Over the past decade, cybersecurity has evolved into an essential component of daily digital life. Considering software has held hospitals ransom and faces are now required to unlock cell phones, lax cybersecurity procedures such as a single, repeatable password are no longer fashionable. Bad actors remain vigilant as ever, seeking to exploit the weakest entry point in any digital system to steal valuable or personal information.
With the evolving sophistication of fraudulent tricksters, organizations must prepare to address threats with emerging solutions as the new decade unfolds. Here are seven predictions surrounding the cybersecurity industry in 2020:
The 2010s saw vast amounts of information move into the cloud, enabling organizations to take advantage of offsite servers that make it possible to access data anytime, anywhere. With many cloud solutions in place as the 2020s arrive, an added emphasis on cloud security should be expected to take form. Despite the convenience of cloud storage, organizations must remain vigilant over controlling their data.
In 2019 alone, ransomware attacks cost businesses, industrial complexes, and government organizations millions of dollars. To protect against future invasions, organizations should be expected to begin investing in cyber insurance, an industry that’s predicted to be worth $7 billion in the United States alone. Of course, that’s not to say cyber insurance will prevent future attacks, with some criminals intentionally targeting organizations with cyber insurance policies in hopes of a guaranteed payout.
Robocalls, fraudulent websites, and phishing emails have remained a persistent nuisance throughout the 2010s. Expect the trend to continue into 2020 as nefarious actors develop new methods of digital deceit. One major emerging fraud threat is vishing, which are fake phone calls with a live person pretending to be a real representative from government organizations like the IRS or companies like Microsoft.
Like vishing, another emerging cyber fraud tactic is smishing, an SMS or text message-based phishing attempt to trick users into giving up personal information. Whether it’s a conversation asking for private information or a link to a fraudulent website, smishing allows would-be data thieves to reach users by text message just as easily as email.
Innovations like fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, and other biometric authentication factors moved into the mainstream throughout the 2010s. Biometrics should be expected to continue playing a major role in digital security, serving as a crucial step in multi-factor authentication by acting as a personal identifier in concert with a username and password.
With an estimated 2.87 billion smartphone users around the world, mobile devices have become a prevalent force of modern life. Mobile proliferation has also translated into more mobile attacks, with reports suggesting 70% of 2018’s fraudulent attacks originated from mobile channels. As smartphones, tablets, and other portables continue to dominate digital lifestyles, users should expect threats towards mobile devices to continue increasing in 2020.
Organizations must be equipped to handle emerging cybersecurity threats from the top down. Because cybersecurity is only as strong as its weakest entry point, all members of an organization need an awareness of what’s necessary to maintain a strong, secure digital infrastructure. An added focus on security assessments in 2020 pushes organizations to share a broader awareness of cybersecurity threats.
Between mobile devices, new methods of phishing, and the proliferation of cloud solutions, threats are no longer restricted to server rooms and desktop computers. Users and organizations must stay alert in 2020 as proper cybersecurity defenses will require greater protection across the entire digital landscape.