First of all, if you’re new to this term- cyber attack is malicious act by a hacker. This can be for several reasons- defame your business or brand, steal or destroy data, fraudulent activities, spying, ransom, etc.
Cyber threats, on the other hand, refer to the weakness or vulnerabilities that might invite damage to your business. Hackers use vulnerabilities in systems and devices to steal information or paralyze the device itself.
The words- cyber threats and cyber security threats are one and the same thing.
When it comes to business, cyber security is of utmost important because with the advent of automation technology (which includes data driven technology like Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning), protecting data becomes really necessary. Data is now the new oil. Businesses heavily rely on it. Data enables innovation, expansion of business, retaining and gaining customers, etc.
If you believe your business is completely safe from cyber threats, think again. No firewalls or anti-virus software can provide complete protection from cyber attacks. Cyber threats are going to rise in 2020 because hackers are becoming more advance and ruthless. Cyber security must be taken seriously for business survival; Ignorance can lead to huge business loss! In fact, the biggest cyber threat is Ignorance itself.
An example to highlight the severity of cyber attack is of Yahoo! that is the victim to the biggest data breach till date- 3 Billion accounts were hacked in 2016.
Another example– The Equifax Breach in 2017 affected 147.9 million consumers. It costed the company a total of $4 billion in total.
So, what are the 6 biggest security threats that are going to adversely affect businesses in 2020?
6 Biggest cyber threats to business in 2020-
Have you ever suspected receiving a lot of mails from unknown sources? Well, your intuitions might be right because that email could be a phishing attack.
Phishing was and will remain to be a great threat to businesses because it is an effective and cheap way for hackers to steal information or gain access to confidential and sensitive details.
What is PHISHING?
Phishing attacks are those attack where the attacker generates a fraudulent email, text, or website to trick a victim into submitting sensitive information—such as login credentials for work, passwords to online accounts, credit card info, etc.
They use this information later to gain access to confidential business information and/or steal it for monitory benefits.
“Paise do, data lo” (that is- pay money to get your data back) is what hackers croon when they hide (or steal) your data and paralyze your business.
Ransomware attack is like a nightmare to a business because it’s invaluable data, reputation and money is at stake- where one of these is compromised to protect the others.
A legit reason why Ransomware attack will continue to be a huge threat for business in 2020 is that they have money and reason to pay ransom.
What is Ransomware attack?
Ransomware attack refers to the attack where the attacker infects the target’s system with a piece of malware that encrypts all of their data. Then the hacker threatens to delete the target’s valuable information unless they pay a ransom.
In 2020, ransomware is no less grave a threat than it ever was. Every day, businesses face the risk of encryption malware making its way into their systems and destroying their data. Ransomware attack on business is growing exponentially.
Well, for a problem so grave, our only suggestion is stay aware, secure and contact an expert for consultation on Ransomware protection and Data Recovery.
Moving to third big danger in the cyber world 2020 which is,
3. IoT-based Attacks
Internet of Things (IoT) is another fancy term in the technology of the 4Th industrial revolution and everyone- individuals to businesses- are taking its advantage to the best. But is anyone even aware about the security issues that come along with this technology?
The problem is that not all of these smart devices have strong security installed—creating opportunities for attackers to hijack these devices to infiltrate business networks.
What is IoT- Based attack?
An IoT attack is any cyber attack that leverages a target’s use of internet-connected smart devices to infuse malware onto a network. These devices includes Wi-Fi enabled speakers, appliances, alarm clocks, and many more.
IoT devices are an easy attack vector as this is a new technology.
4. Internal Threats
“Ghar ka bhedi Lanka dhaye” is an Indian proverb that perfectly fits this business threat that has the potential to jeopardize any business.
One of the biggest cyber threats faced by any business is its own employees. The privilege of having internal access to systems enable them to impair it or steal data for their personal benefit. Or, they may accidentally download malware onto their workstations. Either way, the biggest risk to any cyber security architecture is from the employees who use network resources on a daily basis.
Why should a business fear internal attacks?
Insider attacks remain one of the biggest cyber threats because they have an enormous potential to cause damage. Additionally, these attacks can be hard to predict and prevent without thorough preparation.
How can you thwart or at least control it?
Through continuous monitoring of all systems and users accessing it we can identify suspicious or unusual activities indicating a possible security breach. A business should leverage a complete 360 Protection for continuous monitoring, auditing, managing and analysing the security status of the organisation.
5. Social Engineering and Deepfake
Social engineering using deepfake, or both of them independently, can a be huge threat in the coming decade. A big reason for apprehension is that they are often unsuspected and are realized only after the harm is done.
The reason why the terms are used together is because both of them can be combined into one big threat.
What is Social Engineering?
Social Engineering is a way by which hackers manipulates people emotionally into performing impulsive actions like- disclosing sensitive information. Hackers use this technique to collect critical information of a business from its employees by creating a sense of emergency, fear, threat or any other psychological manipulation. They use this information later for performing malicious attacks.
What is Deepfake?
This article mentioned AI and Machine Learning right in the beginning as a catalyst for cyber attacks and so is for Deepfake. Clearing the air, AI is not the culprit- it is still the hackers who are exploiting this innovative technology.
What is Deepfake? Deepfake are media that take a person in an existing image or video and replace them with someone else’s physical appearance using artificial neural networks. They often use machine learning techniques to combine or cover existing media onto source media. Deepfakes have caught widespread attention for their uses in fake news, rumors, financial frauds, etc.
It is definitely a big threat for any business because there have been a few cases of attackers using AI tools to fake the voices of CEOs to trick workers into transferring money to their accounts.
6. Cloud-based Attack
Cloud-based attack is a potential third-party vulnerability. Companies must consider cloud security important even though it can be, an often is a secured environment.
83% of enterprise workload will move to the cloud by the year 2020.
Third parties such as vendors and contractors pose a huge risk to corporations, the majority of which have no secure system or dedicated team in place to manage these third-party employees.
As cyber criminals become increasingly sophisticated and cybersecurity threats continue to rise, organizations need to become more and more aware of the potential risk third parties pose. Wendy’s fell victim to A data breach affected at least 1,000 of Wendy’s locations several years ago. It was caused by a third-party vendor that had been hacked.
One important thing to remember is that most security risks exist because of ignorance on individual- level : Managers using weak passwords; the software patch that should have been deployed months ago; and that badly configured cloud database. These are the things that need to be controlled. But it’s also crucial to become aware the cyber security risks for 2020 and be prepared.
You can’t build a firewall or deploy an anti-virus software against all future threats. But if you are aware of them them and plan in advance, you will be more secured than not.
We can help you secure your business against future cyber threats with our advanced cyber security services.