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10 Cybersecurity Trends for 2020: Latest Predictions You Should Know

Category: B2B News

Hackers can expose your personal information or even shut down your entire business operations for any number of hours or days. The growing audacity of these attacks has led various organizations to clamp down on cybercriminals, the back and forth affair defining the cybersecurity trends we observe—or experience—today.

Security deficiencies are costing for-profit and nonprofit organizations billions of dollars in losses. If you are one of them, it follows that you keep a close watch on the emerging trends in cybersecurity. In this article, we’ll be presenting the top cybersecurity trends and how they have been reshaping Internet privacy and security.

latest cybersecurity developments

Cyberattacks are now the fastest growing crime on a global scale. Financial losses from cybercrime exceed the total losses incurred from the global trade of all illegal drugs. Hence, it comes as no surprise that individuals and organizations operating on the web live in fear of potential hacking scenarios and data breaches. Aside from financial losses, such forms of cyber attacks can lead to reputation damage as well. Consumer data, when compromised, can subject businesses under strict regulations and costly settlements.

Half of these cyberattacks are targeting small businesses that usually don’t have sufficient cybersecurity to protect themselves from such threats. In a Statista report in 2018, the most notorious cyberattacks experienced by businesses of all sizes include phishing (37%), network intrusion (30%), inadvertent disclosure (12%), stolen/lost device or records (10%), and system misconfiguration (4%).

Most common cyber attacks experienced by companies


Network intrusion

Inadvertent disclosure

Stolen/ lost device records

System misconfiguration

Source: Statista (2018)

Designed by

That being the case, companies are actively spending their IT budgets on any of the leading security software solutions available. As we see exponential advancements in technology, cybersecurity also evolves and matures in its ability to take down cyber threats and attacks. In the following sections, we’ll delve into the latest trends in cybersecurity and how they are affecting businesses and other organizations.

1. User Awareness

As cyber threats become more aggressive each day, businesses and organizations take major steps to strengthen their security measures. For many establishments, cybersecurity awareness is essential to prevent costly identity theft and network hacks that can destroy any company or individual’s reputation. Apart from implementing firewalls and sophisticated IT protocols, companies now deem it important to augment the capabilities of their IT personnel via seminars and the like.

What drives cybersecurity awareness forward is the growing number of people unaware of most cyberattack methods. A report by Infosec indicates that about 97% of the people in the world cannot identify a phishing email, while 1 in 25 people click such emails, thus, falling prey to cyberattacks. Aside from this, cybercriminals now resort to more advanced and high-tech forms of phishing and malware infections.

In turn, cybersecurity awareness could help prevent the onslaught of threats and attacks. Some organizations have started to implement the combined use of web- and classroom-based methods and visual aids for cybersecurity awareness training and promotions. On top of this, companies now create policies focusing on how employees handle and share confidential corporate data.

cybersecurity training is essential

Key takeaways

  • Businesses and other organizations are putting more importance on cybersecurity user awareness.
  • About 97% of the people in the world cannot identify a phishing email.

2. Attacks on the Healthcare Sector

Data breaches are among the leading cybersecurity trends in healthcare. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, the financial loss from data breaches in the healthcare industry reached more than $5.6 billion. As a result, healthcare organizations now pay more considerable attention to their digital security requirements. In turn, this drives considerable growth for the cybersecurity market in the healthcare sector.

Failing to combat cyber threats in the healthcare sector exposes many individuals and organizations to all sorts of liability and security issues. This led to hospitals and health organizations investing more in cybersecurity. Last 2018, the value of the cybersecurity market in the healthcare sector reached $8.2 billion. From there, it’s experiencing a compound annual growth rate of 19.1%, which experts predict to last through 2025.

These figures show that cyberattacks in the healthcare sector are far from being stopped. Data breaches present a continuing threat to health organizations as sensitive information about businesses, employees, and patients remain the top targets of cybercriminals. According to a survey by law firm BakerHostetler, US health systems and hospitals account for about a quarter of cyberattacks in the country.

Number of exposed records in the healthcare sector


Million records in 2018


Million records in 2017

Source: HIPAA Journal (2018)

Designed by

Key takeaways

  • Cyberattacks remain a challenge for those in the healthcare sector.
  • The cybersecurity market in the healthcare sector experiences a compound annual growth rate of 19.1% through 2025.

