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10 Cyber Security Trends To Watch Going Into 2020

 Published: April 23, 2020  Created: April 20, 2020

By Alison Jones

Cybersecurity breaches have become an ever-growing threat, with more types of attacks cropping up as the years pass by. With this increase of attack methods comes an increase in the kinds of cybersecurity procedures that are available to fight these attacks. It’s certainly likely that the sorts of attacks that will occur in 2020 and later will be ones that could be recognized by current cybersecurity experts. This means that companies should exert their security-related resources towards working on security vulnerabilities that they have already assessed and accounted for.

These companies should keep track of the following 10 cybersecurity trends that are expected to occur in 2020.

1. A Rise in Automated Cyber Security

Automation is quickly becoming a staple of business modernization and is widely recognized as an advantageous factor in a company’s quest for improved cybersecurity. Palo Alto Networks reports that many Information Technology (IT) security professionals and specialists actively use automated platforms and products within their companies or plan to use automation soon. The movement towards greater automation is meant to relieve some of the stress faced by low-staffed cybersecurity teams.

At present, the move to automation poses its issues that will need to be addressed by organizations in the future. Specifically, organizations implementing automation security solutions will have to seek out knowledgeable automation experts to properly and efficiently utilize those platforms.

2. The Advent of 5G

5G is continuing to develop network infrastructure and has done so since 2018. With this increased development, there have been a rise in Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices that utilize 5G networks rather than merely relying on Wi-Fi networks. Over time, these IoT devices will become completely defenseless from sophisticated hacking attempts, as the devices will not receive their internet connection through an encrypted router signal. The ability of a 5G network to reach cloud-based storage platforms will also create new, valuable targets for future attackers to breach and exploit.

3. Public Utility Development

Public utilities and infrastructure are crucial elements of an advanced economy and society. Their importance makes them significant targets of cyber hackers and terrorists. Utilities such as roadways, electricity, waste management and telecommunication provide vital services for the vast majority of people and governments across the world. In spite of this, these individuals and agencies typically work with outdated and less efficient infrastructure models. Attempts to rectify these infrastructure issues and correct cybersecurity problems can create undesirable periods of service interruptions or downtimes. The utilities of some countries are also tied up with private contractors and private utility providers, who typically are not capable of effectively handling a major cybersecurity threat. The development of the public utilities to prevent exploitation by cybercriminals will certainly be something to watch for in 2020.

4. AI Attack Mobilization

Malicious hackers and cyber attackers will not be satisfied with merely attacking the artificial intelligence (AI) systems and platforms of organizations. Cyber attackers will begin to mobilize AI, exploiting the increased efficiency and versatility of AI-enhanced automation to their data breaching exploits. AI-powered automated systems could evaluate organizational systems and networks, noting previously unforeseen vulnerabilities and taking advantage of them. AI can be incorporated into social engineering and phishing attacks, creating seemingly credible emails and videos that can scam unfortunate individuals of information, resources or money. Malevolently used AI could even be used to carry out believable misinformation campaigns.

5. AI Defense Mobilization

Machine learning technologies are already being used to identify and protect networks and companies against cyber threats. AI can be mobilized for the protection of IT networks and frameworks as well as for attacks. AI platforms can track and correct vulnerabilities, strengthening networks against future attacks. An AI platform could be used to simulate progressively challenging attacks to identify a previously unknown vulnerability that can be corrected before a malicious force finds the same issue.

6. Shadow IT Assets

According to McAfee MVISION Cloud – Skyhigh Networks, Shadow IT is a suite of IT applications or functions that are operated outside of the IT department without their explicit knowledge. Shadow IT is increasingly raising non-IT technology expenditures, as it has made organizations more productive. However, the increased use of Shadow IT will also make it a prime target for cyber attackers in 2020. Organizations will have to address their organizational culture’s use and protection of Shadow IT assets to safeguard themselves from Shadow IT vulnerabilities.

7. Software Supply Chain Exploitation

Software supply chains are a regular target of cyber-attacks, with malware being sent along with legitimate software bundles. Cybersecurity experts from vpnAlert note that many organizations lack processes for fully vetting all of the vendors and third-parties that they work with. The attacks can be orchestrated during the software generation stage at a vendor’s facility or when the software is being handled by a third-party. The software exploitation usually involves the attacker including malware into a legitimate software update, granting the attacker access to data connected to the computer network once the update is accepted by an end-user.

8. Capturing Online Data Traffic

In 2020, cyber attackers will target IoT applications, home routers and other data centers to gain access to some of the data going through these technologies. Malware affecting these applications could record credit card numbers, spam a victim with malicious websites, steal secure banking information or access personal and proprietary information. Organizations are implementing methods to prevent these data breaches, such as not storing credit card CVV numbers to better protect eCommerce databases. Cyber attackers will certainly seek out new ways to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data and buyer information while it is in transit.

9. Cloud-Based Security

In 2020, the majority of deals involving CASBs, cloud-based access security brokers, will be bundled together with web application firewalls (WAFs), secure web gateways (SWGs) and network firewall technologies. As clients and organizations move their data and services to the cloud and consider bundled cloud services, they should investigate each bundle’s application deployment guide.

10. Increased Cyber Security Spending

Expect cybersecurity spending to rise in 2020. Spending on cybersecurity solutions across the globe has increased steadily each year, with spending on software and hardware for cybersecurity spending growing past $100 billion in just 2019. This increased spending is expected as organizations put higher amounts of resources into their cybersecurity solutions. The US is expected to be the largest individual cybersecurity market, with spending estimated to reach somewhere close to $45 billion by the end of 2019.


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