From smartphones to the electrical grid to interference by foreign countries in elections, cybersecurity is on everyone’s mind these days. Since you are reading this, you are likely looking to understand cybersecurity trends in 2020. Here are serveral examples that might aid you on your way.
Are you prepared to fight the expected increase in cybersecurity attacks? Experts expect that there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs unfilled by 2021. That's an alarming statistic for companies looking to upgrade or fill IT staff positions. Businesses face attacks every day by cyber hackers trying to loot bank accounts, commit all types of fraud, and disrupt businesses with ransomware. Companies that do not have the necessary IT staff or third-party IT support may face the hundreds of millions of dollars in expected data breaches. The average data breach cost for U.S. businesses in 2019 was $8.19 million. Wholly automated cybersecurity protection decreases that amount significantly to $2.6 million. However, the pool of skilled, experienced cybersecurity personnel required to the effect that change will continue to shrink just as businesses ramp up.
IoT and data theft. The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the world we live in. Data thieves rejoice at the many devices consumers have rushed to adopt, such as machine sensors, smartphones, Alexa, GPS devices, and various entertainment platforms. All of these represent data mills that provide cybercriminals a giant, lucrative playground. Unfortunately, security standards for IoT devices have not kept up with the IT expansion. Just imagine cyber hackers invading the cloud where consumers and businesses store sensitive personal information or hacking into Alexa, who has information about the household she serves. Add to that the growing concerns about self-driving cars, and it becomes apparent that data processed and stored in the U.S. is at a critical juncture.
Experts expect ransomware to shift to smaller targets. In recent years, ransomware attacks have focused on big banks because of the multi-million-dollar payoffs. Experts now believe that cybercriminals will "go small" in 2020 for purely economic reasons. Smaller profile attacks are easier to plan and execute with fewer helping hands and more significant profits. With this in mind, beefing up IT staff with experienced cybersecurity professionals is a priority for small-to-midsize businesses in 2020.
As software goes, so goes the digital world. Telecom companies are just one example of businesses expected to become more dependent on software run from the cloud. In practical terms, that trend means that software security code inspection must begin at the creation/development of an app and be part of every phase until production. Savvy businesses will keep abreast of this "pipeline code" movement to ensure that the software they buy and the cloud services they employ are onboard with this security model.
What about the safety of the trucking industry pipeline? A trucking network consists of computers in the cabs of trucks that keep drivers on the road in touch with dispatchers. Trucking logistics depends on sophisticated software programs that, in turn, rely on computer networks that run with little downtime. Experts have accumulated evidence that malicious actors have their sights on carrying out direct attacks on the trucking industry. In October 2019, cybersecurity experts speaking at the American Trucking Association's Management Conference and Exhibition told attendees that the trucking industry is now the number five most ransomware attacked industry in the U.S. Small trucking companies are the biggest targets for cyber hackers, and this industry sector does not yet have sophisticated protections on their computer networks, and hackers believe they are likely to pay the ransom. Large trucking companies are targets, too, because they can afford to pay more substantial blackmail fees. Unpaid ransomware attacks can shut down entire trucking lines and even infect the trucking company's customer relations management software. Once hackers find a soft target, they will attack repeatedly. All of this has created a lucrative field for cybercriminals. If it's true that consumers drive digital transformation, then businesses need to demand more cybersecurity expertise from their transportation partners.
Cybersecurity issues continue to increase at a rapid pace. Most companies possess unprotected data and exhibit poor cybersecurity practices. Both conditions mean most companies remain vulnerable to cyberattacks and data loss. To talk more about cybersecurity, please contact us and take our network security quiz.
To learn more about cybersecurity in 2020, read the February 10, 2020 article from csoonline.com entitled "Cybersecurity in 2020: From secure code to defense in depth."