Written in partnership with The George Washington University.
In May 2019, a hacker broke into the profile database of Canva and gained access to the personal information of up to 139 million users. It ended up being one of the largest data breaches in recent history.
Luckily, Canva detected the attack in progress
and was immediately able to stop it. Still, the incident served as a stark
reminder of the everyday dangers that confront organizations and consumers.
In fact, 2019 saw many other high-profile
attacks from individuals and groups employing an evolving array of tactics to
compromise systems. For example:
- In May, hackers installed
surveillance tools on the phones of WhatsApp users.
- A June breach of a U.S. Customs
and Border Protection database compromised images of up to 100,000 travelers’
faces and license plates.
- In the same month, a third-party
data breach of a billing collections agency working with Quest Diagnostics
exposed credit card information and social security numbers for almost 12
- More than 40 cities across the
country suffered ransomware attacks, costing millions
in payments and recovery efforts.
In this environment, it’s no surprise that
U.S. CEOs rated cybersecurity as their top external concern in a survey conducted by
the Conference Board. Those worries are unlikely to fade anytime soon, but 2020
also brings fresh opportunities for proactive measures to secure sensitive
information. Here’s what you need to know about the trends that are currently
emerging in cybersecurity and how you can make a difference in the future of
Striving to Minimize the Cost of
One reason why fending off data breaches is a
top priority for leaders across industries is that these incidents are becoming
more expensive. A 2019 study from IBM Security found that the cost of resolving
a hack rose by 12% over the previous five years. On average,
an organization spends nearly $4 million addressing the impact of compromised
systems—which may take years—and complying with all relevant regulations.
However, extensive preparation can greatly
reduce those losses. According to the IBM report, businesses that created
incident response teams and thoroughly tested their procedures saved more than
$1 million in the event of a breach.
In 2020, many decision-makers will be
interested in developing and updating strategies that make it possible to identify
attacks early and take decisive action. Cybersecurity leaders who have a
thorough understanding of relevant laws, situational awareness procedures and
enterprise-wide data protection are vital to these initiatives.
Deploying Predictive Analytics to
Spot Dangers Faster
Increasingly robust analytics tools allow
organizations to harness big data for an ever-growing variety of purposes. With
each passing year, companies use statistical models and machine learning
algorithms in a broader range of strategic decisions, including in
cybersecurity. Analytics offers the means to bolster a system’s defenses by
identifying suspicious patterns of user behavior and anticipating changing
By keeping up with the latest data-driven
approaches, cybersecurity professionals gain a leg up in fending off intrusions
and isolating infected systems. For example, machine learning can make threat detection more efficient with
automated processes to evaluate anomalies. This decision-making capability
reduces the statistical noise that otherwise results in an endless stream of
alerts for technicians. When cybersecurity experts are distracted by fewer
false positives, they have the time to focus on significant issues like
analyzing cyber incident forensics.
There’s enormous potential for developing
security measures capable of defeating the next wave of breaches and hacks
through predictive analytics. Through data-collection and sophisticated machine
learning algorithms, security professionals can model likely attacks and take
appropriate precautions. As threat intelligence increases in depth and
accuracy, teams will be better prepared to anticipate breaches, fortify
defenses and isolate anomalies before they can do any harm.
Locking Down Vulnerabilities in
the Internet of Things
While the internet of things (IoT) has been
the subject of hype for a decade, these systems are truly poised to take off
with the implementation of 5G networks in 2020. The new generation of cellular
technology will allow devices to achieve data speeds up to 100 times faster
than possible with 4G while also offering more responsive, low-latency
connections. Those capabilities could revolutionize IoT applications like
monitoring productivity in manufacturing facilities, monitoring building-wide
energy use and tracking healthcare information with wearable devices.
Even as organizations embrace the possibilities
offered by a more connected world, leaders must also consider how to keep this
wealth of data safe. Managing and monitoring connected devices will present new
problems for organizations that have been structured around the requirements of
traditional IT. That means forward-looking policies and practices are crucial
to take full advantage of a rapidly expanding IoT.
The National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, issued a June
2019 report discussing the potential for exploitation presented by the IoT
and recommending steps to mitigate those risks. Meeting these challenges by
establishing an effective framework for 5G IoT adoption will be a major goal
for cybersecurity professionals in 2020. According to the NIST, organizations
should plan to:
- Maintain the security of IoT
devices so they can’t be used for attacks
- Guard the data that’s gathered,
stored, processed, transmitted or received on devices
- Protect individuals’ privacy when
devices are used to handle personally identifiable information
Seeking More Cybersecurity
In this constantly changing technological
landscape, demand continues to mount for experts who can anticipate the next
wave of threats and develop a unified approach to protect organizations. The
Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 32% increase in positions for
information security analysts between 2018 and 2028, more than six times the
average growth rate for all occupations.
Unfortunately, the exploding demand means that
many businesses struggle to find enough personnel with the knowledge to prevent
hacks or data breaches. Professionals must prepare to manage threats in a
landscape where 53% or IT professionals report a shortage of
cybersecurity skills. While the need for experts continues to outpace their
availability, cybersecurity experts can safeguard their organizations by
efficiently employing advanced software tools and identifying vulnerabilities
before they become crises.
Leaders need to combine technical understanding with agile strategy to take on the endless waves of threats that are sure to continue in 2020. An online master’s in cybersecurity can prepare you to set policy and enforce best practices that build up organizations’ resiliency for the next year and beyond.
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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from MixMode authored by Christian Wiens. Read the original post at: https://mixmode.ai/blog/what-trends-will-shape-the-cybersecurity-industry-in-2020/