THE YEAR 2019 was an intense one for cybersecurity. The digital community witnessed some of history's worst security incidents. Internet restrictions and shutdowns became the new norm for some governments as a way to strengthen their authority. However, even though last year was not easy, the media brought cybersecurity into the spotlight. In fact, thanks to various news outlets, consumers, CEOs, and influential decisionmakers were forced to hear more about digital literacy. Now, it is up to them to learn the lesson and get prepared for new challenges.
From different hacker motivations to advanced technological developments--these are the top six that made our New Year's security prediction list:
* Data breaches will continue making daily news headlines and will hit a new high. Last year saw a record number of cyberattacks; they grew by 33% compared to 2018. Now, health care is at risk of becoming the most-breached sector. These organizations deal with great amounts of sensitive data, but often fail to apply the latest security standards. Misconfigured databases and backups will be the leading reasons for successful hacker attacks. Hackers will get more creative, using complex social engineering techniques on potential victims. A significant increase in business email compromise and ransomware is predicted, too.
* New mobile malware trends will appear. Last year, it was Simjacker attacks taking advantage of a vulnerability found in SIM cards. In 2020, there definitely will be new techniques applied to steal data from handheld devices. For example, Rich Communication Services (RCS), the new messaging standard designed to replace SMS, is pretty easy to hack. Cybercriminals can exploit the technology to track users and compromise their location data. So, this year, we will hear more about RCS text messages and calls getting intercepted. The tendencies also show we will see a spike in mobile payment scams and frauds.
* Cybercriminals will use artificial intelligence to scale their attacks. For instance, the deepfake technology will be exploited in social engineering scams; 2019 saw the first noted instance of fraudsters using AI to mimic a voice in a scam. The audio deepfake was convincing enough to cheat a CEO out of $243,000...