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Cybersecurity Threats to Be Aware of in 2020

IT Biz Today Staff

Cybercrimes are becoming more and more common these days and are seen to have a drastic effect on every industry. The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center said that cyberattacks caused a loss of more than $2.7 billion for consumers and businesses in the year 2018 alone. Furthermore, a study published in the CyberCrime Magazine says that around 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs will be void by the end of 2021.

The lack of cybersecurity personnel and the rise of cybercrimes have made it mandatory for developers and business owners to take proactive steps to learn about potential security threats and understand how they can prevent them in order to avoid data loss. Below are some of the cybersecurity crimes that will likely come to the limelight in 2020 and a few tips on how to prevent them.

System Piggybacking

System piggybacking refers to when a hacker uses your computer or network without permission. Hackers can find ways to break into weak networks and exploit the system for performing illegal activities. This tactic is commonly used for cryptocurrency mining these days. It’s not illegal to mine cryptocurrency inherently, but it could consume a lot of computing power and system resources. That is why hackers piggyback vulnerable internet connections to speed up their cryptocurrency mining process.

It is possible to hinder system piggybacking by changing the passwords of your Wi-Fi router and network frequently. You should create long and complex passwords using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. This will deter hackers from trying to break into your network. Generally, it is recommended to change the passwords once a month. Yet if you reside in a high-traffic area, you should consider changing the passwords more often.

If you are working using your home network, turn off the Wi-Fi router and use hardwire connections instead. This will help prevent cyberattacks on your wireless network.

IoT Attacks

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the networking scene rapidly. Smart homes, appliances, cars, and citywide infrastructure are all parts of IoT. They have allowed us to grow in exciting new ways and are beneficial for both consumers and businesses. Nonetheless, as technology is on the rise, IoT attacks are also increasing. This can put users as well as business owners at risk.

Cybercriminals can easily hack into the smart security system installed in a home and then break into the house. This can be a big concern for people looking forward to adopting smart security systems to protect their property. Therefore, it’s recommended to buy smart home security systems from reputable dealers only and update them with robust cybersecurity features.

Application Vulnerabilities

Application vulnerabilities can be the biggest problem for consumers as well as developers in the upcoming days. Hackers can find ways to inject malicious code in the software and use it as a back door for accessing important data and information from the user’s accounts.

For instance, the WordPress content management system has over 50,000 plugins. Most of them are great tools to help the developer build an excellent and functional website. Yet some of them can pave way for adware and malware too.

Smartphones can also be a simple gateway for hackers to access sensitive data. There are more than 3 billion smartphone users worldwide, which means they’re millions of applications. While most of the apps on Google Play and Apple App Store are genuine and help enhance your productivity, some can create security vulnerabilities in your device as well.

The only way to prevent cybercriminals from using application vulnerabilities is to ensure that you use reputable applications and plugins only. You should also check for regular security updates and always keep the apps and plugins updated with new security patches.

AI Hacking

Spam emails and phishing attacks have been doing rounds on the internet for as long as anyone can remember. It’s expected that cybercriminals will push harder to trick users with spam emails going forward. Studies show that over 280 billion emails were sent in the last year alone, which indicates that a lot of information is being passed through emails every day. Scammers look for unsuspecting developers and users to launch phishing attacks and exploit this opportunity.

Hackers have also evolved along with the developments in technology. Cybercriminals are even using AI tools for email scams. They simply send bulk emails, check when they were opened, and track how users reacted to them. This data is then used to tweak the email message using artificial intelligence, so that more email users can fall prey to their scam.

The best way to ensure that you do not become a victim of such phishing attacks is by making certain that you open emails or attachments from known senders only. You can also use a VPN to protect your network and add to the security measures you have implemented to avoid any data loss.