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Cybersecurity expert reveals the biggest threats to your business in 2020

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Thousands of individuals and businesses are affected by cyber-attacks in Australia alone each year.

In fact, according to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, 2019 saw almost 1,000 breaches notified under the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, with malicious and criminal attacks the leading cause of data loss.

As a result, research predicts worldwide spending on cybersecurity will reach $133.7 billion in 2022.

A new kind of unknown threat

As the cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve, new threats are emerging daily. Of these emerging risks, the most destructive force facing businesses over the last year has been ransomware.

Ransomware affects an accelerating number of victims each year; already in 2020, we’ve seen Bouygues Construction, Talman and Travelex hit by these kinds of attacks, which have halted operations with devastating effects.

With this in mind, business leaders should expect ransomware to continue to be a major risk in the threat landscape. The low-hanging fruit of exposed services such as unpatched systems and compromised credentials provides an ample bounty to both skilled and unskilled attackers.

For business leaders, it’s vital to have robust security controls, monitoring and response measures in place to cover all endpoints, networks and systems. At the very least, businesses need to install software updates whenever they are released to avoid security breaches.

The ability to track and prepare to face emerging cybersecurity threats can help security leaders improve an organisation’s resilience. Here’s exactly what business leaders need to look out for this year.

Cloud misconfigurations will expose businesses

Cloud computing environments are a ready-made target for attackers. Simple misconfigurations create tremendous risks for organisations – cyber criminals know this and have been attacking cloud computing platforms for precisely these reasons.

Business leaders need to be aware that protecting data stored in the cloud requires a very different toolset, plus, cloud strategies must be developed with security as a priority.

Machine learning could turn against you

Machine learning has become an essential part of most modern cybersecurity strategies, and cybercriminals are now aware that these tools are being used to thwart their attacks. In response, criminals will set their sights on trying to evade or undermine machine learning security systems.

Over the next year, we can expect to see more incidents where cybercriminals attempt to trick machine learning detection and classification models, and even leverage machine learning to generate highly convincing fake content for social engineering attacks. For business leaders, awareness of these new defence techniques is crucial to staying protected.

5G will introduce a new wave of security threats

5G will be the most fundamental game-changing technology to impact the cybersecurity landscape – maybe ever. 5G promises to connect almost all aspects of life through the network with speed and lower latency, but it will also introduce significant security risks with new potential entry points that will expose organisations to new types of attack. This will require business leaders to put an even greater focus on the security of connections, devices and applications within their organisations.

Cybersecurity is a complex business with a lot of parts. There can be no doubt that the year ahead will be fraught with targeted and malicious activity. While they needn’t be experts, all business leaders must make sense of the security environment around them in order to guide their decision making – from hires to technology investments – to improve the overall security posture of their organisation.

Read next: Why preventing your next cyberattack is more vital than a cure

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