Cybersecurity trends in 2020

The digital environment has become an integral part of the daily lives of people throughout the world, offering a myriad of advancements and options. However, in the digital landscape lurks many threats which undermine confidence in the digital society, and it is critical to safeguard networks and keep users safe from cyberattacks.

The Internet of Things (IoT) with the increasing use of smart devices ranging from health and fitness to homes and cities is fast becoming an integral part of everyday life. A futuristic economy and society dependeant on a wide spectrum of devices increase the attack surface and are alluring targets for cybercriminals. Against this backdrop, we examine the various cybersecurity trends predicted for 2020. 


Forming part of the ‘Internet of Medical Things’ (IoMT), personal medical devices such as insulin pumps, heart and glucose monitors, defibrillators and pacemakers are connected to the Internet. In addition to the health information generated by the devices that can be intercepted, researchers have identified these devices as having software vulnerabilities. They have demonstrated the potential of attacks launched on these products by targeting both individuals and entire product categories.

Vehicles and transport infrastructure

Vehicles and transport infrastructures are increasingly connected to the Internet due to the development of software and hardware platforms. Although these applications offer drivers more flexibility and functionality, and potentially more road safety, they are also more vulnerable to the exploitation of cyberattacks. Cyberattacks targeting transport will affect the safety of individual road users and may lead to the disruption of traffic and urban systems and networks previously only imagined in the movies.

Supply chains 

Smart supply chains increasingly use virtual warehousing and IoT automation with the greater goal of efficiency and lower costs, smart supply chains leveraging, robotics, and big data management. The implication is that this business model will considerably increase the financial risks, and potential disruptions of processes by cybercriminals.

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Despite current geopolitical and trade tensions, transport by sea is generally expected to grow. Ships are vulnerability to attacks in terms of navigation, port logistics and their computer network. The monitoring and understanding of modern maritime cybersecurity are essential as attacks can originate from both states and activist groups. 

Fintech, mobile banking, and eCommerce

Financial cyber-threats are critical since it would mean a direct monetary loss. Specifically, mobile banking Trojan viruses and cybercriminal groups targeting online payment processing systems have been identified by Kaspersky as future trends.

Corporate security

Kaspersky predicts that the most noteworthy cybersecurity trends for corporate security will include cloud incidents as the popularity of cloud services grows. Additionally, due to the growing need for online communication, email remains a top security concern in 2020. Specifically, cyber-blackmailing groups will be more active by extorting employees through leaked emails and passwords to provide personal records and data. 

Fileless attacks is one of the most common cybersecurity threats of 2020, according to Alun Baker, founder of cybersecurity startup Clario: “Many companies and consumers still assume most of their virtual threats will come from a malicious or infected file. But if they’re not equally prepared against fileless threats, they’re leaving themselves vulnerable to an increasingly common form of attack”. A fileless attack is a cyberattack that uses processes and programs that are already approved and installed on a device and bypass whitelisting. 

Another trend is that of creating deepfakes or authentic looking videos, photos or audio media that have been created using artificial intelligence. The technology studies data, such as speech patterns, facial features, and body movements, to help steal others’ identities. Kenny Trinh, Managing Editor of Netbooknews, indicates that hackers are creating videos of “CEOs asking employees to transfer money or give away other personal information” and “as this technology grows, it will become increasingly difficult to detect.”

5G security

Kaspersky experts warn against telecommunications providers’ vulnerabilities and critical infrastructure risks as 5G is predicted to revolutionise our society. Because of 5G’s short-range, more communications towers will be in closer proximity, which could increase the risk that someone could track the precise location of users. Moreover, service providers will have extensive access to large data sets sent by user devices with the increased interconnectivity expected of 5G. Through sensors and connected devices, the exact movements inside your home could be visible and ‘readable’ and wagered on the black market.

As new technology like blockchain and other emergent technologies become more common, they may undoubtedly change and even improve our lives, but will also present major security challenges.


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