How to Unlist your Phone Number from GetContact [2023 new Guide]

GetContact app allows you to define number owners and find out how a contact is signed in other users address book. In October 2022, 4 years after its launch, the application ranks second among the AppStore’s top charts in the Utility section. And this despite the fact that GetContact collects the personal data of users.

In this article, we explains how to delete personal data from the GetContact database.

How to Delete your number from GetContact?

As noted by the developers themselves, deleting a profile in GetContact does not remove the number from the database application. However, to protect yourself, it is recommended to deactivate the account. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the app and go to the “Other” menu;
  2. Select “Settings” and then “Account Setup”;
  3. Go to “Account Management”, click “Lock Account” and confirm the action.

It is noteworthy that your data will not be visible in the application until you log in to GetContact again.

To completely remove your data from the app you should do the following:

  1. Go to page of official site GetContact: https://www.getcontact.com/en/unlist ;
  2. Log in;
  3. Scroll to the end of the page that opens and click Visibility settings;
  4. To prevent your data and tags from being available to other users, switch the slider to Off;
  5. Confirm the Action.

After performing these actions, your personal data will be hidden from search and your account will be deleted.

Why External Attack Surface Management is Crucial in 2023

Once upon a time, gate-based cybersecurity methods were the most efficient way to protect an organization’s external attack surface.

The fact is, with companies constantly growing and expanding by the minute, it’s simply impossible to get security teams to analyze and sign off on each new asset or application prior to them going live.

In addition to that, most businesses are completely unaware of just how widespread their external attack surface really is. As a result, without the aid of External Attack Surface Management (EASM), there is an increased chance that a business’s external assets will become vulnerable at one point or another.

Today we uncover how External Attack Surface Management is essential in securing a company’s IT architecture and ensuring it doesn’t fall victim to cyber-attacks, becoming the latest cautionary tale for others in 2023.

Why External Attack Surface Management is the Future of Cybersecurity

Businesses, big and small, often manage large amounts of sensitive data and sometimes even funds. This makes them alluring to cyber criminals as they often focus on their targets, considering the greatest profitability.

And, from an online criminal’s perspective, the more external assets on offer, the greater the attack surface. A broad attack surface means there are more options for acquiring access to various environments and a higher chance that a breach will occur. In addition, smaller companies are vulnerable because they have smaller IT teams and less robust security management.

External Attack Surface Management allows for monitoring a company’s external entry points, which can be used to access things like data, sensitive information or complete systems.

An increasingly faced-paced way of doing business has resulted in many security challenges that conventional security monitoring methods just cannot keep up with, which EASM aims to address.

A shifting asset landscape is incredibly tricky to keep track of. However, a strong EASM program is set to become the solution for cybersecurity teams in 2023, particularly when it comes to the changing online security trends we’re witnessing.

Vulnerable Common Attack Surfaces

An attack surface involves a physical or digital interface that an attacker can try to gain access to in order to deploy an attack vector or gain sensitive information. To make matters worse, if this attack is successful and goes unnoticed, it is usually used as a point of entry for a chain of attacks.

Understanding and defining the attack surface area is key to protecting it. With the increased use of cloud environments, the entry points of publicly accessible web applications include known, unknown and rouge assets.

Known assets are those which IT teams are aware of and observe with extra care. These include:

  • Cloud storage
  • Third-party services
  • Middleware
  • DNS domains and subdomains
  • Server misconfigurations
  • Hosted apps
  • Web VPNs
  • Routers
  • Ports
  • Frameworks
  • Physical employee devices

Unknown assets are unavoidable and create weaknesses in the attack surface. They are unknown to the security team and are also referred to as shadow IT. Unknown assets can be made up of independently installed software by workers or even forgotten websites. Often, they are harder to discover, especially for growing companies that lack the right tools and processes.

They will occur when mistakes are made in IT software installation or code or can even result from an insecure supply chain.

Rogue assets are all those assets created by malicious actors. This includes malware, typo-squatted domains, websites or even mobile applications built to impersonate the target company.