3. Machine Learning

In cybersecurity, the role of machine learning (ML), is growing and has now become more proactive. With ML, cybersecurity becomes simpler, more effective, and, at the same time, less expensive. From a rich dataset, ML develops patterns and manipulates them with algorithms. This way, it can anticipate and respond to active attacks in real-time.

This technology heavily relies on rich and sophisticated data to produce effective algorithms. The data must come from everywhere and represent as many potential scenarios as possible. Implementing ML, thus, allows cybersecurity systems to analyze threat patterns and learn cybercriminals’ behaviors. These help to prevent similar attacks in the future and also reduces the amount of time needed for cybersecurity experts to perform routine tasks.

Key takeaways

  • Cybersecurity is adopting machine learning technology to identify attacks and analyze its patterns and algorithms.
  • ML makes cybersecurity much simpler and more efficient.

4. Geo-Targeted Phishing Threats

Phishing attacks are currently the most pervasive security threat to the IT sector, with many still falling victim to phishing emails. Since cybercriminals use more advanced methods to create well-executed business email compromise attacks (BEC), phishing emails and malicious URLs remain prevalent in the web, except that they are now highly localized, more personalized, and are geo-targeted.

According to the 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report of Verizon, 32% of the data breaches last year involved phishing activities. Thus, experts see targeted phishing to become more prevalent in the coming years. It is also important to note that 2018 alone saw a 297% increase in the number of online phishing attacks. That being the case, businesses are starting to adopt and invest in comprehensive security awareness programs. Also, organizations are implementing simulators that can explain and recognize emerging phishing patterns and the modus-operandi of these cyber attackers.

Top global fraud types


Rogue mobile apps

Trojan horse

Brand abuse

Source: Payments Source

Designed by

Key takeaways

  • Phishing attacks are now highly localized, geo-targeted, and more personalized.
  • About 32% of data breaches involved phishing activities.

5. Cloud Security

With the help of the best cloud management software solutions, more and more businesses and organizations are migrating to the cloud. However, most cloud services right now do not offer secure encryption, authentication, and audit logging. Some also fail to isolate user data from other tenants sharing space in the cloud. Therefore, IT security professionals see the need to tighten cloud security.

Poor configuration of cloud security can lead to cybercriminals bypassing internal policies that protect sensitive information in the cloud database. Accordingly, security in the cloud is progressing into predictive and innovative security to combat cyber attackers.

Predictive security is becoming useful in identifying threats before attackers begin their move. It can pinpoint attacks that pass through other endpoint security. As a result, businesses are implementing predictive security cloud, with the market gaining a 261% ROI for over three years now.

cloud security

Key takeaways

  • Predictive security cloud is now essential to cloud services.
  • Predictive security cloud gained a 261% ROI in the last three years.

6. GDPR Compliance

The general data protection regulation, or GDPR, is one of the most significant developments in data privacy regulation across the European Union (EU) nations. But while the law has EU origins, any company that is marketing goods or services to EU residents need to comply with the new regulation regardless of their location. Consequently, GDPR is having an immense impact on global data protection requirements.

GDPR imposes a uniform and consistent data security law on all EU nations. This eliminates the need for each member state to write their data protection law. GDPR, thus, provides more consistent protection of consumer and personal data of EU residents. Although it protects only EU citizens, the law affects all businesses and organizations targeting the European market.

As the law is fairly new, some are still not ready to become GDPR-compliant. In December 2018, Varonis reported that about 50% of companies believe they complied with GDPR. Nonetheless, organizations around the world are gradually applying changes and restructuring to comply with the new law.

How GDPR affected email list among brands partially or fully compliant with the law

Up to 10% decrease in email list size


More than 25% decrease in email list size


No effect on email list size


10% to 25% decrease in email list size


Source: Litmus

Designed by

Key takeaways

  • Businesses targeting the European market are feeling the impact of GDPR.
  • About 50% of businesses believe they were already GDPR-compliant by the end of 2018.

7. Threats to Higher Education

Cybersecurity is now among the top priorities of those in the higher education sector. Cybersecurity trends in higher education primarily involve compromised student data. Just this year, three private universities fell victim to a cyberattack that involved the hacking of student admission data. This called the attention of those in the higher education sector to actively promote tighter security for the protection of student, faculty, and research data in the institution.

