Cybersecurity is a hot topic for businesses of all sizes – and for good reason. Data is the lifeblood of any modern-day company, and a security breach can have far-reaching, reputation-destroying consequences.
Unfortunately, cyberattacks evolve at a rapid pace. Hackers are no dummies – they are often sophisticated tech experts looking to make a buck at someone else’s expense.
Let’s take a look at four emerging network security threats set to take on individuals, organizations, and even governments in 2020.
1. More varied and sophisticated phishing attacks
Cyber criminals have, until recently, primarily utilized email to initiate phishing attacks. And while email is still the most common source of phishing incidents, criminals are using an increasing number of attack vectors to reach their victims.
Phishing attacks now involve illegitimate text messages (aptly called ‘smishing’ attacks), social media messages, and even phone calls with real-life people.
Protecting your business network against these emerging phishing attacks involves implementing business-grade email filters and investing in staff education. Your team needs to be on the ball 24/7 – they must learn how to identify scams across several digital, web, and mobile platforms.
2. Attacks on IoT devices will skyrocket
According to a recent study, cyberattacks on IoT devices increased an alarming 300 percent this year to a staggering 2.9 billion events. This three-fold increase may be, in part, caused by the significant jump in the number of internet-connected devices hitting the market – both targeted at home users and businesses.
The big issue is, without the help of a dedicated technology partner, many IT departments aren’t aware of just how many internet-connected devices they have. What’s more, their security defenses have not yet evolved to meet increased demands. IoT malware is certainly something businesses should worry about.
3. Utilities and public infrastructure will increasingly be targeted
Utilities deliver vital infrastructure to millions of people – including governments – making them big-ticket targets for ambitious cyber criminals. What’s more, utility providers can’t exactly shut off their service to upgrade their security without disrupting their customers.
Attacks like the July 2019 breach on a US utility company by suspected Chinese hackers are set to become rife in 2020.
4. Cyberattacks go mobile
The computers in your business network may be protected by a robust cybersecurity system, but what about your mobile devices?
Every team member in your office has a smartphone in their pocket – and chances are, they use it for both personal and business purposes. This means a significant amount of business-related data is stored across a considerable number of increasingly vulnerable, internet-connected devices.
Are your team members all adhering to security best practices? Are they even aware of what these might be? Probably not. Attackers know this, and in 2020, they are set to take full advantage of it.
Protecting your business against evolving threats
Cyber threats are only going to become more sophisticated. And, as more and more of our business lives become reliant on cloud-based applications and internet-connected technologies, attackers have an increasing number of opportunities to steal or destroy our data.
Protecting your business against these evolving threats has never been more important. Anti-virus software, 24-hour network monitoring, staff education, and other security measures are no longer optional ‘nice-to-haves.’ If your company is to survive, cybersecurity must be a top priority.