Top Cybersecurity Trends in 2020

Top Cybersecurity Trends in 2020


Cybersecurity in 2020 will greatly affect the global economy, businesses, governments, consumers, and the common man. With the continuing development and advancement of technology, and the never-ending expansion on the internet with more websites popping up left and right, it would make sense that the battle for privacy and retaining personal information has become a growing concern.

What are trends and factors we should look out for when utilizing the internet and knowing what is real versus what is fabricated? Well, no doubt doing your research and educating yourself on the changes we are experiencing will not only help you protect yourself, but also protect your loved ones as well.

Rise in Ransomware

The first trend in cybersecurity is that we have experienced an increase in ransomware infections as well as the use of hacking methods such as phishing and spear phishing, which are becoming quite common. Ransomware attacks are a growing trend in this fast-paced world and it is important that companies get to know what ransomware is and what it is not.

Ransomware is a type of virus that has been gaining popularity because it spreads itself through the internet, causing havoc to the computers that are infected. This virus can then infect other computers and steal important data. It then spreads through the internet, infecting more systems until it spreads across the entire internet causing havoc. Through this, it can steal vital information such as credit card numbers and passwords.

Ransomware has been a problem for many companies, but most are unaware of it because it can skate under the radar. As the name suggests, this type of virus requires the victim to pay up in order to remove it from their system. If you ever find yourself in this situation, remember that, no matter what you do, do not give away your private information. They may know your email and your name, but this does not mean they know your credit card information, and that is what they are looking for.

Fake Information

The next trend we have experienced, with the growing need for more information at our fingertips, would be the rise in fake information, or “fake news” as it has popularly been called. Fake information has become quite common, and from time to time can be hard to differentiate from what is real, but really anything should be taken with a grain of salt when you are reading it on the internet.

It can be as easy as saying “apples are bad for your health” – while this is not entirely false as too many apples can weaken your tooth enamel, that can happen with anything eaten in excessive amounts. If you are unsure whether something you are reading is fabricated news, or contains misleading information, then it can be as simple as searching the information online and see if other news sources, preferably reputable ones, have published information similar to what you have read.

In the same breath, with the growth of fake information, this may also contain personal information about a given individual, like a celebrity or known politician, which can compromise their identity online. While some of this information may not be accurate, it may also contain a degree of truth; but this is where research comes into play and you are able to differentiate between fact and hearsay.

The Use of Artificial Intelligence

It has been said that knowledge is power, and with the development of technology, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has been on the incline as well. Granted, our governments have put money into the development of artificial intelligence for their personal gain and overall cyber security, it is entirely possible for third parties to develop their own AI tools that can phish for information online and compound it for the programmer to use against their victims.

It can be as simple as an AI program that is designed to send out spam emails to a huge number of people in order to gain their information, these emails can look like a “special offer enclosed” or a link to webpage or video for you to watch. If you are unsure of whether something is phishing for your information then you may want to steer away from any attached links, and avoid responding to the email, this will protect your information. If you are running a business, or just want the added security, there are programs you can install that filter spam and aid in virus prevention.

Granted, the use of AI is not all bad, some businesses use a program to notify subscribed users of things such as coupons, job openings, or sales. It may be best to stick to sites you know, and if you feel the need, install a program that gauges whether a site is safe or unsecure.

Cybersecurity Job Growth 

As we watch the growth of technology, and the development of information protection versus cyber-attacks, there will be the growing demand of jobs in the cybersecurity industry. With this growth of job demand we will also experience a gap in employment that may compromise internet safety.

Considering how information is becoming harder and harder to protect on the internet, the need for individuals who have the knowledge to aid in a safer cyber environment could skyrocket. At that rate, the development of different educational programs might start to crop up built around this industry, and schools that offer these programs may funnel more funding into this to ensure the students have all the tools available to them so that they are better equipped for the industry. 

These students will likely be the ones to find jobs where they can battle cyber threats, and develop new strategies to protect valuable information whether it is for a government establishment or citizen use. If this is an industry that interests you, then there may be establishments in your area that you can speak with to see where you should start whether it is an entry level job or educational institutions.

Autonomous Vehicle Security

In recent times, we have witnessed the birth of autonomous cars. Not only can they park by themselves with the use of cameras and sensors, but there are now vehicles that can drive by themselves too. While this new future in vehicle mobility is new and exciting, there are a number of concerns surrounding it as well, not only with security but individual’s safety. 

There are videos on the internet where people are at the wheel of their autonomous vehicle going at a high speed and they aren’t operating the vehicle, they are letting the vehicle take the wheel. Not only is this dangerous to the driver, but it can be dangerous to other individuals on the road. This is still a developing technology and it might be advisable to not trust it on the highway while you take a nap, or read a book. Just because your car is self-driving, you should still pay attention to the road and be aware of your surroundings in case you need to take control of the vehicle to avoid an accident.

Then there is the security threat around the use of a self-driving vehicle. Considering this is still new, there is not much in the way of protection surrounding the computer in your vehicle. That being said, there is the possibility of a hacker taking control of the vehicle, and this can lead to the endangerment of the driver and those in the area surrounding the vehicle. With the future of autonomous vehicles already in the present, it wouldn’t be too farfetched to assume that car hacking can be a very real possibility.

Mobile Cellphone Security

As another cyber security trend, this one may hit close to home for most of us. We all have one, with the development of cell phones, basically becoming a portable computer you can do a number of various tasks with compared to ten years ago, the security of these devices has become a growing concern.  

When browsing the internet on our phone’s whether it is for work or personal use, there is the present possibility of accessing websites who are phishing for information, and you wouldn’t even know it otherwise. With the vast amount of personal information we keep on our phones, not just our own but the information of other people, this would be a very easy way for an individual to gain access to the information they want.

Not to mention, with features on our phones such as automated pay, where at the store you simply hold your phone close to the device where you would insert your card, this is valuable information you should hold close to the chest. Even saving payment information into your phone with apps or sites that are not as secure, and might not put too much funding or development into their security features. 

If you are concerned with the security on your device it might be worth setting up authentication protocols, if the app offers it, where if you are trying to log in you are contacted via text or a screen prompt to ensure you are the user. Or, there are a number of programs available you can download that would offer a further degree of security on your device; however, this may require some research to ensure you are using a reputable source and not downloading something that will sell your information to the highest bidder.

Conclusion

Considering the growth of technology, it would be advisable to pay more mind to your online security whether it is for personal use or for your business, as this will save you a lot of time, money, and a headache. If you are unsure of how to protect yourself, there are a number of trained professionals you can contact who could give you valuable information on cyber security, not just for yourself, but your loved ones. As we move closer to 2021, and technology continues to advance, it is not too late to learn more on cyber security trends and what you should look out for.

November 12, 2020
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