Cyber security is probably the hottest topic of the last years. Businesses and individuals are both starting to take serious actions to prevent data leaks and other possible threats. It’s not surprising as 3,800(1) publicly disclosed breaches have happened in 2019 alone.
Still, the number of cyber attacks continues to grow year over year making it a must for every company and tech specialist to be aware of the latest cyber security trends.
Trends in Cyber Security You Should Know About
We’ve put together a list of trends that are going to define this year’s industry development vector. Some of these trends are pretty technical, others connected with human factors and employee training.
Here’s a short overview of what we’re going to talk about:
- GDPR and CCPA
- Cybersecurity skills gap
- Cloud security issues
- Automation and integration
- Mobile devices
- State-backed cyber attacks
- IoT devices
- AI and ML
- Transport Infrastructure
- Attacks from inside
- Cyber risk insurance
GDPR Spread Around the World
Personal data has to be a top priority for those businesses present online. With the ever-rising number of data breaches, it’s getting more and more difficult to ignore data privacy concerns.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation act (known as GDPS) and California’s act named California Consumer Privacy Act (known as CCPA) are a response from governments.
Here are some rules those acts set:
- Individuals must know the way organizations are going to use their personal data.
- Robust data encryption is a must.
- They should have an option to forbid sharing their personal data.
- Companies have to inform their users about data breaches that happened and do so within a set period of time.
We should expect more acts like those in 2020. Governments all around the globe are trying to push organizations forward to establishing ground rules for cyber security. While some companies take security concerns seriously, others ignore them or don’t want to bother too much.
On other hand, acts like those mentioned before put emphasis on the creation of so-called encryption backdoors. They should let governments access encrypted data for dispensing justice and suppressing terrorism.?
Data Breaches and Phishing
Protection from phishing attacks is one of the top trends in cyber security. It has been on the list of cyber security trends for a while and won’t disappear anytime soon.
According to the 2019 Data Breach Investigation Report(2) by Verizon, 32% of all verified data breaches appeared to be phishing. These days, phishing isn’t limited to emails anymore. (Stil, they are a very popular phishing method.)
Cybercriminals are also tricking victims into handing over personal data, different kinds of credentials (like login), and sending money directly. Among other rapidly growing phishing channels are SMS, chats on social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn, and phone calls involving a real person.
Scams connected with Social Security number and people pretending to be an employee from a bank, an enterprise like Microsoft, or from anywhere else are just the tip of the iceberg.
Cybersecurity Skills Gap Is Bigger Than It Appears
According to the MIT Technology Review report(3), there will be about 3.5 million unfulfilled cybersecurity jobs in 2021. Which means it’s expected to grow by 350%.
Put simply, the demand for cyber security specialists will be exceeding supply in many times. Another reason to take this cyber security trend seriously is to take a look at the rising number of threats that security teams have to deal with every day.
One of the ways out of this situation is using automated security solutions. While they are not replacing cyber security professionals completely, such tools can still help you resist recruitment issues.
Here are some well-known cyber security tools:
- Cloud Defender
- Cofense Triage
Get Out of My Cloud: Cloud Security Issues
Every bite of data and virtually all business processes along with infrastructure have moved to the cloud. This makes cloud protection another bold trend in cyber security industry as the number of cloud-related threats will definitely be growing.
SMBs and enterprises are all at risk of data breaches connected with poorly secured data and unauthorized services that end-users can easily install.
Cloud services from Google and Microsft don’t make this situation any easier. Solutions from these and other companies are also not protected from attacks on your side. Meaning that human error, phishing, synchronization errors are still a threat.
Automation and Integration
Tech specialists including security professionals and developers work under pressure of getting done more tasks for less time. Automation and integration is a good way to raise overall productivity.
Organizations that follow DevOps and CI/CD processes can reach effective risk management at the required development speed and quality. Besides, it’ll help with balancing workload when there are not enough tech specialist on the team.
Mobile Devices as a Major Cyber Security Risk
Global connectivity brings new problems with cyber security that tech specialists fight with. For example, there was a 50% rise in banking malware in 2019 compared to 2018 according to Check Point’s(4) report.
This basically means that all the data we use for payments has never been so vulnerable. Cybercriminals attempt to get banking credentials using SMS, email, posts on social media, and a bunch of other methods.
State-Backed Cyber Attacks
Politics can even be seen on cyber security landscape. That’s because many countries are likely to unofficially support cybercriminals executing DDoS attacks, stealing sensitive governmental data, spreading misinformation, and doing many more things that potentially threaten national security.
Political interference is one more common problem. Cyber criminals launch disinformation campaigns affecting public opinion before elections or other major political events.
To take this matter under control, enterprises and governments should work together to build solutions that are able to detect and eliminate vulnerabilities.
So nation-wide protection is becoming a new cyber security trend these days.
IoT Devises Bring Even More Risks
Internet of Things is as useful as it’s vulnerable. According to F-Secure’s report(5), attack traffic has seen a three-times increase in the first quarter of 2019 and raised to 2.9 billion events. Things get more and more serious over the years.
