If you’re operating a business in 2020, best believe you’re a target for the thousands of hackers monitoring the World Wide Web. We’re all a part of the global Internet these days, and you can never be truly offline. There are dozens of advanced security threats out there that even the best security software 2020 might not be able to fully stop.
The list of threats includes ransomware, phishing, cloud hijacking, Wi-Fi vulnerabilities, AI, mobile-specific malware, and more. Let us take a quick look so that you can familiarize yourself with the ones which are likely to touch this year.
Threat Are There
Right now, the criminals are working on new, more advanced types of attacks that will mostly target small and medium-sized businesses. On top of that, the focus is switching from Windows-run systems to Linux and even cloud systems. As for the weakest link in any company’s security line, the experts are saying that it’s the human factor. However, it is evident that there is always an outside threat waiting behind a digital corner. It is all connected.
This is a specific type of malware that can encrypt sensitive data on any device and block access to thousands of files, folders, and apps. Hackers demand a ransom for the decryption key (usually in Bitcoins). Downtime and recovery costs are usually quite high. The Dark Web is full of cheap ransomware kits, which is why in recent years, the number of successful ransomware attacks saw a dramatic spike.
Statistically, ~80% of the successful cyber-attacks last year were in some way related to phishing. Why is that? The answer is simple: just like ransomware, phishing targets the staff – regular people – and steals passwords, logins, and other types of credentials. All it takes to get infected is to follow a malicious URL link or to open an email attachment. Even if you have the best security solution, phishing can steal the login/password and get access.
Until recently, secure cloud storage used to be impenetrable. However, in 2020, criminals found a way to attack these “last resort” systems. They use third-party libraries to hide their malicious software and thus get access to high-profile corporate data. By “get access” we mean they take full control, monitor, and even make changes that the owners of the cloud storage centers might not even notice.
Remote Worker Security
People that work from home or any other place outside of the office don’t take security threats seriously. They believe that if the company’s data centers are well-protected, that means the data is 100% safe. Well, that’s not really true, and hackers use this to their advantage.
Another problem is the never-stopping transition from desktop computers to mobile phones. People are storing more and more sensitive information on their gadgets (Smartphones and tablets). The issue here is that mobile-specific malware hasn’t yet been properly studied by the leading security solution providers.
Wi-Fi Network Vulnerabilities
While 5G is in the center of attention right now, Wi-Fi is still one of the most popular networking technologies out there. Sadly, it’s also one of the least secure ones. That’s especially true for public networks (airports, cafes, and such) that office workers like to connect to during their work breaks. True, Wi-Fi 6 isn’t as weak against outside attacks as the previous version, but, still, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
AI has proven to be quite resourceful and capable as a protection tool. It successfully scans entire systems for vulnerabilities and fixes network flaws. The bad news is – the cybercriminals have found ways to use this to their advantage. For example, they employ AI and ML (Machine Learning) to find security holes and exploit them.
On the bright side, the latest developments in AI and ML implement real-time scanning. This prevents hackers from taking over and causing damage on a large scale.
Many leading international corporations are slowly moving towards biometrics. The common misconception is that this is a far more secure authentication system. The truth is – while eye, face, and fingerprint scans are, indeed, quite reliable, the same can’t be said about security tokens. That’s right: all that data (the biometrics) are encoded and stolen on specific devices.
For criminals, it’s easier to target these tokens, as a successful hack will grant them access to the user’s IT environment and, potentially, large chunks of corporate (and sensitive) data.