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Cybersecurity Trends for 2020

As cyberthreats have continued evolving during 2019, so have the security measures developed to meet them. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks, and this is a trend that’s likely to continue indefinitely, as long as important data can be stolen and exploited. 

As More Companies Embrace Security Awareness Training, Overall Security Will Tighten

The human element can be the weakest link in any layered cybersecurity system. Phishing attempts are becoming even more targeted, using the names and job titles of people in a business as a means of tricking someone to download a file, or click a questionable link. Well-intentioned employees are likely to make mistakes or ignore safe IT protocols because they are tricked, rushed for time, or are unaware protocols exist in the first place. And with increased numbers of people working remotely and employees using their personal devices for business, this adds another element of risk and makes security and compliance much more important. 

 

The defense to this doesn’t lie in new, slick technology; it comes from how prepared the employees in a business are to identify and properly respond to a cyberattack. This comes from training and periodic testing that’s not a passive obligation, but a full requirement of their positions. The more employees buy in to the cybersecurity process, and the more engaging the training is, the safer networks will be. By developing a culture that supports security, businesses become safer, more intelligent, and more able to respond to cyberthreats. 

Windows 7 Will Reach Its End of Life in Early 2020

In 2009, Windows 7 was a monumental piece of software for individuals and businesses. It was a robust and customizable operating system that became the standard even after newer, improved versions of Windows were released over the years. Now, more than a decade later, it has run its course and become more of a security risk the older it gets. This becomes even more important in January 2020, when Microsoft stops releasing updates and security patches altogether. Companies using Windows 7 in 2019 should already have a plan in place to upgrade before the end of the year. 

Major Security Breaches Are More Likely to Come From Known Vulnerabilities

Known vulnerabilities are easy to ignore, especially when the dedicated IT staff of a business is busy putting out more local fires. But the reality is that known vulnerabilities are the most likely to be exploited by a hacker. This is why it’s critical that vulnerabilities be mitigated and fixed as soon as they are discovered. 

Two-Factor Authentication Will Become Standard

Passwords may never go away, which is why two-factor authentication (2FA)—a second, required piece of information needed to access a network—will become more prevalent and eventually move from being optional to being a requirement. 2FA is not a perfect cybersecurity option, but it does mitigate risk and is seen as a security improvement. 

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