Hardcoded passwords, non-encrypted personal data, issues related to wireless communication security, updates of software and firmware form unverified sources, and many more. All of these are actual threats connected with IoT devices placed at home, public place, or enterprise.
NAS servers and routers can be compromised so that fraudsters get access to sensitive data or use them as a point for future attacks. Meantime, devices used at homes, such as wearables and smart home products, can be used to steal personal data the cybercriminals can benefit from.
That’s why the protection of IoT-based devices is one of the cyber security trends not only for 2020 but for the years to come.
The Role of AI and ML
Deep learning-based algorithms are versatile and can be used for many purposes: detecting threats, processing natural language, face detection, and so on.
AI and ML play for both good and bad guys these days. On one hand, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are actively used by enterprises and software developers to combat emerging cyber security threats. On the other, they let fraudsters spread misinformation like deepfake photos and videos, help them with malware development and preparation for cyberattacks.
It’s curious to see where this cyber security trend will lead to. Will it be more useful for cybercriminals or cyber security professionals?
Software and hardware have never been so tightly connected as they are now. It puts at risk not only IoT devices we use in our everyday life (smart home, wearables, Wi-Fi systems) but also cars and the entire infrastructure around them.
Although smart cars and smart cities are getting closer to reality, they also bring a lot of vulnerabilities that cyber criminals can make use of. As a result, it could affect individual and urban safety.
Fifth-Generation Network (5G)
The deployment of the next-generation mobile internet (or simply 5G) will make it easier for humanity to use beloved IoT gadgets. But it will also make humanity more vulnerable to cyber threats.
The point is these networks have a complex architecture which, in turn, needs appropriate security measures. While many vendors won’t comply with high security standards. Unsecured spots can be detected by hackers to compromise personal and enterprise data.
Attacks From Inside
Verizon’s report(6) tells that 34% of cyber attacks in 2019 involved internal actors. In other words, employees might be involved in data leaks intentionally or unintentionally.
For example, it’s enough to put a USB drive with malware into a work computer to help fraudsters with the attack or follow suspicious links attached to emails.
Malicious Software Bypassing Sandboxes
Sandboxing is a technology used by antiviruses and many other applications to spot malware. It lets each program “play” in their own sandbox separating them from one another and securing from malware.
However, more sophisticated threats that are able to bypass sandboxing are popping up. Cyber specialists came up with combining a range of technologies to provide protection. Still, this type of malware will also be evolving and learning how to bypass barriers on their way.
Cyber Risk Insurance
A cyber insurance policy is needed to help companies mitigate risks connected with money losses from cyber attacks. According to the report(7) by PWS, some of the US companies have already bought some type of cyber risk insurance.
Given the number of cyber attacks and data leaks we saw the last year, cybers security insurance would definitely be among top cyber security trends in 2020 and beyond.
(Download Whitepaper: Overview of Organizational Cybersecurity)
Quick Tips for Staying Protected
So, how do you mitigate risks of cyber attacks? There are several actions anyone could take to protect their personal and business information from cyber threats.
Back up your essential data. It can be a website data, personal or business documentation. Such an easy step can help you recover any type of information you lost due to a cyber attack or hardware-related issue. Data backups don’t cost much and are easy to do.
You can set a system to automatically back data up once a certain period:
- Everyday backups to the cloud storage or portable devices (e.g. USB flash drive or external HDD)
- Weekly server back-ups
- Monthly server back-ups
- Annual server back-ups
Protect Devices and Network
There are several pieces of advice regarding this point:
- Update software. Keep up with software updates to make sure you’re running the latest version. Developers often add security improvements and critical bug fixes in the new version of the software. The best option would be setting your operating system and all the software to update automatically.
- Get anti-virus software. It’s an important point to secure your work or personal computer from viruses, malware, spyware, and spam.
- Configure a firewall. Firewall represents a piece of software or hardware acting as a filter between your computer and the internet. It filters all traffic to secure networks at home or office.
Encrypt important data you’re intended to send to someone or store online. Also, make sure your network encryption is on.
Two-factor authentication implies you’re entering a password to your account and get a code to your device that you have to enter for identity verification and logging in.
Set it up for services that may contain sensitive data. They can be CRM systems, banking, social media, cloud storage, and so on.
Use strong passwords only. Sports, first names/surnames, and food are the worst options for passwords according to the report(8) by NordPass.
There also belong passwords like:
So keep your passwords complex. Use upper and lower case, numbers, special symbols.
Train Your Employees
As mentioned, employees are one of the major sources of data breaches. That’s why you have to set rules regarding online security and explain the following points:
- Sharing sensitive data
- Working with emails (suspicious letters, links)
- Browsing suspicious websites
- Downloading software and media files from unverified sources
- Creating strong passwords
More cyber security trends are yet to come given the pace of technological development. All we have to do is keep up with them and use both general and advanced security methods to secure data.