Cybersecurity: The Top 5 Expectations in 2020 and Beyond

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If you think about it, cybersecurity is closely tied to human rights, privacy, freedom, and even basic safety. As a whole, we have become an increasingly connected society. We interact through the World Wide Web, we watch TV shows online, and we cannot leave our phones no matter where we go. Digital assistants know where we are so that it could turn on the air conditioning before we arrive. Every second, we create vast amounts of data and we don’t even know it.

As more and more of our infrastructures go online, we are increasingly at risk of getting hacked and our personal data breached. We often hear about personal information being leaked, including:

  • The leak of personal data of 106 million people who applied or held a Capital One credit card.
  • A breach at Yahoo leaving 3 billion accounts compromised.
  • Close to 900 million records held by First American Financial Corp. were leaked due to poor security.
  • The breach that affected 540 million Facebook users.
  • More than 412 million records breached in a 2016 hacking of the FriendFinder website.

These are only the biggest breaches in recent years. According to the University of Maryland, you can expect a hacking attack to happen every 39 seconds. In fact, more than 3.8 million records are compromised every day.

Here are the top 5 expectations about cybersecurity in 2020 and beyond.

1. Artificial intelligence is both a friend and a foe.

Artificial intelligence is famously being used by governments to sift through volumes and volumes of data so that they can learn about enemy states and terrorists.

The problem is that everyone has access to this technology. A business can use AI to help secure their systems, but cybercriminals can also use the technology to hack their way in. Because of this, cybersecurity using artificial intelligence is more like a race between cybersecurity experts and cybercriminals. Whoever can stay ahead of the other wins.

On one hand, AI is helping us more secure. It can automate processes so that human error is minimized or totally avoided. It can come up with security algorithms. It may even help with biometric protection.

However, AI can also make it easier for hackers to find security vulnerabilities and loopholes. You can expect hacking attempts, denial of service attacks, and spam mails becoming more prevalent.

2. Political strife will make all of us vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.

While most people think that the internet is global and immune to political and economic divisions, this is a misconception.

The BBC reported that Russia already has what it called an unplugged internet. This is like a localized version of the current internet we have. Russia will be able to control what the country can access. This is similar to what is happening in China and Iran.

Developments like these can fracture the international cooperation we are currently seeing when it comes to the internet. It will be more challenging to come up with security-related technologies and guiding the online world. As such, we are making it easier for the cybercriminals to steal our data.

3. Say hello to political interference… we can fight it but it’s here to stay.

Some people believe that governments are using popular websites to win elections and destroy their critics. In the United States, expect more disinformation campaigns becoming more and more prevalent during an election year. Election cybercrime is happening and it takes two forms.

  • First is the use of fake news that aims to destroy a candidate’s reputation. The false information is spread throughout social media.
  • The second is much more straightforward, such as directly attacking the candidate’s infrastructure. For instance, in the 2016 US elections, private emails of various candidates were hacked and then subsequently released.

The good news is that there are now technologies used to handle them, and both Google and Facebook are paying attention. These technologies can help sniff out demolition jobs and fake news campaigns.

4. In 2020 and beyond, you may not be able to find the cybersecurity talent you need.

IT managers have been feeling the crunch for years, and most will probably tell you how challenging it is to find the right person to fill vacant seats in their teams. This is especially true in cybersecurity. The New York Times reported that there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs that will be left unfilled by 2021.

That means you will probably have problems getting personnel who will be able to ward off a hacking attempt or strengthen your systems in 2020. The lack of cybersecurity talents will be made worse by the increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, which will become more prevalent. The year 2020 will see a scourge of political interference, fake news, and cyber attacks. It’s a war and for the most part, there won’t be enough people to defend against these threats.

Businesses and other entities should invest in training the staff they currently have and hire cybersecurity experts to augment their lean team. They have to because if they don’t, it’s gonna be more expensive and they will suffer a lot of losses in the long run.

IBM reports that the average cost of a cybersecurity attack in the United States is around $8.2 million and that is on an upward trend. That means that it’s going to be more expensive as time wears on. And without enough cybersecurity experts on your team, you are basically a sitting duck and bleeding money by the day.

5. Vehicle hacking will become an even bigger problem.

Most people will think that hackers are more likely to try to hack their phones or computers. But another possible attack vector is the car you’re driving. It knows where you have been, the type of music you listen to, and basically several other bits of information you have.

Cybercriminals usually want the path of least resistance when they steal your data. Why go through disabling security systems on your computer when they can just hack into your car or smart TV, and get information about you.

Your car has a range of devices and sensors that collect a lot of information about you and your activities. It can even have your email address and the cloud services you use. These systems — your car and smart devices around your home — do not have proper security installed, so it’s way easier to hack than your mobile phone or laptop.

Who knows, they might even tinker with your car’s safety systems and cause an accident.


If cybersecurity worries you, then you should call Four Cornerstone. Our team of cybersecurity experts can work with you to help ensure that you’re safe from online threats.

Photo courtesy of Richard Patterson.

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