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What can we expect from cyber security in 2020?
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What can we expect from cyber security in 2020?

Tim Deakin

Written by Tim Deakin

16th January 2020

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infosec trends 2020

A new year brings new threats and new ways to defend yourself

The 2010s saw cyber security move to the forefront of UK business concerns. As technology has continued to evolve at a pace, so the risks and consequences of a data breach have escalated.

In fact, by 2019 one small business in the UK was being successfully hacked every 19 seconds, according to global insurance company, Hiscox. And as we now enter the 2020s, more effort than ever is being put into protecting businesses of all sizes from the risk of a cybercrime.

2020 will see several key cyber security trends converge, with a promise of both more sophisticated threats and more robust methods of protection. The implementation of the IoT and 5G also promise to shake things up for large and small UK businesses alike.

Let’s take a look at what we can expect from cyber security over the next twelve months.

 

The evolution of ransomware in 2020

Ransomware has been one of the most prominent and (sadly) effective forms of cybercrime in recent times, having been present as far back as the late 1980s. However, that doesn’t mean that we’ve outgrown ransomware or that ransomware is no longer a threat to UK businesses.

In fact, McAfee reports that ransomware attacks more than doubled in 2019, with Q1 alone seeing a rise of 118 per cent.

Lead scientist and senior principal engineer at McAfee, Christiaan Beek, comments: “The first quarter of 2019 was game on again for ransomware, with code innovations and a new, much more targeted approach.”

And in 2020, ransomware shows no signs of slowing down. The 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report predicts that by 2021, attempted ransomware attacks will have increased from every 14 seconds to every 11 seconds.

 

Boosting breach budgets

Because data breaches and malware attacks continue to be a threat, 2020 will further the trend in recent years for increased cyber security budgets. Research from IT Pro Portal found that the average company currently spends around $2,300 – or £1,750 – per employee on cyber security. But research also suggests that this is not enough, which is why this spending is expected to rise by 8.7% this year.

This reflects UK businesses’ growing understanding of the importance of cyber security. As more and more workplace activities go digital, the stakes have never been higher for preventing the risk of a breach.

 

The Internet of Things and the rise of 5G

The fifth generation of wireless technology is already making waves, with big brands like Vodafone and Samsung rolling it out across mobile devices. Over the next two years, consumers are expected to gain full access to this tech, which will see all of us enjoy faster connection speeds.

Not only does 5G promise to be as much as 100 times faster than its predecessor 4G, but it will open the door to increased connectivity and an enhancement of the Internet of Things.

IoT has been promising to overhaul the tech landscape for several years, and 5G will finally make its full integration possible. 5G network devices will be able to transfer exponentially more information at far greater speeds. According to some experts, we will see as many as 36 billion devices connected to the Internet by the end of the year.

This presents a double-edged sword in terms of cyber security. On the one hand, faster tech and better connections offering an opportunity for more sophisticated security solutions. On the other hand, protecting even more devices from attacks will require significant forward thinking and planning.

 

GDPR: an ongoing battle

May 2020 will mark two years since the passing of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), yet many things about these regulations remains unclear. There are still no set guidelines in place for how companies should deal with customer data, which means there will be continued discussions and debates surrounding this topic over the next twelve months, including some probable trial and error. It’s hard to forget British Airways’ £183 million fine for a 2018 data breach that put the data of half a million customers at risk.

Having said this, the accidental release of personal data by the government belonging to more than a thousand people honoured in the recent New Years Honours list, demonstrates that even those responsible for driving regulation are not immune to their pitfalls.

Don’t get left behind in the ever-changing world of cybersecurity. Contact SRM today and let us help you take advantage of the best security solutions for your business. Give us a call on 03450 21 21 51 or drop us an email at info@srm-solutions.com.