The External Attack Surface Management Solution

There are some businesses that still rely on vulnerability scanning when it comes to baseline External Attack Surface Management. Unfortunately, this outdated type of assessment provides teams with results that expire quickly and, more often than not, do not paint a true picture of an organization’s sensitive data, digital assets and risks.

EASM is one of the key tools that help organizations identify all possible risks with internet-facing systems and assets. It does this through the following processes and technologies:

  • Asset discovery
  • Data classification
  • Analysis
  • Prioritization
  • Remediation
  • Complete data classification

This tool is also linked to the MIRE ATT&CK Framework — a resource that lists the most common and latest hacking methods that might endanger a company, helping them uncover weaknesses early.

Controlling the Attack Surface

One of the most effective ways to control an attack surface is by limiting the features that are made available to external users. So, for example, only authorized employees or registered customers should be able to access things like online demos or intranet modules that might expose code. In addition to that, content management and administration modules should have enforced access restrictions.

Other steps that can be taken to curb the amount of entry points include:

  • Use obscure points
  • Enforce IP restrictions
  • Only collect the necessary data
  • Try to make any sensitive data anonymous
  • Secure admin modules on a completely isolated site
  • Restrict the type of files that can be uploaded by users to ensure secure uploads
  • Enforce cloud workload security to enhance cloud protection which helps against breaches

Staying a Step Ahead of Threat Actors in 2023

A decade ago, traditional online security strategies included providing substantial perimeter defenses through firewalls, antivirus software and internal networks. Back then, that type of cybersecurity method might have been enough to protect the assets of a business.

In today’s fast-paced online environment, threat actors don’t have to break through the perimeter thanks to externally hosted assets, leaving IT specialists with a major problem in ensuring the security of the external attack surface.

The truth is that every company, whether big or small, has an external attack surface made up of internet-facing assets. Assets such as operating systems, domain names, IoT devices, servers, security devices and public cloud servers make up common components of an external attack surface.  

Unless properly controlled, assets such as these, together with attack vectors, are what cybercriminals can use to steal sensitive data.

One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is that they’re unaware of just how vast their attack surface is, which is why external attack surface management is crucial in the protection of a company’s assets in 2023.

All You Need To Know About A Degree In Cybersecurity

Introduction

With more and more of our lives becoming interwoven with the online space, from our social lives to even our private information, it is becoming more and more important that our data stays protected and safe from malicious actors. The goal of cybersecurity is to protect our digital devices as well as the networks they operate on from threats that could exploit weaknesses to gain access to your information.

There is a lot of progression available in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, as the industry is only set to expand, with skills that can be transferred to any sector of the economy. It can be difficult to navigate all the different types of programmes and niches of cybersecurity, so we have compiled the information that you need to know in order to better understand the field of cybersecurity and whether you should consider taking cyber security courses.

What is a cybersecurity degree for?

A degree in cybersecurity is a great option for those who have or want to develop their critical thinking skills and are knowledgeable about computing. Getting a degree in cybersecurity will help you better develop and understand skills relating to the securing of networks and information. Not only will you be able to know how to secure devices such as computers and devices, but also systems like networks and databases from cyberattacks. You will also know how to look out for exploits and monitor for threats before they even cause any damage.

There are a few different variations of cybersecurity degrees that can be attained, depending on what aspect of cybersecurity you want to specialise in. All The skills that any of the degrees will teach you will better enable you to minimise the number of data breaches that your company or organisations face, either proactively or reactively. 

The courses and skills needed for a cybersecurity degree

The different cybersecurity degrees will also have some specific prerequisite skills and courses that you would need to possess, though there are some universal ones that you should definitely have. You should definitely be comfortable with programming and understanding information law and ethics, as well as operating systems. Cybersecurity-specific courses like cybersecurity policy, digital forensics and system vulnerability assessment are also vital to gaining a firm understanding of cybersecurity operations. 

What’s great about getting a cybersecurity degree?

Work that helps other people

The information about people is important and dependent on the industry you ultimately choose to work in, this information can be life-changing if it gets in the hands of people who aim to do people harm. Doing your job well means that you protect people from getting their credit card details stolen, as well as their addresses and other sensitive information. Fraud and blackmail and various other crimes are life-changing for many people and ensuring that every facet of your information security is secure means that they will never have to go through that.

