Cyber-security is becoming a greater concern in 2020. The number of cyber-attacks has been elevated for quite some time. In 2018, there were 1,257 data breaches in the United States alone. This figure was about 25% lower than the number of data breaches from the previous year. However, it is important not to be lulled into a false sense of security with this statistic.

The reduction in the number of data breaches masks the growing severity of cyber-attacks in general. Although The number of data breaches dropped, the number of affected data records increased by 140%.

What does this suggest? The most likely explanation is that cyber-criminals were being more selective with their targets. They were going after fewer organizations that had larger sets of data to steal. This makes sense, because conducting any cyber-attack is going to be a substantial investment on their part. They would rather go after larger, more lucrative targets with inadequate data security than spread themselves thin by attacking lots of smaller organizations.

Many experts speculate that both data breaches and affected records will increase in the next year. The prevalence of data breaches is not the only thing that is changing. The nature and objectives of cyber-attacks is also evolving.

Organizations of all sizes need to understand the changing Cyber-security landscape in 2020. Developing contingency plans for cyber-attacks will be more important than ever. This illustrates why more companies are using services like cyber security by Eleet17.

Outlook for Cyber-security in the coming year

Experts are still debating the rate of acceleration of cyber-attacks. A lot of cyber-attacks go unreported, so it can be difficult to collect accurate data.

They are, however, developing a clearer understanding of the changes in cyber-attacks. Norton has shared some of the most pertinent changes to be aware of in 2020:

  • Many cyber-attacks will be politically driven. Politically motivated cyber-attacks are not unique to 2020. However, they are not a yearly occurrence. They come in cycles and tend to coincide with the United States presidential elections. They also occur during the midterm election years but happen at a much lower rate than they do during presidential election years.
  • More cyber-attacks will be used to misdirect artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence algorithms are far more dependent on machine learning these days. This creates both new opportunities and new risks. On the one hand, AI is higher quality, since it relies on larger data sets and evolves with new changes in the surrounding environment. Unfortunately, it also means that AI can be negatively impacted with bad data. Malicious parties can use cyber-attacks to manipulate artificial intelligence into making future bad decisions.
  • Deepfake technology is on the rise. A growing number of bad actors are using deepfake technology to spoof the voices of politicians, business leaders and celebrities. This is a different form of cyber-crime than most people are used to hearing about. Unfortunately, it is still a serious threat.
  • Synthetic identity fraud is a very new threat. Identity fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. It is used in conjunction with data breaches. However, not all forms of identity theft revolve around purely stolen data anymore. Hackers have developed a new type of crime known as synthetic identity fraud. They use some stolen credentials after committing a cyber-breach. However, they also use digital technology to create bogus credentials to supplement the genuine ones. This makes identity fraud even more affective.
  • Hackers are using artificial intelligence more than ever. Artificial intelligence is playing a major role in the execution of cyber-attacks. Savvy criminals are leaning on it even more than ever.

All of these factors are a growing concern for organizations of all sizes. They need to be diligent to protect themselves.

Organizations need to make a more concerted effort to stop cyber-attacks

Statistics on the growing scale of cybercrime are frightening. Unfortunately, the fear does not end there.

Another concern is how woefully unprepared many organizations are. One survey found that almost 75% of companies are not prepared to handle a major data breach.

The devastation of data breaches is also massive. Unfortunately, they tend to impact the most vulnerable companies the most. Around 60% of all small businesses that suffer a cyber-attack are forced to declare bankruptcy within six months.

This should be a major wake up call for businesses of all sizes. They can’t afford to take the risk of turning them back to the growing threat of cyber-crime.

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