Security Scorecard’s 2018 Education Cybersecurity Report pointed out that in terms of cybersecurity, education comes in last out of the 17 industries in the US. Furthermore, the report indicates that the higher education sector is performing poorly in patching cadence, network security, and application security. But as the number of cyberattacks targeting higher education grows, institutions are now moving towards a new security architecture that includes post-perimeter security on endpoint protection, access to the cloud, and identity information.

university data disclosures

Key takeaways

  • Cybersecurity is one of the top priorities of the higher education sector.
  • Out of 17 industries in the US, the higher education sector comes in last when it comes to cybersecurity.

8. Vulnerability of IoT

Security issues keep plaguing most IoT devices dominating the market today. Computing devices embedded in IoT products allow for sending and receiving data over the Internet. This poses significant security threats to users, exposing them to cyberattacks the likes of DoS or hijacked devices. As IoT connects the virtual space and the physical world, home intrusions are adding to the list of the scariest possible threats that IoT brings.

IoT devices are presenting vast opportunities for businesses and cybercriminals alike. Despite the ongoing threats, the Boston Consulting Group’s marketing analysis indicates that enterprises are still on their way to invest more than $267 billion in IoT tools by 2020. Meanwhile, a report by Symantec reveals that infected routers accounted for 75% of all IoT attacks that occurred in 2018, whereas connected cameras accounted for 15% of them.

IoT security spending

Key takeaways

  • Most IoT devices in existence today are prone to many cybersecurity issues.
  • Infected routers account for 75% of all IoT attacks that occurred in 2018.

9. Mobile Devices as Attack Vectors

These days, nearly everyone uses smart mobile devices. Most leading ecommerce software systems and platforms are accessible through mobile platforms. Cybercriminals, however, see this as an opportunity to target mobile users and use mobile devices as attack vectors.

Mobile devices are becoming a great channel of opportunity for cybercriminals as users continue to use their mobile devices for personal and business communications, as well as banking, shopping, flight, or hotel bookings. These devices became targets of cyberattacks. According to the RSA’s 2019 Current State of Cybercrime whitepaper, about 70% of fraudulent transactions originated from mobile platforms, with popular mobile attack vectors including malware, data tampering, and data loss.

mobile devices as attack vectors

Key takeaways

  • Mobile devices are popular attack vectors for cybercriminals.
  • About 70% of fraudulent transactions occurred through mobile channels.

10. Financial Services Cyberattacks

The financial services sector is another industry facing cyber threats daily. It also doesn’t help that some financial organizations are still struggling to keep pace with cloud migration and the increasing number of regulations. Phishing attacks remain prevalent in the financial services sector, but it’s no longer just via emails. Phishing through social media and other messaging platforms is now among the cybersecurity trends in financial services.

Aside from phishing attacks, the most common threats faced by insurance companies, banks, and asset managers include malware attacks and data breaches. A report by Boston Consulting Group revealed that financial services firms are 300 times more prone to cybersecurity attacks than businesses in other industries. In turn, banks lost about $16.8 billion to cybercriminals in 2017 alone.

Volume of cybersecurity incidents by sector

Financial services




Professional services

Source: CB Insights

Designed by

Key takeaways

  • Businesses in the financial services are more prone to cyber attacks than other industries.
  • Last 2017, banks lost $16.8 billion to cybercriminals.

Developments in the Cybersecurity Arena

No one exactly knows what the future holds for the cybersecurity arena, but these latest trends provide us with insights on what we can expect in the years to come. What’s clear is that IT security software developers and admins would be busy for years to come.

Sure, popular ecommerce platforms make it easy for businesses to establish their shops online. However, they expose many people to security threats too. Attacks like phishing, malware, and data breaches will not end soon. It gets harder to keep cybercriminals down. When it happens, they usually display resilience, getting back with a vengeance using more advanced types of attacks.

With most businesses establishing their operations in cyberspace, a tight security system is not just an option—it is a must-have if you want to ensure fool-proof protection for your company and your consumers. Identifying critical attack areas and anticipating possible attack scenarios can help you avoid becoming a victim of such attacks. And in case you’re looking for the perfect security software for your company, we compiled the best IT security software companies currently available.

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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