The year 2020 is overcome with the COVID-19. But the virus isn’t the only threat to our security. 2020 is also set to revolutionize the world with advancements that will shape the future of lives and businesses, alike. We now have 5G and IoT to Artificial Intelligence, Cloud technology, and Machine Learning. These technologies will become an integral part of our daily lives in creating efficiency, saving time, reducing costs, and unlocking new opportunities.
Though this optimistic language is something you hear quite often (and it’s not untrue to a large degree), the more the world transforms towards a digital future, the higher the rise in threats of Cyberattacks.
Modern technology is set to increase the amount of data we create online, and protecting this data will be one of the defining arcs of this decade. From system security to network security, businesses will face challenges in optimizing their cybersecurity to prevent malicious attacks from being successful.
It is hard to prevent malicious attacks because these technologies are new, vulnerabilities are less known, scalability harder due to a lack of familiarity, thereby making all of these ambiguities an excellent target for bad actors to exploit.
So let’s take a look at some of these technologies, modern regulations in place, and what businesses can do to combat this threat with regards to their cybersecurity.
The Advent of 5G and It’s Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities
As 5G trials and roll-outs happen, we are entering a new era of communication and innovative consumer services. As the adoption of 5G will require companies and people to switch to all-software networks, the cycle of constant updates might result in security vulnerabilities.
These frequent updates are similar to the updates of smartphone software, but those about 5G networks can lead to security risks. Risks are something that early adopters will have to deal with since the number of 5G connected devices that send and receive information increases and remote access becomes much more commonplace, cybersecurity experts will have a huge challenge in front of them.
With increased users and use, expanding the bandwidth for 5G will present opportunities for experts looking to exploit these vulnerabilities. As enterprises and cities become 5G powered, the attack surface will become much larger, putting the burden on governments and private enterprises to pump up and revolutionize their security tools and strategies to safeguard their devices, networks, and applications against malicious attackers.
One problem that early adopters might face due to a lack of security infrastructure could be the authorization and identification of a 5G network. Access to the system can allow a significant threat to data and security, and perhaps these early users might adopt a stringent no-trust policy with regards to 5G network access.
Don’t Think Phishing Is Over
Though technology is evolving rapidly in the digital landscape, cybersecurity experts will have to deal with phishing attacks. These attacks are often targeted to penetrate a network or infect the users of the network itself.
Though phishing is a generally well-known attack, hackers and malicious actors are becoming smarter (thanks to technological evolution), and their attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated. So like 2019, security measures against Phishing will also be necessary for 2020 as well.
Exploits such as email phishing are hard to eliminate as a problem since you can’t really disable emails altogether, and hackers know that. Phishing is also an easier way to get inside a network as opposed to other modern hacks, such as exploiting a zero-day vulnerability.
Companies today have to always beware of these phishing emails since they only take one wrong click by someone with access to admin credentials on a network to open a backdoor that allows malicious actors to get in, take control, and corrupt the company’s network.
The problem that most experts face is that there is no one solution to stop phishing attacks from succeeding. At the end of the day, these attacks can boil down to a reckless click, human error, and lack of knowledge.
Blocking downloads without confirmation, assessing the email before opening any links directly, and using anti-malware and anti-spyware software to block or monitor potential malicious activities could help you mitigate the harm but not necessarily prevent it entirely.
A.I. and ML Based Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities Can’t be Ignored
As the Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence market grow, their application in different business operations, systems, and infrastructure will be a challenge to overcome. These technologies are incredibly resource-intensive and will require significant efforts to make them secure against potential attacks.
AI and ML-based devices and software have to be trained with the help of data, and experts will have to keep a keen eye on the kind of data that is being used. Data duping to corrupt the learning process of the Machine Learning algorithm can be injected to hamper the training process.
This can lead to the algorithm working seemingly fine but producing wrong results, which could, in the case of analytical products and applications, cost businesses millions of dollars.
How experts monitor and analyze the data will play a crucial part in the future of A.I and ML since the data set being used can be a security vulnerability that will have to be dealt with.
In the current climate, this is a less severe issue due to A.I and ML operating in specialized environments, but once businesses begin to scale these processes, there are bound to be vulnerabilities.
When processes such as threat analysis and data review become completely automated, malicious actors could exploit these processes to misguide companies and manipulate results without any obviously apparent problems. Furthermore, the technology itself can be used to discover new vulnerabilities, breakthrough security measures, and tools, and penetrate systems through the same algorithm that is being used to protect networks.
California Consumer Protection Act(CCPA) Is Now In Effect.
The California Consumer Privacy Act can be considered California’s GDPR. It became active from January 1, 2020, pushing the world of business in a new direction, with more accountability measures being ensured to re-establish the lost trust between consumers and companies. A company to client relationships in these cases was and still is dependent on the sharing of personal information for better and more targeted services, something that lawmakers think has been misused.
The bill established new consumer rights relating to the access, deletion, and sharing of personal information that businesses collect from their users. If your business is collecting user information, under CCPA, your business has to provide a reason as to why you’re collecting this information, what this information is, how you will use this information, and guide users through the process of deleting that information from your database, if they choose to do so.
The concerns with regards to cybersecurity and data protection became news after the claim of Huawei’s 5g technology being a possible threat of the security that resulted in the US government banning all US businesses from dealing with the Chinese tech giants.
In such a world, the burden on Tech companies to ensure maximum data protection came into a significant highlight, with more and more people pushing for stricter regulations and demanding accountability from service providers to ensure that the data of their customers are in safe hands.
