The digital age has created a lot of new opportunities for businesses. It’s also created a lot of challenges. Cybersecurity threats are a real worry for businesses of all sizes.

It’s not so much a question of if you’ll be hacked, but rather when you’ll be hacked. And, if you think that your small business has nothing to offer, think again. Cybercriminals are equal opportunity offenders. A smaller business might even be a better target because it has less security.

With that in mind, we’ve got to wonder what 2020 has in store for us in this line. Let’s have a look at what to expect from cybercrime going into the new year.

Top 4 Cyber Security Threats You Face in 2020

1. Ransomware

Ransomware is the big bogeyman under the bed in the cyber world. It’s clean and efficient. You try to access your files, and you get a ransom demand instead. 2019 saw a new nasty twist in ransomware in the form of LockerGoga.

Most ransomware encrypts files on your system. You’re able to log on, but you won’t be able to do much else. The hacker, in this case, is careful – if you can’t see the message, you don’t know where to pay the ransom.

Ransomware stats on SMBs

How Ransomware affects an SMB? – Source: Malwarebytes

LockerGoga is a new animal altogether. It’s a lot more reckless. Thanks to the way it operates you may or may not be able to access the message. So, you might not even know that your system is infected.
The danger here is that this ransomware can shut down all access. So far, it’s mainly large industrial consumers who’ve been affected. That part of the plan is clever. Shutting out access to vital factory systems means you can’t control temperature overruns, and so on.

This can cause serious damage. So, it’s no wonder that the owners are willing to pay big ransoms to regain control. That said, there’s no telling when this ugly type of ransomware might come to a computer near you.

Your best option? Beef up security and back up all files. If possible, have a backup control in place in case the main one is taken down.

2. Phishing

We’ve all seen patently obvious phishing attempts. You know the kind we mean – those written poorly and packed with typos. Perhaps those are meant to lull us into a false sense of complacency. After all, they’re simple enough to hack.

They’re just the tip of a very large iceberg. Phishing is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Phishers are now conducting research and targeting key members in an organization. This targeted attack is known as spear phishing, and you’ll be hard-pressed to spot it if you’re not looking for it.


Phishing Attack – Source: Kaspersky

It could come in the form of an email from the CEO, a trusted supplier, or a client. And, while you think you’d spot the difference, you won’t. The phishers even go so far as to create an email address as close to the real thing as possible.

Sometimes it’s just a single letter off. Would you notice that if you were in a rush? Most people wouldn’t.
Your best defenses here are to install a good email scanning program and confirm email requests for information or fund transfers individually.

Further, deploying a viable website firewall protects you against any coming cyber attack whatsoever.

3. Data Leaks

As businesses are tightening up on cybersecurity, hacker syndicates are looking for other ways to find the information. They could do this by paying or intimidating one of your employees for the information.

Considering how small data storage devices have become, it’s simple to smuggle information out.
Your employees might innocently leak the data. What if they check their work email on an unsecured public network? Or if their partner has access to the phone when they put it down?

Data Leak

Data Leak – Source: Medium

Especially dangerous – leakage of medical data. But there is a way to protect yourself. And it lies in HIPAA compliance app development.

Enabling employees to use their own devices is convenient. It can also be an expensive mistake. Do have a procedure in place to remotely wipe compromised devices. Limit access outside of the office as far as possible.

4. Credential Stuffing Attacks

Potentially one of the most virulent threats, credential stuffing is nothing new. That it can be so successful is amazing in this day and age. And this one, we’re afraid, is all the victim’s fault.

There’s only so much that you can do to protect yourself from a deadly new virus. But credential stuffing is entirely preventable. What hackers do is to hack data from a less secure source.

So, instead of targeting a financial institution, they’ll hit your local pizza outlet. What harm could that do? Quite a bit as it turns out. The actual attack comes when the hackers set up bots to use the email addresses and passwords that they’ve stolen on other sites.

Brute-Force – Source: Comparitech

So, if your banking password is the same as your password at the pizza place, you’re in trouble.
There is only one real defense to this issue – use a different password for every site. If you battle to remember passwords, then use a secure password keeper. Also, be careful about what sites you do register for.

Final Notes

We’re in for choppy waters when it comes to cyber threats going forward. But AI in cybersecurity will become more common and if we can remain vigilant, and use a secure browser, we’ll be ahead of the pack.