Your employers will also benefit greatly, as data leaks and compromised systems result in significant delays in operations, meaning that companies value what you bring to the organisation and your prospects are greatly secured.

Develop and hone your skills

A degree programme in cybersecurity will help you advance your career through the further honing and widening of your skills. A degree programme will endow you with skills that you can take back to the workforce, skills that would be difficult to learn outside of a school setting. A degree programme offers you a chance to practice and dry-run your skills and offers you a chance to spot your mistakes and improve on them without any adverse consequences to your employers. 

Job prospects

The cybersecurity and cloud industry is only set to grow in the next decade, meaning that there will be greater demand for people with skills to protect information and data online. Many estimates by government agencies are expecting a large increase in the demand for these roles to be filled, which means that you can expect higher starting salaries and job opportunities. Many other sectors are expanding into cloud services as well, such as finance and healthcare where there is a lot of data management, meaning that you’re not pigeonholed into working in just one industry. 

Salary

Though you may not need a degree in order to get into cybersecurity, many data studies have shown that a degree in cybersecurity will often net you an increased salary and higher positions as you continue working in the field. 

This is especially compelling if you’ve been in the industry for a while without a degree and are looking for a  way to increase your salary and job prospects!

Build your network

When you take a degree programme, you won’t be doing it alone. You’ll meet and interact with many other like-minded people, from your fellow classmates to your lecturers and professors. This gives you the opportunity to build networks and connections with others. These connections are very useful in a professional setting, whether you may be looking for other positions or interests, or have contacts that you can reach out to for collaborations or advice. 

Some programmes may also offer the chance for an internship or job attachment during your studies, meaning that you can develop your professional skills in a real-world setting. You can also interact with the professionals in the organisations you’re in, meaning you have a better chance of landing yourself a job straight after your graduation. 

Conclusion

There are plenty of different cybersecurity degrees that you can choose to pursue depending on your specific interests and capabilities. From computer science to engineering or even the study of cybersecurity itself, each degree will offer you the opportunity to get into the cybersecurity role and understand the inner workings better. Taking a degree offers you a ton of other benefits as well, such as being able to better find a job position that suits your needs and to also develop your professional circle so that you can better leverage the opportunities networking can provide.

Automated Breach and Attack Simulation Is Rapidly Growing

The automated breach and attack simulation (BAS) market is relatively small. In Reportlinker.com’s recently released report entitled “Automated Breach and Attack Simulation Global Market Report 2022,” its estimated market value in 2022 is around $380.89 million. This is considerably smaller compared to other segments of the cybersecurity industry like the antivirus market which is worth around $4 billion.

What makes the automated BAS market notable, though, is its rapid growth. Reportlinker.com estimates that it is set to become a $1.35 billion market by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 37.3 percent. Many are seeing its benefits, but there are still many more organizations that have not incorporated it into their security posture management.

Adopting automated breach and attack simulation

Breach and attack simulation was introduced in 2017. It took a couple of years for it to be polished and become more acceptable as a cybersecurity solution. By now, it can already be considered a mature enough technology with proven benefits in real-world scenarios. Organizations that have adopted it are already reaping the benefits of being able to prevent more sophisticated cyber attacks.

However, it is never too late to embrace this relatively new cybersecurity technology. Breach and attack simulation delivers real-time visibility that allows organizations to have a clear understanding and control over their dynamic business and cybersecurity environments. This is not just some hyped-up cybersecurity strategy or the result of concerted marketing efforts among cybersecurity firms.

As Reportlinker’s study reveals, “rising complexities in maintaining security threats due to an increased number of attack vectors are expected to propel the growth of the automated breach and attack simulation market in the coming years.” Organizations need a better approach to dealing with the evolving nature of cyber threats, and automated BAS provides a suitable solution.

Compelling reasons to adopt automated BAS

Automated breach and attack simulation (BAS) provides numerous advantages. For one, it does not rely solely on cyber threat and attack identities or threat intelligence. It entails simulations aimed at replicating real-world cyberattacks to test how security controls hold up. Many cyberattacks take advantage of unique vulnerabilities in an organization, and threat identities are unlikely to be useful in addressing these. 

