Cybersecurity Trends in 2019

Cybersecurity Trends are a pressing topic in all companies regardless of the industry. It has become more important than ever to protect data from cyber threats as cyber incidents increase.

In 2018, the large number of high-profile data breaches and other security threats surprised the corporate worldJ uniper Research estimates that in the next five years the amount of data that cybercriminals steal will skyrocket by 175%. For businesses to minimize security threats, they must familiarize themselves with trends in the threat landscape, data protection technologies, and security-related regulations. Below are six current cybersecurity trends that you should watch out for.

1.   Targeted Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are the most persuasive cybersecurity threat. More and more users continue to fall prey to phishing as perpetrators continue to refine their game. Research conducted towards the end of 2018 suggested that phishing attacks increased to 297% last year. These cybersecurity trends will sweep to 2019, as many people are victims of hackers. Hackers find phishing to be lucrative and continue to bombard people with malware and ransomware threats appearing to come from familiar sources.

Forget about the poorly constructed phishing emails of the past. Today’s hackers have mastered the art of phishing and can create localized, geo-targeted and personalized phishing threats to unsuspecting people. In line with this, businesses need to implement comprehensive security awareness programs to guard themselves against phishing. They must help users identify suspicious phishing hooks even if it means devising phishing simulators that explain cybersecurity trends and patterns in phishing.

cybersecurity trends

2.   Cybercriminals aim at the cloud

More organizations are ditching on-site data centers for the cloud as a means of leveraging the latest technologies. However, as these cybersecurity trends continues to gain momentum, it is unclear who should be responsible for the integrity and safety of data on the cloud. It is the cloud provider or the business using the cloud?

Most organizations assume that data stored in the cloud is protected and safe from security threats. This is not always the case and as the migration from on-premises data centers to the cloud intensifies so are cybercrimes aimed at the cloud.

Cybercriminals are aiming at the cloud because it is more lucrative, and larger payments are guaranteed. Also, organizations are notorious for storing sensitive information like patient records and customers’ financial information on the cloud. In fact, 62% of small businesses use the cloud to store clients’ financial information.

These cybersecurity trends call for organizations and individuals using the cloud to devise cloud security solutions that protect their digital assets. Companies must make more investments in the cloud security and data protection using technologies such as data backup, encryption, and multi-factor authentication.

3.   Internet of Things (IoT) security will remain a challenge

It is estimated that by 2020, there will be 20 billion IoT devices connected to the internet. Most of these devices will be the day to day appliances such as smart watches, smart locks, security cameras, and coffee machines. Regrettably, many of these IoT devices have little or no in-built security mechanisms making them a target for hackers.

In 2017, there were 50,000 cyber-attacks targeting IoT devices. This is around 600% increase from 2016. Hackers can use unsecured IoT devices to create large botnets. To curb the risk of IoT-based cyber-attacks, IoT devices must incorporate security in their design.

4.   Operationalizing GDPR

The general data protection regulation (GDPR) obliges businesses in the EU to protect the personal data of all EU citizens. In the case of data breaches, companies should report them promptly. Businesses that do not adhere to the regulations will have high penalties. Adhering to the GDPR is an onerous duty for many enterprises because of its large scope on what constitutes personal data.

In other words, an Ovum report on businesses views on GDPR reveals that two-thirds of businesses will craft their procedures and protocols to become compliant. It also shows that half of the businesses will be penalized for non-compliance. With the GDPR in operation, it is probable that new local, regional and international laws will be enacted to legislate how companies manage personal data.

Businesses operating in the US will have to adopt a proactive approach to data privacy to protect against internal and external threats. A high level of uncertainty exists in the US as people wonder whether 2019 will be the year the US implements a comprehensive federal privacy law.

5.   Attackers will get smarter

The increase is cybercrimes means that attackers are getting smarter and outdoing cybersecurity professionals. In addition, attackers and cybercriminals are projected to become more organized and commercialized and even have call centers in worst cases. They are likely to establish their operations in countries without established laws on cybercrime. And where cybercrime is a crime. The cybercriminals will be positioning themselves outside the victim’s jurisdictions. Also, to prevent going unnoticed, cybercriminals will execute weaker and slower attacks.

6.   User awareness

Enterprises are acknowledging that no matter how good their security measures are if they don’t create awareness on security issues among users, it is worthless. For example, in most scenarios, users are the frailest link in the security chain. Businesses must assess their security chain to identify any potential risk that emanates from users. This may include any risk originating from a sophisticated phishing scam or a user’s lack of awareness when performing a role and hence culminating in data loss or regulatory violation.

In other words, in 2019 and beyond, it is essential for enterprises to roll out user awareness training to sensitize and empower users on IT security issues. To clarify, if users don’t take responsibility for corporate IT security, even the next-gen security measures are useless. For instance, if users use workplace devices for personal browsing. Or download unapproved apps. And data and share sensitive business information. Even the best in class security measures can’t protect against threats. So, consequently, must take an active role. And to solicit users to take responsibility for their security.

Therefore, the cybersecurity landscape is changing gradually. However, as cybercriminals devise ways to target firms and individuals and cybersecurity professionals strive to keep up with defenses. Targeted phishing attacks, user awareness, and attackers getting smarter are among the current cybersecurity trends.

Contact Kiuwan for tools and know-how that will help you stay safe on the internet.

 

If you want to know more about cybersecurity in 2019, these are the conclusions of CISCO: