As the year 2020 is about to dawn upon us, drawing 2019 to a close, we can’t help but think about staying on top of the game when it comes to cyber security. After all, it’s no trivial matter, especially considering that the world will see approximately 200 billion devices connected to the ever-growing internet. More devices means more data – more data means that more information exists, requiring increased protection.
These concerns come with constant innovation in the technology sector where advancements see new AI and biometrics systems, for example, integrated at every level of society. Cybersecurity needs in 2020 will push businesses and consumers to prevent compromising financial expenses, highly-sensitive data, and, equally important, customer trust.
Question the How and the Why
The basic questions we need to ask in order to conceptualize the needs for these cybersecurity trends range from whether attackers will want to target new biometrics and AI technologies, and how they carry out these attacks, to whether traditional forms of cyber attacking will continue to be their preferred method.
However, with innovation in technology, there’s usually innovation in cyber-attacks, which means that your cybersecurity will have to keep a few steps ahead of the game.
Seek to Fill Cyber Security Positions
The first thing that needs to be considered, on a macro level, is the current, serious lack of cybersecurity skills. This has serious implications when it comes to businesses, with a ripple effect for consumers. The lack of cybersecurity skills means that many companies, currently, lack in-house professionals to keep an eye on and work on maintaining a strong cybersecurity defence for their IT platforms.
With IT platforms being the ever-increasing medium for virtually every task in businesses, this shortage of expert skills is critically relevant to cybersecurity in 2020. This is of particular concern in the U.S., where statistics show that over 300, 000 cybersecurity positions remain vacant.
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Early Detection of Security Breaches
The lack of expert cybersecurity knowledge has direct repercussions for big businesses. Not staying ahead of attacks has shown that it takes an average of 197 days for companies to identify a data breach. The implications here are serious – by the time data has been lost, attackers have had their way and have caused irreparable damage.
More investment in research is required to learn more about and increase security operations staff who are well equipped with up-to-date security tools. Companies will have a better chance to efficiently detect and work to counter security incidents.
Invest in Digital/Cyber Literacy
Research and education into cybersecurity and how to best protect one’s own devices and data, and those of the company, needs to go beyond the cybersecurity professional or IT expert. Cyber literacy, or lack thereof, contributes to more than 90% of cybersecurity issues, according to London-based consultancy, Willis Towers Watson.
Human error, often stemming from being insufficiently informed about online best practices in terms of security, can go as far as to make investments into strong firewalls or threat mitigation tools irrelevant. 2020 calls for showing your employees that they are appreciated, and providing them with additional training so that they, too, will invest in the company’s cybersecurity.
Preventative Precautions against Identity Theft and Fraud
Individuals, both employees and consumers who are without adequate knowledge in cyber literacy, are at risk of identity theft and fraud which are emotionally and financially traumatic. As the United States’ fastest-growing financial crime, identity theft involves stealing an individual’s real personal data, like your date of birth and actual Social Security number to create numerous fake identities to obtain credit cards, for example, and walk away with hundreds of thousands in cash, services, or goods.
This is why a service like Number becomes an important asset for businesses, and individuals, to invest in 2020. Its service provides the most up-to-date, accurate information that it pulls from publicly-available data, allowing your business to know exactly who you’re dealing with, whether in terms of clients or employees.
It’s an added preventative security measure that significantly cuts the risk of both cybersecurity and real-life security attacks, like potential catfishing situations, for example. The added bonus is that, with Nuwber, you can also get in touch with old friends or lost connections with whom you’re having trouble reaching.
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Better Biometric Encryption
While biometric authentication adds an extra element of security and has seen a large rise in popularity, its innovative, non-traditional methods also mean that cyber attackers are resorting to innovative, novel methods of breaching cybersecurity and mining information.
What this means is that biometric data will require stronger, more robust encryption so that the assets that lie beyond the authentication wall remain secure – for your business, employees, and clients.
Make Email Security a Priority
Often, highly-sensitive information for companies and individuals lie within emails and their servers. While the overall cybersecurity of your business or personal device is important, 2020 will see a need to further bolster the security of email messages.
Unfortunately, this is often overlooked and can lead to serious damage, where phishing emails using malware can gain access to important information about you and your company – a phenomenon that has increased by 200% in 2019.
Rethink Cyber and Digital Security
In terms of cybersecurity, 2020 will require a reconceptualization as a whole. No longer is digital security just a technical problem that requires technical solutions to prevent and respond to, but it is fast becoming necessary to understand individual and group behaviour in this respect, too.
This helps with understanding how people interact with their devices and with technology in general and will provide insight into how sensitive data is approached and treated.
Secure Smaller Companies on the Digital Level
As bigger companies are, generally, known to have higher levels of digital security, 2020 will see an increase in cyber-attacks on smaller businesses. Judging from 2019 statistics, 61% of small businesses have reported some form of cyber-attack, according to the Hiscox Cyber Readiness report.
What this means for the small business is that cyber or digital insurance, at the least, has become a must – whether you’re running a sole e-commerce business or not.