Automated BAS spots security weaknesses that are unique to an organization, so they can be fixed before threat actors find and exploit them. Phishing, for example, is a very common attack, but it requires the “right” conditions to work. The perpetrators of phishing schemes need to find an organization whose employees, for example, are clueless or not so cautious when it comes to clicking links and filling out forms.

Automated BAS can determine weak points in an organization’s security posture such as the failure of email filters to block links to sites associated with phishing. It can also identify employees or departments that appear cavalier when dealing with potential social engineering attacks.

Since the process is automated, organizations can undertake BAS repeatedly and cost-efficiently to ensure continuous security validation. This is not possible if only human security analysts take the responsibility of evaluating the security posture of an organization. It would take innumerable human analysts to perform continuous security validation, and this idea is remotely viable, given the global cybersecurity skills shortage at present.

The continuous security testing automated BAS affords ensures that opportunities for unchecked vulnerabilities to linger, get discovered by threat actors, and become points of entry for attacks are almost entirely eliminated. It only takes minutes or less for hackers to launch an attack and steal data. It only takes a few seconds for a careless employee to download a malware-laced file and infect a network. Every moment of vulnerability that is left unchecked and unaddressed is a good enough opportunity for threat actors.

Moreover, breach and attack simulation emphasizes meticulousness in finding security weaknesses. It goes beyond the superficial to find possibilities of lateral attacks through a network. It can simulate endpoint attacks, malware distribution schemes, data exfiltration, and complex APT attacks that are difficult to detect and appear harmless.

Leveraging an established cybersecurity framework

It is also worth mentioning that automated breach and attack simulation is compatible with the MITRE ATT&CK framework. There are automated BAS providers that operationalize MITRE ATT&CK as part of their continuous purple teaming process. Through the up-to-date adversarial tactics and techniques information of the ATT&CK framework, organizations get to continuously test the effectiveness and optimize their security controls across the full cyber kill chain.

Created from an adversary’s perspective, the ATT&CK framework injects useful inputs into the security posture management of an organization. It departs from the conventional defender-focused mindset when it comes to risk and threat lifecycle modeling. It provides insights into the attacker’s behavior to help defenders better understand how attacks work and how they can be modified or tweaked to evade defenses.

Proving the benefits of automated BAS

Again, automated breach and attack simulation is not just a marketing ploy. Market intelligence and advisory provider International Data Corporation (IDC) describes it as “a critical tool to test the efficacy of security controls.” IDC considers automated BAS a great addition to traditional cybersecurity vulnerability testing, citing its robust range of features and functionality and ability to enable a more proactive thrust in establishing cyber defense.

A 2020 Frost & Sullivan white paper also backs the idea that breach and attack simulation is helpful in improving cyber risk management, especially amid the growing complexities of cyber threats. “Leveraging advanced automated BAS technology is a best practice that more enterprises with a large number of endpoints need to embrace. It will unquestionably enable organizations to raise the bar on security hygiene while simultaneously allowing IT departments to become more efficient,” the paper explains.

Moreover, different companies that offer automated BAS solutions have long lists of satisfied clients that share their testimonials on the benefits of automated breach and attack simulation. These are verifiable information involving real organizations. Also, just recently, the United States Army granted an Authority to Operate to a BAS solution provider, marking the first time that the US Army uses a breach and attack simulation platform to achieve enhanced defense posture across mission-critical assets.

There are reasons why automated breach and attack simulation has become one of the fastest growing cybersecurity solutions in recent years. It provides palpable benefits and there is a growing number of organizations that have already adopted it. Also, authoritative organizations and institutions acknowledge its advantages.

If there is a reason to hesitate trying out automated BAS, it would be the reputation of the company that offers it. Otherwise, it is high time to take it as an essential part of an organization’s security posture.

Features of a Web Application Firewall

Cybercrime has grown in the last decade. This culminated after the pandemic. Businesses are now under increased threat from cybercrime, as more people work online than ever.

In 2021, the US alone invested 17.4 billion USD in cybersecurity, increasing their overall budget from 6.9 billion in the previous year.

What is a Web Application Firewall?

There is a cybersecurity block or in other words it is a shield that protects your application.

What are Web Application Firewalls and How Does it Actually Work?

Web Application Firewall or WAF is an internet security software that is used to protect the web applications from hackers and cyber attacks. It protects the web application from any vulnerability that can be exploited by a hacker to attack the application and steal data.

How Do I Implement a Web Application Firewall on my Website?

A web application firewall (WAF) is a software that protects your website from hacking and other cyber-attacks. It’s an additional layer of protection for your website.

A WAF is a security system that monitors traffic to and from your website, looking for malicious activity. It blocks suspicious requests, preventing them from reaching your server.

A WAF can be configured in many different ways, depending on what you want it to do. You can configure it to block all traffic or only specific types of traffic such as HTTP or HTTPS requests, POST requests, or just GET requests.

Picking the Right WAF for your Website

A WAF is a Web Application Firewall, which is an application that monitors traffic to and from a website. A WAF can block malicious requests to the website or allow them.

The best way to pick the right WAF for your website is by finding out what kind of attacks it blocks and how well it does so. You should also check if it blocks any of your legitimate requests and what kind of impact on load time the WAF has.

Conclusion: Start Using a Web Application Firewall to Supercharge Your Website Protection Today

A web application firewall (WAF) is a software solution that offers protection for web applications and websites from cyberattacks.

A WAF is a software solution that offers protection for web applications and websites from cyberattacks. It can be used to protect against SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and other types of attacks that target the application layer.

It can also help to mitigate denial-of-service attacks, which are typically aimed at overloading the server’s resources or at exploiting vulnerabilities in the network stack.

Some WAFs also offer protection against brute force login attempts by limiting login attempts from an IP address to a certain number in a given time frame. A WAF is usually deployed as an appliance or as an add-on module for an existing firewall product.

Five tech commandments to a safer digital life

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Cyber-security is just as important when using our smartphones as when working online.

Summary

Security is ‘only as good as the weakest link’, a rule that applies to cyber-security. This article identifies five critical rules to follow regarding digital security:

  1. Use strong passwords, at least eight characters, different ones for different sites. A password manager automatically generates long, complex passwords for accounts with one master password.
  2. Use multi-factor (two-step) authentication (as used by banks) where a phone code is used and a login and password—you can generally add this feature to most online accounts.
  3. Don’t overshare. Smartphone cameras can automatically capture our location, but this feature could compromise security. Ensure the photo location feature is off by default.
  4. Don’t share data about friends. Sharing your address book may compromise others. If you are interested to see if your friends are using a service, ask them. 
  5. Stay sceptical

Worth thinking about the consequences of not following these rules.

Ways to Prevent SQL Injection Attacks

SQL injection is a common cybersecurity issue used by attackers as an entry point to your database. It can be a precursor of many other attacks like credential stuffing, account takeovers, and other forms of fraud. Therefore, it is essential to understand how to protect the application’s database to avoid heavy losses from SQL injections. In this post, we will discuss various ways that you can use to prevent SQL injection attacks.

Ways to prevent SQL injection attacks

Among the most dangerous threats to web applications today are SQL injection attacks. All is not lost to a network or database admin because there are various ways to prevent them from ever happening or minimize their occurrence frequency.

As we will see below, you can take various steps to reduce the risk of exposure to SQL injection attacks.

Regular auditing and penetration testing

It is becoming increasingly necessary to perform regular application, database, and network audits nowadays. With regulations like GDPR, a company does not have the luxury of relaxing on matters of database security. In addition, auditing the database logs for suspicious activities, privilege escalation, and variable binding terms are necessary practices.

As crucial auditing, the system for malicious behavior is, it is equally essential to perform penetration testing of your database to gauge the readiness of your response mechanisms to potential attacks that include SQL injection. Penetration testing companies can find threats like cross-site scripting, unpatched vulnerabilities, retired software, insecure password, and various forms of SQL injection.

