For many of us, 2020 will go down as one of those years we’d rather forget. Between economic issues and the ongoing pandemic, worrying about cybersecurity and keeping our devices protected seem less important. But unfortunately with each year that goes by, the threat level increases and becomes far more sophisticated.
According to Security Boulevard, more than US$3.5 billion was lost to cybercrime in 2019 and the upward trend is set to continue in 2020. Keeping your devices protected and your data safe is a matter of using the right tools. Here we go over some of the threats you need to be aware of and the cybersecurity solutions.
Top cybersecurity threats in 2020
- IoT security: Internet of Things technologies make both office and home life easier with clever interconnected solutions that are eminently convenient. But this convenience comes at a price. When multiple devices are sharing a network and communicating, it creates more vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit and more potential access points.
- Password issues: Despite multiple warnings over the years, users are still using passwords that are too easy to crack, or using the same password for multiple accounts. Poor digital hygiene practices are a leading cause of cybercrime in individual users.
- Malware: Malware programs are an ongoing threat and cybercriminals are responding to new technologies by producing adaptive malware that quickly skirts existing cybersecurity solutions. In addition, drive-by malware is becoming more common.
- Phishing: Social engineering attacks remain a leading threat. Criminals capitalize on world events to manipulate users, making phishing particularly problematic in 2020.
- Ransomware: A greater threat to businesses than individual users, ransomware costs ran at around US$7.5 billion in 2019 and the figure is likely to rise this year.
- Cloud jacking: As the use of cloud storage and computing solutions increases in 2020 so too do the associated risks. Hackers use cloud jacking to gain access to or modify sensitive data.
Three cybersecurity tools you need
- VPN protection: Download a VPN app to protect your devices from a broad range of threats, including those associated with IoT networks. VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks do as the name suggests, create a private browsing network and, in the process, encrypt any data in transmission thus shielding it from any prying eyes. One VPN subscription will cover multiple devices, or you can install a VPN on your router to protect your whole network.
- Antivirus and antimalware: To keep your devices protected in 2020, you need both antivirus and antimalware on your devices. The former responds well to older Trojan threats while the latter is better adapted to modern malicious programs. A good antimalware program on your desktop and your hand-held device protects you from phishing attacks by detecting any suspicious links.
- Password manager: Avoid the pitfalls of poor digital hygiene by installing and using a good password manager. These programs place all your account logins in a secure vault and help you come up with secure passwords so you won’t need to reuse passwords across accounts. As an added bonus, the only password you’ll need to remember is your master login.
Don’t overlook the security of your gadgets, we hope these guides will help you keep your devices protected in 2020.