High technology controls more and more aspects of our lives. Banking institutions make use of the blockchain to improve the security of operations; more and more people make use of personal assistants to make purchases online. At the same time, the 5G network promises to revolutionize the industry by combining it with the Internet of Things (IoT ).
These technologies promote the emergence of new online platforms. And at the same time that there are more and more technological solutions, we also find new threats to cybersecurity. The tactics of crackers evolve and continuously adapt, frustrating the attempts of companies to keep their information systems and that of their customers safe.
Cybercrime, the biggest threat today
This new “digital industrial revolution” has turned personal data into a kind of treasure that cybercriminals around the world are looking forward to taking it. In the United States alone, more than 60 million people have suffered cyber attacks. These threats have affected the most diverse sectors. The list includes health companies, social media platforms, and even political organizations. According to IBM, cybercrime has become “the biggest threat to every profession, for every industry and every company in the world.”
The editorial team of FitSmallBusiness.com evaluated five of the most dangerous threats to cybersecurity by 2020. The publication of digital businesses has made use of a large amount of data and research, in addition to considering the following industries: government, health, Telecommunications, and social media. In this way, the team was able to determine which sectors will be the most vulnerable to cyber attacks in the next year.
FitSmallBusiness Special Projects editor Michael De Medeiros said that with this study on cybersecurity, they aim to focus as much as possible on people. The editor mentioned that cybercriminal tactics evolve with technology. De Medeiros pointed out that both individuals and small business owners must be aware of what is changing and look for how to stay ahead of the curve.
These are the five most significant threats to cybersecurity in 2020:
Data Corrupted In The Government
According to data offered by Microsoft to Rolling Stone, in 2019, 800 political cyberattacks were carried out in the United States alone. This figure is expected to grow in the next year, at a time when presidential elections are only a few months away.
The political parties, the candidates, and the government of the United States are the main objectives of these cyber attacks. However, the FitSmallBusiness publication considers that these attacks are also a serious threat to United States residents, an issue that goes beyond the security of personal information and identity.
Among those 800 attacks against US government entities, many are related to threats to national security outside the Internet. Foreign organizations directed their efforts to this country. For example, in 2019, a group of North Korean hackers used phishing techniques to discover which countries were investigating their efforts in the development of nuclear weapons. Before this, an espionage group from Iran aimed at the US government infrastructure, according to information from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Government entities in Latin America have not been free of threats either. In August, the Twitter accounts of several government agencies were compromised by a group of hackers, who changed the profile image and left a message accusing the entities of corrupt.
Health Data Exposed
What allergies do you have? What diseases have you had? What are the most significant risks to your health? Do you have children? The health industry has a large amount of personal data, much of it extremely sensitive, being one of the sectors that handle more personal information. This circumstance also makes the health industry one of the main objectives of hackers. Sometimes, these hackers look for more than personal data. According to the CSIS, theft of intellectual property to cancer institutes in the United States is one of the main threats to this industry in 2020.
A peculiar feature is that many of those who attack the health industry are small bands of hackers, rather than large criminal organizations. Generally, personal information is more valuable for small groups of hackers, since they can sell the information quickly for a large sum of money. According to the consultancy for the health industry Protenus, the number of medical records exposed doubled, from 15 million in 2018 to 32 million between January and June 2019.
You Post More Than You Believe In Social Networks
The privacy of personal data has been one of the main concerns of people on social networks. People expose a lot of information online. In part, that behavior is the raison d’être of social networks. From food to your family trips. The problem is who is watching you and what kind of information are they looking for taking it. This information can be used to perform strategic cyberattacks.
Social media platforms have grown at an accelerated pace in the last decade and, with them, cybercrimes related to them. According to the Bromium Report on Social Media and Cyber Crime, malware distributed through social network connections infected one in five organizations.
Social networks are an excellent opportunity for cybercrime, as hackers can use them as a Trojan Horse. This strategy produces a domino effect, where a cybercriminal can infect an account or ad with malware that infects a user’s entire network of contacts.
Cybercriminals are increasingly advancing their strategies, and now they not only use social networks to hack individuals but also the companies that users work for, according to Fast Company information. This means that a user can expose his employer to attacks without even being aware of it.
In addition to attacks through social networks, a growing concern of both governments and users is how social networks can be used to spread false news and, thus, direct public opinion. In recent months, Facebook reported that it dropped pages that were linked to Iran and Russia, which maintained dishonest behavior. These pages have also been aimed at Latin America. For this reason, throughout the year, Facebook has undertaken initiatives to verify the information circulating on its platform.
The Risk of the 5G Network
The 5G network is one of the most anticipated technologies for the next era. With this telecommunications network, the IoT can reach its full potential. A great diversity of devices will offer real-time data on a company’s operations or environmental monitoring. Experts agree that the 5G network will change the way we use the Internet by providing connections faster than ever. However, the volume and diversity of devices that will be connected to this network make it very susceptible to cyberattacks, according to NeuShield. The risks range from mobile banking to something as little essential as virtual reality helmets.
The large number of devices that may be connected to a 5G network makes it very difficult to take security measures that are effective for all scenarios. Only mobile banking saw a 50% increase in its cyber attacks between 2018 to 2019, according to the Check Point Cyber Attack Trends: 2019 Mid-Year Report. These numbers will grow with the introduction of the 5G network.
Your Gadgets Watch You At Home
In the Mr. Robot series, hacker Darlene Anderson manages to enter the house of the lawyer of Evil Corp. because it is fully automated. This fictional scenario may become a reality in the next decade.
The technology was created to simplify our lives. However, devices like Google Home or Amazon Echo are now potential spies. Voice assistants are susceptible to cyberattacks, making it possible for hackers to spy on users in their own homes, according to Karsten Nohl, a scientist in charge of Security Research Labs and the BBC News.
Cybersecurity at home goes beyond voice assistants. Other gadgets and technological tools, created to save time and facilitate life at home, can be used by hackers to put the families who use them at risk. Sounds great to turn the lights on and off remotely, or open the garage with the phone, but being tools controlled by technological devices, they are also susceptible to being hacked.
The Risks of Cyberattacks for Small and Medium Enterprises
The objective of presenting an analysis of the latest technologies is to show which are the most significant threats in cybersecurity in 2020 that have the potential to affect the highest number of people.
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, three out of five SMEs ceased to be competitive six months after the assaults. The reasons why this happens are apparent thanks to a recent study that shows that cyberattack incidents cost businesses of all sizes an average of $ 200,000.
Cybercriminals do not distinguish between individuals, companies, or political systems. Everyone is at risk and, when something happens, affects millions of people, either directly or indirectly. Since people cannot live in a bubble, the first step in protecting themselves against these attacks is to worry.