Why Will Cyber Security Be a Major Issue in the 2020s?

There is no surprise when someone says that technology has made the life of an individual very easy. There is no doubt that more and more emerging technologies would be dominating the market on a global scale. But at the same time, it would also bring along with itself a susceptibility to attacks and ‘Threat’.

On a global scale, digital technology is changing the lifestyle of an individual and the biggest threat which digital technology brings with itself is of a cyber-attack. In today’s era of digital technology, the biggest threat is data theft. Data theft could be via the internet, or through applications.

Data is precious not only on a personal level but also on a global scale. It is so because it helps in making improved policy decisions, development of new and innovative products and theft of this data could result in severe consequences and huge monetary losses. 7 out of the 10 firms (i.e. 70%) across the globe rely on the data they collect from various sources to deliver the end-users with the services they demand and thus create value.

An article released by Gartner has categorised the below Technology trends for 2020. These are:

  • Hyperautomation: Task is done using technology that previously required human intervention. These include the use of artificial intelligence (AI) & machine learning (ML).
  • Multiexperience: Technologies under this category includes multisensory & multi-touchpoint interfaces such as wearables & advanced computer sensors.
  • Democratisation: Would provide people with easy access to technical or business skills without huge training.
  • Human Augmentation: It includes the technology that is used to improve the cognitive and physical experiences of the person.
  • Transparency and Traceability: As highlighted above, that the evolution of the technology also brings “threat” along with itself which has created a trust crunch. With the gradual increase in the awareness amongst the public related to how the data is being collected and used, there are companies as well which are recognizing the growing liability of storing as well as gathering the data. The focus would be on elements like Ethics, integrity, honesty, accountability, competence & consistency.
  • The Empowered Edge: It includes all technologies on IoT.
  • The Distributed Cloud: It is the distribution of the public cloud services to places beyond the physical data centers of the cloud provider but is continuously monitored by the provider.
  • Autonomous Things: It includes technologies like robots, drones, ships & appliances. These technologies work on a range of intelligence starting from semi-autonomous to fully autonomous & throughout a range of environments like air, sea & land.
  • Practical blockchain
  • AI security

Out of these 2020 technology trends, the threat which the world has recently experienced is the assassination of Qassem Soleimani who was targeted by 230mph laser-guided Hellfire missile fired from near-silent US MQ-9 Reaper drone. Qassem Soleimani was 62-year Iranian general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and was being tracked for years by the US. He was targeted when he was departing from Baghdad airport in his personal car. Post the assassination of the Iranian General, there was an immediate warning for countries like the US and Europe, NATO members & allies like Australia and Canada with respect to Iranian cyber warfare panning out in a similar fashion.

Post this incident, the top companies that are listed on S&P 500 have started strengthening their digital defences at a faster rate, working on stress-testing control systems internally throughout the network along with ring-fencing access points to stand guard in case of counter Iranian and proxy cyber strikes.

In 2019, Facebook removed multiple Groups, pages as well as accounts that originated in Iran for engaging in inauthentic behaviour in a coordinated manner on Instagram and Facebook. The pages were also removed from Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo. These actions are taken when Facebook find people or organisations that create network of accounts to mislead others about their identity or what they do.

Some of the Biggest Cyberattacks of 2019:

The year 2019 witnessed a growth in the cyberattacks on IoT devices by nearly 300% due to the adoption of IoT along with aging firmware and IT architectures.

Susceptible businesses and organisations have more risk than an individual as they have a volume of data which are stored in their databases. The most targeted industries for 2019 cyberattacks were Manufacturing, education, Professional/Scientific, information, public administration, Finance and Insurance, retail and Health care.

The major cause of these cyberattacks was due to the clicking on suspicious email links. This allows hackers to gain access to various important information of the user.

Below are five noticeable cyber-attacks in 2019:

First American:

The First American case is probably the second-largest data breach after Yahoo’s hack that impacted ~ 900 million records. First American is the biggest real estate title insurance company in the US. The incident took place during May 2019, where the data which included personal identifying information, driver’s licenses, bank account numbers, tax records, Social Security numbers as well as other stolen data, got leaked.

The leak was unique as it was noticed by a real-estate developer instead of the technology experts of the company.


Facebook noted during the period April 2019 to September 2019, the number of records impacted was in the range of 400 million to 550 million.

Capital One

The cyberattack at Capital One happened during July 2019, where more than 105 million records were impacted. This cyberattack was amongst the biggest financial institution hacks in history. Social Security numbers, banking dealings & balances, credit scores along with addresses were stolen via this cyberattack.

Citrix Systems, Inc.

Citrix Systems, Inc is also not behind when it comes to cyberattacks. Citrix Systems, Inc is an American multi-nation software company that offers services to more ~ 400,000 organisations. Citrix noted that the hackers had occasional access to its database since October 2018 for nearly six months.

American Medical Collection Agency (ACMA)

The American Medical Collection Agency, the billing service vendor for the healthcare industry disclosed that its records got exposed to the hackers in the time frame from August 2018 to March 2019. Most of its B2B customers reported ACMA that their patient data was compromised because of this and still, things are not clear as to how much more data got affected.

The information which was impacted via this cyberattack was personal and financial data along with Social Security numbers & medical information.

Based on some of the biggest cyberattacks and the recent drone attack, cyber security has become an essential component of the general security establishment for every nation across the globe in order to safeguard its citizens and the businesses operating from within these nations.

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