Predictions for cybersecurity in 2020

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Accounts with re-used passwords will be more vulnerable

Liv Rowley, Threat Intelligence Analyst at Blueliv indicates that the continued re-use of passwords across multiple services poses serious security risks. Due to password re-use, one breach may turn into multiple compromises since cybercriminals use lists of compromised usernames, emails and passwords to gain access to other sites. The future of authentication is biometrics, multi factor identification, layered security, biometric password vaults and several other options.

New adaptions for RATs

There will be an increase in the sophistication of malware in 2020. Similar to their biological namesakes, familiar viruses can mutate as attackers adapt their tactics. “Cybercriminals are constantly redesigning Remote Access Trojans, or RATs, so they get better at bypassing security protections,” said Rowley.

The health sector will be increasingly targeted by ransomware

Healthcare institutions will be the target of re-emerging ransomware in 2020 after a slight decline in popularity in 2018, according to experts. Edge computing increases the performance and responsiveness of healthcare applications. However, healthcare organisations often run outdated software and do not have adequate cybersecurity resources. The sensitivity of the data handled combined with the criticality of IT systems mean that ransomware would pose a huge risk and could put patients’ lives could be at stake.

Cyber security teams will be more diverse

In protecting systems and data, improved levels of diversity within tech workforces are promoted and Jon Fielding, Apricorn‘s managing director, EMEA, said that employers should take this into consideration when hiring cyber security staff. He advises companies to recruit outside the industry as an increasing expectation that IT will help drive the goals of the business shortage biting hard, will result in a shortage of cyber security skills.

The first AI-powered cyber-attack

It is predicted that 2020 may hold the first artificial intelligence (AI) powered cyber-attack due to AI’s popularity and increased use in company practices. A looming threat of malicious AI -powered cyber-attacks are capable of causing massive damage worldwide without the involvement of human operators. Attacks are fast-moving, while at the same time threats are more silent and subtle than ever. Threats are constantly changing, making rules and signature-based approaches obsolete, while cloud, IoT, and other digital transformation projects render perimeter defences inadequate. Marcus Fowler, director of strategic threat at Darktrace, states that “advanced malware that adapts its behaviour to remain undetected has long been on the rise, and should it reach its full potential, 2020 could see a true cyber arms race”.

The arrival of 5G, facilitating increased machine-speed and automated attacks may render supply chains exponentially riskier. With wireless connection speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G, malware could download and stealthily spread throughout networks long before they are detected.

Equally, cyber AI will be used to stop attacks. Cyber AI can self-learn the pattern of every device, user, IoT, cloud workload, and network, enabling it to detect emerging anomalies indicative of the earliest signs of a cyber-threat.

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