While bigger and more serious issues, like a global pandemic, have stolen the headlines for the bulk of 2020, cyber criminals haven’t let their foot off the gas pedal. If anything, they’ve ramped up their attacks in a time when many businesses and individuals are more vulnerable than ever. In response, the cybersecurity industry has been forced to adapt and improve with tremendous speed and precision.
6 Trends to Keep an Eye On
While much of the transformation has occurred below the radar, the cybersecurity industry has taken major strides through the first half of 2020. Here are a few of the top trends you should be aware of:
- Cybersecurity Professionals in High Demand
Skilled cybersecurity professionals have always been in short supply. And as the need for their services increases dramatically, so does the gap between supply and demand.
According to a recent report from Adobe, 40 percent of CIOs anticipate increasing headcount in their cybersecurity organizations compared to their original plans at the start of the year. This includes more people staffing help desks, providing support services, and helping execute cybersecurity defense strategies.
- Explosion of Smart Devices
Phones, cameras, fitness trackers, thermostats, energy meters, locks, lights…it feels like there’s a smart version of every tech product on the market! This democratization of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been exciting for brands and consumers, but it’s been even more exhilarating for cyber criminals who see this explosion of devices as a ripe opportunity to go after easy targets.
Smart device manufacturers must place an increased emphasis on native security, patches, and updates, lest they encounter serious legal issues as a result of cyber attacks. This will be the year that these companies finally tackle cybersecurity with the focus and energy the issue deserves.
- Remote Worker Vulnerabilities
With so many millions of employees working remotely, businesses are finding that it’s much more difficult to control device and network security. Security policies are being rewritten and updated on the fly. But even with these changes, it’s likely that we’ll end the year with an uptick in attacks on small and medium businesses.
- Increased Emphasis on Maritime Cybersecurity
The maritime industry is one of the oldest in the world. It’s also responsible for roughly 90 percent of world trade. This makes it an enticing target for cyberattacks.
In 2020, we’re seeing an increased focus on maritime cybersecurity, which is basically the collection of processes and safeguards designed to protect maritime organizations and their vessels in a cyber environment. The hope is that this increased emphasis will lead to better security at all levels, which will reduce the number of successful attacks carried out.
- Increase in Deepfakes
Deepfakes have been around for years. They’re often silly and innocent – like dubbing a B-list actor to say something he never said – but they have the potential to be much more serious. And as artificial intelligence and machine learning get smarter, the potential for serious deepfakes is becoming all the more real.
Just last year, we saw a CEO in the U.K. transfer a sum of $243,000 on verbal instructions from his boss. The problem was the instructions weren’t from his boss. They came from a scammer using a voice deepfake to steal nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Unfortunately, these types of scams will get worse before they get better.
- The Rise of 5G Security
You’ve heard all about 5G and how it’s going to completely revolutionize our society from the inside out. But what the bite-sized headlines don’t tell you is there will be serious telecommunications provider vulnerabilities and critical infrastructure risks.
The tricky part about 5G is that it features more communications towers within a close proximity. This increases the potential for a hacker to collect and track location data of users (among other things). And thanks to increases in interconnectivity via the IoT – particularly in the home – this data can then be used to show exactly what’s happening inside your home at any given time.
Rapid Evolution and Iteration
Few industries evolve faster than the cybersecurity space. The opposition is constantly changing its approach and using new tactics, so the rest of us have no approach but to continue iterating. As the current trends show, the industry is making a strong push towards a better and safer future for all.