Chess is a game of foresight — just like cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity is the chessboard where hackers and defenders are looking to checkmate each other. For now, hackers are on the winning side.
Hackers are outmaneuvering defenders by launching a ransomware attack every 14 seconds, they plan to get to 11 seconds by 2021. It’s not just the speed but the variety of attacks that make hackers a formidable opponent. Initially, the ‘Grandmaster’ companies with fancy security infrastructure and a large cash pot were targeted. Now, it doesn’t matter whether you are the Grandmaster or a class C, D, or E player of the small business world — everyone’s fair game.
Hackers need to sneak in, just one good move. Result: customer engagement comes to a halt while hefty fines from breach of compliance regulations keep piling up.
If your biggest threat in 2020 can sneak on you like that, how can you focus on actual work? Start looking at the 2020 cybersecurity trends to be better prepared against the ever-evolving nature of cyber threats.
1. Fear will drive cybersecurity spending
It’s an understandable fear. Putting privacy regulation acts in effect like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has pushed businesses and government agencies to a more sophisticated cybersecurity infrastructure. Scratch the surface, and you realize why 76% of organizations plan to increase their cybersecurity budget; it’s better than paying an upward of 20 million Euros or 4% of global revenue (whichever is higher) as part of the GDPR policy.
2. Bridging cybersecurity skills gap, quickly
The prominence of the chief information security officer (CISO) has risen across the boardroom. Unfortunately, the boardroom doesn’t reveal the full picture. There will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity vacancies that need to be filled fast. Because hackers are not stopping, and businesses still want to be in business.
3. A pragmatic approach to cloud security
For a long time, everyone assumed that if data is stored in cloud applications like Microsoft or Google, it must be secure. That assumption is dying slowly. The truth is the data you store in SaaS applications like G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 are not protected from attacks at your end which includes human error, malicious deletion requests, sync errors, phishing, and more.
The cloud bubble burst has made one more thing evident: as more business move to the cloud so will the focus of cybercriminals. Cybersecurity research observed massive attacks against Office 365 and G Suite using IMAP protocols. They are so effective they can almost bypass two-factor authentication, making service accounts and shared mailboxes vulnerable.
4. Automation and integration will be a greater need
The pressure to do more with less will increase the dependency of security professionals on automation and integration with third-party apps. The vast array of web applications combining several web services are difficult to secure, and automation and integration solutions are becoming a necessity to reduce the workload on understaffed teams without hindering productivity.
5. Mobile devices become a greater target
The number of mobile users continues to rise and so does the amount of business data stored in them. It’s a compelling reason why mobiles are seen as the primary cyberattack vector in 2020.
What makes it lucrative for hackers? It can override traditional secure email gateways. They are programmed to block phishing emails for protecting corporate emails on your mobile – not personal emails, SMSs, and third-party apps. Once they gain access, they can steal your business data easily.
6. The new decade of cyberwarfare
State-sponsored cyberattacks will be a significant cybersecurity trend in 2020 and beyond. Rogue actors will execute DDoS attacks, steal political and industrial secrets, spread misinformation to influence global opinions, and more. Add to that, the absence of an international framework for behavior in cyberspace will make these wars highly unpredictable.
7. Election security will be the head turner
In 2020, there will be more than 70 elections globally and of course the most anticipated is the US Presidential Elections. Hostile nations will engage in massive disinformation campaigns to sway the election results in their favor. Remember the 2016 Presidential Elections?
Defending against disinformation is challenging to say the least. It requires going through a myriad of communication strings to find out whether the source is genuine or fake.
8. 5G: A hacker’s paradise
The rollout of the next-generation high-speed mobile internet, aka, 5G network will increase IoT-based attack. 5G architecture is new, complex, and requires a higher level of security which many cloud vendors will not be able to provide. Hackers will use the blind spot to sneak in malware and steal large volumes of your SaaS data at breakneck speed.
9. The two-faced AI
AI plays for both teams. On one hand, AI is used by 61% of enterprises to proactively detect breach attempts. On the other, deepfake videos are orchestrated to spread misinformation and unconventional ransomware attacks. It will be interesting to see this cybersecurity trend in 2020: will AI play the hero card and improve security response or become a handy tool for the cybercriminals.
10. The ultimate betrayal — your employees
A staggering 34% of all breaches in 2019 were a result of insider threats. The human element is the weakest and trickiest link in the game of cybersecurity. Unlike other attacks, insider threats can be ignited simply by how employees feel. All it takes is a bad day and a $10 USB flash drive to steal millions of dollars’ worth of data.