The Biggest Cybersecurity Threats to Be Aware of in 2020

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Cybercrime continues to evolve, with new threats set to surface this year. In this age of digital transformation, hackers are constantly looking for fresh ways to deceive individuals and organizations.

The first step to fighting cyberattacks is to know what you’re up against. By understanding how new threats work, you can safeguard your data properly and reduce your vulnerability to them.

IoT Attacks

The Internet of Things is rapidly growing every day. Apart from laptops, routers, and tablets, it now includes smart watches, household appliances, smart watches, medical devices, automobiles, home security devices, and even manufacturing equipment.

Consumers and organizations use connected devices to save money and centralize their processes. Unfortunately, more connected devices make IoT networks more vulnerable to malicious attacks and infections. Once a hacker infiltrates the central system, all IoT devices connected to it can be used to overload networks, access private data, or lock down vital equipment for financial gain.

Deepfakes

Deepfakes are fake videos or audio recordings used for felonious purposes. They require a mix of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning called deep learning which uses artificial neural networks to realize and adapt to data patterns.

Deep fakes closely resemble the real thing which makes them highly dangerous. This type of forgery can be used to interfere with politics, media, and financial markets. For example, a politician or any famous person could be faked making a malicious comment to tarnish their name and manipulate election results. In business, fake videos or audios can be used to mimic CEOs and senior executives, steal billions from corporations, and disrupt operations. A convincingly faked recording of a CEO could be used to fool the accounts team to deposit money into a criminal’s bank account.

Today, there are several downloadable apps and software that allow people to create deep fakes. While amateurs may swap people’s faces or alter audio tracks for laughs, cybercriminals can easily take advantage of deepfakes to steal money or spread false information.

Additionally, cybercriminals are leveraging a new type of spyware called “stalkerware” which gives them access to a victim’s smartphone data. By gaining a more detailed idea of their victims’ activities, cybercriminals can create more sophisticated and realistic deepfakes.

Phishing Kits

man typing on keyboardPhishing is a form of social engineering attack that’s used to deceive victims into handing over sensitive data such as login details and credit card information. Attackers use a variety of methods from phone calls to social media to reach their victims.

These days, cybercriminals are improving their fraudelent tactics through phishing kits. Once loaded, the kit is designed to replicate websites of legitimate brands, banks, and organizations. The goal is to convince the victim of the site’s authenticity, so they can gain access to login details and other sensitive data.

SMiShing (SMS phishing) is also predicted to rise in the coming years. In this tactic, attackers use messaging apps like Slack, Skype, and WhatsApp to entice users into installing malware on their phones which exposes their sensitive data. Most SMiShing attempts are reported to be malicious messages disguised as fundraising initiatives. Such attacks enable hackers to access personal financial information and even private databases.

No one is exempt from cybercrime. A data breach could cost you thousands or millions of dollars in sales or personal savings. That said, make it a point to change your passwords and invest in strong data leakage prevention systems. Updating your cybersecurity efforts regularly will give you maximum protection.

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