2020: 5 Key Cybersecurity Trends

2020.pngESET’s expert predictions on the key cybersecurity challenges that are expected to impact consumers and businesses in 2020 and beyond:

#1: The fog of fake news thickens
The term “fake news” rose to fame thanks to the outcry surrounding the manipulation of information in the 2016 US election, and this will doubtless be a topic of controversy again in light of the election campaigns in 2020. Despite Facebook being fined $5bn this year for their role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, ESET Global Security Evangelist Tony Anscombe predicts that, “Be it disinformation or propaganda, the weaponization of information is set to continue.”

#2: Machine learning: Creating security or attacking it?
Machine learning (ML) is making headway as one of the most exciting technological developments in history. Although this presents novel possibilities for the cybersecurity industry, cyber criminals will also make use of ML to increase the scale and complexity of their attacks. One attack technique that utilizes ML is deepfakes, and Jake Moore, ESET security specialist, sees that 2020 will witness an increase in cybercriminals’ use of the technology. “Deepfakes are increasing in quality at an impressive rate,” he writes. “The future could lead to this technology being used to damage public figures by making them appear to say whatever the creator wants.”  

#3: Data privacy: Time for a sea change
While we’ve seen quite a few countries implement new or expanded breach notification laws in 2019, the sense of distrust surrounding the use of personal data has remained omnipresent. In the view of Lysa Myers, ESET senior security researcher, until privacy violation fines get stricter, this problem will not go away. Lysa advises that in order to maximize their chances of success going forward, businesses should aim to retain full functionality while respecting privacy.

Trend #4: Smart and insecure cities?
While more than 80% of today’s new buildings incorporate at least an element of IoT, many smart devices and systems do not have strong authentication systems, or are not protected with any kind of security solution at all. For ESET Security Researcher Cecilia Pastorino, malware attacks on smart cities are a critical issue. Cecilia explains, “Although the systems used by smart buildings and cities do not browse the web or open email, they still need to protect themselves against malware.”

Trend #5: Digital transformation
One particular trend that is threatening organizations is the growth of employee mobility. ESET Senior Security Researcher Camilo Gutiérrez Amaya highlights the growth of technologies such as cloud computing, 5G, and mobile platforms as bringing new security considerations. He says, “Our ability to stay connected to networks, regardless of where we are, keeps increasing organizations’ attack surfaces and exposure to risk … companies’ ever-increasing speed of adoption of mobile technology often occurs without due consideration of security.”


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