TechGuard Blog

New Year, New Threat Landscape: What to Expect in 2020

It’s no surprise that 2019 was an extremely turbulent year for data breaches, cybersecurity and overall privacy threats. Many businesses, big and small, learned the hard way about how critical it is to have a well-designed and secured cybersecurity plan in place to protect their most important and sensitive data. However, there are still a large number of businesses that don’t see the need or importance of an implemented cybersecurity approach in their own workplace. Privacy breaches, leaks and misuse of data will never cease therefore neither should protecting your most sensitive data and/or personal information.

Because of the vast increase of said attacks, companies have been forced to reevaluate their data privacy and security as they’ve learned from past incidents. It’s vital for companies (and individuals) to proactively research where cybersecurity threats may exist in the future and how they can prepare. A lot of companies are turning to certain technologies like AI and machine learning to play a much bigger role in their threat detection. And with all the privacy threats occurring, many have jumped on the “privacy bandwagon” and are becoming weary and skeptical of companies that claim they protect and value their users’ privacy as they say they do – but are they really? Privacy is becoming a heated topic in 2020.

It’s important as a company (and individual) to stay ahead of the cybersecurity threats and be more cautious by assessing the future threat landscape of 2020. It’s vital to be aware of potential threats and attacks that could happen to you or your business, so here are a few things to take into consideration this year:

Machine learning is on the rise - Machine Learning (ML) is simply the scientific study of algorithms and statistical models that computer systems use to perform a specific task without using explicit instructions, relying heavily on patterns instead. ML is often seen as a subcategory of artificial intelligence (AI). In other words, it has the innate ability to analyze patterns and use those findings to prevent future attacks. With machine learning and the fast evolution of the cyberthreat landscape, this technique will better (and quickly) identify and detect any suspicious files thus eliminating threats. These processes will search and scrub new and unfamiliar files and score their overall risk.

Small businesses are still the most vulnerable targets – Unfortunately, small businesses are always taking the hardest hits. Why? Because they believe themselves to be “too small” and “unnoticed,” which is the opposite of reality. Cybercriminals particularly target small to mid-size businesses primarily for this reason. They know all to well that these businesses don’t have the proper, executed plan in their efforts of data protection and cybersecurity. Due to the sizes of the businesses and depending on the size of the attack – there’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to stay in business. Also, because of the escalation of small business cyber attacks, 2020 will demand they implement much more strict and disciplined cybersecurity defenses. If you’re a small business owner and you’re reading this, now is a good time to revisit your cybersecurity game plan.

Privacy concerns continue to grow – Privacy concerns will continue to be a worry as we enter the new year and perhaps an even hotter topic than ever. The rise of the internet and social media avenues have come at a high price and that’s unfortunately our privacy. Tech companies will continue to push the envelope when it comes to consumer privacy boundaries as they try to collect, use and sell consumer data to increase their revenue. However, there are some companies like Brave, FigLeaf and Jumbo that are making major efforts in giving their customers the choice to be more private. We may also start seeing some data minimalism within the industry this year as many have grown weary of privacy concerns with their online presence. Another common trend we’ll see for 2020 is more consumers using VPNs, secured networks and browsers to keep their browsing history more private and their data secured.

As the year goes on, always be sure to keep cybersecurity as a number one priority – whether it’s business or personal. We must all do a better job at keeping our data and personal information safe and out of the hands of cybercriminals. The threat landscape will continue to be diverse and ever-evolving as the cyber world continues to grow, but if you’re proactive and staying ahead of it, you will find yourself in less hot water than someone who arrogantly thinks “it’ll never happen to me.” Don’t be that person. Have a safe and SECURE 2020!

Written by Allie Prange