141 Cybersecurity Predictions: an Overview

Just before the holidays, Forbes.com website published a compilation of 141 interesting cyber security predictions. If you missed this article, here’s a glimpse of the answers from about 70 professionals from the industry, specifically on two questions:

  • What role will emerging technologies (AI, machine learning, 5G, quantum computing) and evolving technologies (IoT, mobile – including autonomous vehicles and cloud) play in improving the effectiveness, scale and depth of cyber attacks in 2020?
  • In a technical landscape where cyber threats are always evolving, where will attacks come from? What will be the new targets and types of attacks?

Who are the people who responded? The 68 persons surveyed (including only 3 women, a mere 4% of respondents) hold a variety of positions in information security, the majority representing the senior management of their organizations.

Of course, the most interesting are the predictions made by of these professionals. In order to compile the responses, we created prediction categories classified according to the comments received by the respondents. A dozen topics stood out and among these, two in particular were mentioned in a more notable way: artificial intelligence/machine learning and ransomware, which alone account for more than 35% of the predictions! Here are the results of our compilation:

2020 predictions

Some of the respondents clearly did not hesitate to share what they saw in their crystal balls. Here are some of the most interesting predictions:

Business Email Compromise (BEC) or impersonation-based attacks will be a big theme in 2020. The social-engineering aspects of such attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated and difficult to detect, and can easily be leveraged […]. Most importantly, they can’t be prevented by endpoint security—only email or messaging security solutions combined with user education will fight such attacks.
Yoram Salinger, CEO, Perception Point

2019 was a great year for cyber crooks successfully targeting municipalities, schools and universities worldwide with ransomware and spear phishing attacks. As these organizations have proven easy targets, a rise in campaigns is expected in 2020. Healthcare will also be an attractive sector for hackers due to its high potential gains.
Eyal Aharoni, VP Customer Success and Sales Operations, Cymulate

In 2020 and beyond, we anticipate that an increased number of data breaches will result from organizations making the false assumption that cloud service providers offer complete protection, which simply isn’t true under the shared reasonability model.
Balaji Parimi, CEO, CloudKnox

In 2020, we will see the first bank surrender to ransomware.
Yaniv Valik, VP Product, Cyber and IT Resilience, Continuity Software

As cybersecurity threats evolve, we’ll fight AI with AI.”
Brian Foster, SVP, MobileIron

Let us remember that none of these predictions are certain, but that everything is possible or at least plausible. It is therefore our duty to continue to highlight these possibilities so that Canadian businesses can prepare for any and all such situations. In the meantime, if you are part of the group of managers who have to anticipate the risks that will hang over your company and this article puts you somewhat on edge, you should know that it is always time to take simple and concrete action. Why not plan a security audit this spring, for example? If you’d like something more robust, you might be interested in ISO 27001 best practices. Whatever you choose, the important thing is to make the move. After all, especially when it comes to cyber security, prevention is better than cure.

Marco Estrela 

Security Consultant, ESI Technologies

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