Top Security Predictions for 2020?

The cyber security firm WatchGuard Threat Lab recently issued a report with its predictions of the top cyber-attacks that companies worldwide will see this year. The report also included many tips for preventing and dealing with cyber-attacks. Finally, it focused on cyber-attacks and the 2020 US Presidential elections.

Ransomware Tops the List

It is no surprise that the report lists the biggest cyber security threat of 2020 as ransomware. Ransomware is a malware that prevents victims from accessing their data, or threatens to publish the victims’ data. It uses this threat to pressure victims to pay ransom. Some simple ransomware locks the victim’s computer system.  However, more advanced malware uses techniques like cryptoviral extortion that encrypts the files of the victim and makes them inaccessible.

The use of ransomware attacks has increased worldwide since 2012.  There were over 181.5 million ransomware attacks in first six months of 2018 alone. Now, ransomware has become a billion-dollar industry.  The report considered cloud storage as a likely major target for ransomware in the coming year.

Last year, we saw ransomware targeting industries that could not afford downtime, like local and state governments, healthcare, and industrial control systems. This year, the report predicts a shift to targeting cloud-based assets like S3 buckets, virtual environments and file stores.

Hackers to attack state and local voter databases

With the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential elections, hackers will likely try to target local as well as state voter databases in order to create havoc and disruptions in the electoral process.

The report also suggested that hackers will seek new vulnerabilities in the 5G/Wi-Fi handover in order to access the data of 5G mobile phones.

Regardless of whether the predictions are true, it is clear that hackers— like all criminals – become increasingly smarter and more sophisticated as time goes on.  This demands constant security improvements on the part of society as a whole.


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Ronald K. Noble is the founder of RKN Global and currently serves as one of its principal consultants.