The CCPA enforces businesses to implement a process that allows them to obtain the consent of a parent or a guardian and the minor if they’re between the age of 13 and 16 to collect and share their data for the business’ purposes.
This comes with the additional “Right to Say No to Sale of Personal Information” which is to be provided through a web link on the homepage of a business’ website that redirects users to a page where they can opt-out their consent protecting their data and personal information from being sold by the business legally.
Businesses and Companies are required to update their respective privacy policies with the newly required information, including but not limited to the description of California residents’ rights
While these are the more straightforward laws that are placed within the CCPA to ensure privacy protection and data protection, another measure the CCPA takes is to ask businesses to avoid sending opt-in requests to residents who have opted out of the option for a period of 12 months.
The used terminology, which is “avoid” while does leave a gray area for businesses to use, it takes into account that business activities mainly revolve around data gathering, in the absence of which companies cannot promote specific deals or show ads, for which a 12 month mandatory waiting period could be detrimental to the functioning of the business.
The power of GDPR can be seen through the European Union’s 1.5 Billion Euro fine for anti-trust AdSense advertising. This fine, which was levied in 2019, brought the overall EU anti-trust bill to 8.2 Billion Euros. GDPR expects companies to use data responsibly and its breach weighs significant financial damage to businesses, creating a force that ensures that companies adopt the best data protection, regulation, and use policies.
CCPA is a similar force, being in effect from the beginning of the year. It expects businesses in California to adopt the best security practices and comply with the regulations set to protect consumers.
For businesses based in California, transitioning to CCPA compliance is crucial, and it has to be done as soon as possible, to limit the potential fines that might be coming their way. For businesses that are not California-based, planning to make this change and implementing it is also crucial. It’s likely that other states such as New York will most likely adopt their own version of the CCPA, even if it is not adopted by the Federal government.
Hiring security specialists, focusing on compliance, and devoting resources to ensure that there is a successful transition to a post-CCPA world is something that businesses in 2020 should be looking towards.
Microsoft and Linux – The future is Cloud
The future of Windows seems to be shifting towards a cloud-based platform. Cloud PCs will work similarly to how other cloud-based platforms and services work. Most likely, users will have to pay a subscription to gain access to a pre-set app bundle to run on the PC.
What makes Microsoft more interesting is their adoption of Linux and transitioning towards a Linux-based operating system.
Sounds confusing, right? Well, you need to grasp hold of it if you are planning to continue using any resources from Microsoft shortly.
The future of Windows might stay the same on the front-end, with cloud-based PCs providing a similar UI to the Windows OS we’ve grown up accustomed to, but on the back-end, Microsoft might deploy a full-Linux setup.
A fulltime Linux setup is happening because most VMs are now running on Linux iterations. Even Microsoft Azure has around 40% of its machines running on Linux at the moment.
There are a few substantial benefits of using on the Back-end, especially for businesses. Here are the benefits:
- Migration from an older PC to a new one, its updates, and patches will become easier than before. The service will upgrade the hardware, take care of the updates and release them directly, and deal with migration
- For businesses, Linux is a much better platform for security. Linux is a safer platform for storing sensitive data with only the admins having the root access, helping keeping system vulnerabilities in check.
- The service is more likely to adopt a more robust security system than you would on your own hardware, which means that you will gain access to enterprise-grade security, helping you combat the rising threat of cyber-attacks.
For businesses, it is imperative to start investing in robust security infrastructure, and at Tekrevol, we’re trying our hand with some as well.
From a security standpoint, Linux is key to OS in the next decade. If you too have a wide range of OS applicability critical to your internal systems, you really need to know how Linux can make your security more concrete.
How Will Cybersecurity Trends Impact Business strategy?
According to one study by Accenture, 68% of business leaders think that there is an increased risk of a cyber-attack on their business. The year 2020 will be one where tackling these threats will become a primary focus of business leaders and entrepreneurs.
Combating this problem will require these leaders to acquire more knowledge, skills, and tools to improve their organization’s security protocols. Protocols includes network protection and data protection against possible breaches.
We can expect an increased demand for network security specialists, ML design security specialists, and system security experts. In general, the demand for security specialists across technologies will also increase.
Businesses will have to incorporate new risk assessment models for technologies such as IoT, 5G, and AI-based products.
According to Gartner’s press release, cybersecurity risk is one of the top concerns that chief audit executives have with regards to their businesses.
In 2020, businesses will come to a tipping point where they will either develop strategies and technologies that help combat the risk of cyber vulnerability, or the lack of evolution will hurt their performance in the market.
Similarly, one can foresee big corporations acquiring digital security startups for record-high acquisitions to keep up with this rising threat.
How businesses achieve compliance with government regulations and establish strict security protocols with regards to modern tech will define their success in the year 2020. So, if you’re a business owner looking to scale, transferring your focus towards establishing a robust security infrastructure has to be a central part of your business strategy.
Wrapping Things Up:
The future is digital, there is no denying it but simply focusing on the possible benefits isn’t going to cut it. For businesses, it is crucial to realize their responsibility towards consumers and take the necessary steps to ensure data protection and other cybersecurity avenues.
It is also vital for them to focus strongly on the security of their own platforms, services, and products to ensure that the adoption of modern technology drives positive results. The technologies we’ve talked about have great potential, but the journey into the world of technology requires avid preparation to ensure security and safety.
Businesses today have to invest more into optimizing their security, create new strategies, implement new infrastructure, and leverage modern tools to ensure that they are ahead of the and ready to fight any cyber-threats that may come their way.