Cybersecurity Today, 2020 and Beyond

Rizwan Hafeez, Managing Director, Information Technology, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Rizwan Hafeez, Managing Director, Information Technology, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Rizwan Hafeez, Managing Director, Information Technology, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems, networks, and software programs from digital attacks. These cyber-attacks are usually aimed at gaining, accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information, often extorting money from users and disrupting business processes and operations.

Today in 2019, Ransomware attacks have increased and costing victims billions of dollars. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated and able to deploy technologies to literally kidnap an individual or organization assets and hold the information for ransom. A hacker then asks for various forms of cryptocurrencies to protect their anonymity. Simultaneously, attacks on cryptocurrency holders and miners are on the rise in 2019. For miners, there are an increasing incidents where the hacker will overtake the majority of their computing power and cause serious performance issues.

Another threat that’s on the rise today is the connected cars and semi-autonomous cars. Most connected cars use tethering functions via the smart phones but by the end of 2020, 90% of the new cars will be connected to the internet. Hackers will use those vehicles to exploit vulnerabilities and steal sensitive data - additionally hackers could cause serious safety issues.

Today, implementing effective cybersecurity measures are particularly challenging because there are more devices than people, and hackers are becoming more sophisticated as well. Individual and organization needs to look at their cybersecurity through a layered approach for effective defense.

  ​Organization and Information Security professionals must understand major security trends to continue practicing strong planning and execution of security in 2020 and beyond   

What’s the Cybersecurity layered approach?

Many think of a cybersecurity layered approach in terms of technology/tools. But the most effective cybersecurity protection is to have a strategy around people, process and technology/tools combined. Hackers typically go through these layers to penetrate across the computer systems, networks and software programs to exploit individuals, companies and businesses. A proper awareness and controls are needed at all these layers for best defense.

People must understand weather at home or at an office, basic data security principles like choosing strong passwords, being aware of attachments in an email from unknown recipients, always locking devices while unattended, sensitive sites like banking and or medical should never be used on public devices. Lastly, be aware of social sites for anonymous friend requests as hackers then can gain valuable information about your background and extort that information against you.

There needs to be a strong adherence to process and how to deal with both attempted and cyber-attack breaches. A set of security-related processes clarifies on identifying attacks, protecting systems, detecting and responding to threats.

Technology/Tools are a must to give individuals and organizations the security needed to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. Three main entities must be protected from technology perspective: computers, smart devices and networks. Solutions such as installing firewalls, DNS filtering mechanisms and antivirus software are the best tools for preventing attacks.

Why Cybersecurity is getting more critical in 2020 and beyond?

While the “Internet of Things” (IoT) has allowed individuals and organizations to be more connected, it has opened up a host of security concerns and anxieties for IT and Business Leaders, according to a new report from ForeScout and Forrester. Moreover, lots of IoT device manufactures are smaller firms that lack proper security testing for all different permutations that exist, especially when a consumer uses those devices at their homes, businesses and or public places. By the end of 2020, 200 Billion IoT devices will be in use according to Intel.

Per Gartner report, “By 2020, the backup and archiving of personal data will represent the largest area of privacy risk for 70% of organizations, up from 10% in 2018”.

According to another Gartner report, “By 2020 100% of large enterprises will be asked to report to their board of directors on cybersecurity and technology risks, up from 40% today in 2019”

Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that cybercrime will cost the world, $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. This represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history, risks the incentives for innovation and investment, and will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined.

Cisco confirmed that cloud data center traffic will represent 95 percent of total data center traffic by 2021. Or to put it another way – cloud computing will wipe out data centers altogether over the next 3-4 years.

Conclusion:

While consumers and businesses are becoming more autonomous and connected, it’s opening up more end-points for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities moving ahead. Cybercrime is continuously on a rise year-over-year along with state sponsored hacking activities in all cybersecurity layers.

Organization and Information Security professionals must understand major security trends to continue practicing strong planning and execution of security in 2020 and beyond.

How these changes will impact the world and businesses, makes human augmentation one of Gartner’s top 10 strategic technology trends that will drive significant disruption and opportunity over the next 5 to 10 years within the cybersecurity landscape.

See Also:

Top Cybersecurity Companies

 

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