, and distributor level.
Users who buy these products are unknowingly using infected devices and contribute to the spread of malware. This year has seen a drastic increase in supply-chain attacks, and the number will continue to grow in the coming years.
8. Looming International Cyberwar.
It is hard to predict when the international cyberwar will erupt, but the recent government-sponsored cyberattacks all over the world show that this trend will only grow for the worse in the coming year. We should expect some significant powers using cyberattacks that will continue to test the already strained international relations. We’ve all been witnessed to the US accusing China of spying, which ultimately led to the Huawei ban. Although it seems like everything’s back to normal on the surface, it is hard to tell when the next conflict will occur.
9. The Threat of the Cloud.
At least 70% of businesses and organizations around the world are using cloud technology. The cloud technology simplifies processes, improves mobility, saves money on hardware, and provides remote access to essential assets, making it an attractive business solution. However, moving to the cloud also carries security risks, such as data breaches, account hijacking, DDoS attacks, and others. To prevent these risks, organizations need to invest in a useful roadmap that focuses on cybersecurity and recovery.
10. Drastic Increase in Cybersecurity Spending
As businesses realize the dangers of the internet, the cybersecurity budget also continues to increase. Experts predict that around six trillion dollars will be spent on cybersecurity by 2021. This is because organizations are reprioritizing their budgets to align with the changes in the digital world. Aside from security software, the budget also allocates for security awareness and user training.
According to IBM’s chairman, president, and CEO, Ginni Rometty, “Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world.” And the current statistics on cybercrime only proves how correct her statement is. In the coming years, businesses, organizations, and even individuals will have to deal with evolving technology and evolving hackers. And the most effective way to combat these risks is by being a step ahead of them. We hope that this guide gives you an overview of what we’ll be facing in the cybersecurity world in 2020.