User Input Validation

Validating the user inputs is a common step to preventing SQL injection attacks. You have first to identify the essential SQL statements and make a whitelist containing all valid SQL statements. This leaves out the invalidated statements. We refer to this process as query redesign or input validation.

Ensure you configure inputs for user data by context. For instance, you can filter email addresses to ensure that only strings that contain specific characters such as “@” are allowed. In a similar fashion. Ensure that you filter the social security and phone numbers using regular expressions to allow a specific format and number of digits in each of them.

typical eStore’s SQL database query

Sanitization of data through special character limitations

You can safeguard your database against SQL injection attacks through adequate sanitization of user data. SQL injection attackers use specific character sequences that are unique to exploit a database. Therefore, sanitizing your data not to allow concatenation of strings is a critical measure.

You can achieve this by configuring the inputs from a user to a function. It ensures that an attacker does not pass characters like quotes in an SQL query as they might be dangerous. Various administrators use prepared statements to avoid unauthenticated queries.

Parameterization and enforcing prepared statements.

Input validation and data sanitization do not fix all SQL injection-related issues. Therefore, organizations must use prepared statements containing queries that are parameterized to write database queries. We also call this variable binding. Distinguishing user input and code is made easy to define the SQL code used in a query or a parameter.

Although dynamic SQL as a programming method allows more flexibility in developing an application, it has the drawback of allowing SQL injection vulnerabilities as instructions. In addition, sticking to the standard SQL means malicious SQL inputs will be treated as data but not as a potential command.

Enforcing stored procedures in the database

Stored procedures use variable binding like parameterization. Unlike mitigating SQL injections using prepared statements, when you implement stored procedures, they are resident to the database and are only called from an application. If you use dynamic SQL generation, they minimize the effectiveness of stored procedures. According to OWASP (The Open Web Application Security Project®), only one parameterized approach is required, but neither is enough to guarantee optimal security.

Increasing the capability of the virtual and physical firewalls

To help fight malicious SQL queries, we recommend using software or appliance-based web application firewalls. Both NFGW and FWAAS firewall offerings are easy to configure and have a comprehensive set of rules. If a software security patch is yet to be released, you can find WAFs to be useful. One popular firewall is ModSecurity. It is available in Microsoft IIS, Apache, and Nginx servers. It has ever-developing and sophisticated rules to help filter potentially dangerous requests from the web. Its defenses for SQL injection can catch many attempts to sneak in malicious SQL queries from the web.

Reducing the attack surface

An attack surface is an array of vulnerabilities that an attacker can use as an entry point. Therefore, in the SQL injection context, it means that you do away with any functionalities in the database that you do not require or ensure further safety.

A good example is the xp_cmdshell extended storing procedure for the Microsoft SQL Server. It can spawn a command shell and pass a string for execution in windows. Since the process started by the xp_cmdshell has similar security privileges as the SQL Server service account, severe damage from the attacker can befall the database.

Encryption

One rule should always reign when dealing with matters on the internet. No connected application is secure. Therefore, ensure that you hash and encrypt your connection strings and confidential data. There are many encryptions and hashing tools that are cheap, easily accessible, or even open source. Today we must universally adopt encryption as a data protection mechanism. It is for a good reason. Without encrypting your data using appropriate hashing and encryption policies, when it falls in the hands of a malicious actor, all the data is in plain sight. There are various hashing mechanisms like SHA, LANNAN, and NTLM. Encryption algorithms in the market today are bcrypt, DES, RSA, TripleDES, among many others. According to Microsoft, through encryption, we transform the problem of protecting the data protecting cryptographic keys.

Monitoring the SQL statements continuously

Third-party vendors and organizations should ensure continuous monitoring of all SQL statements within an application or database-connected applications. They should also document the prepared statements, database accounts, and stored procedures. It is easier to identify SQL statements that are rogue and various vulnerabilities when you scrutinize the functioning of the SQL statements. Therefore, a database admin can disable or delete unnecessary accounts, the stored procedure, and prepared statements.

There are monitoring tools that use technologies like behavioral analysis and machine learning. They include tools like SIEM and PAM and are an excellent addition to an organization’s network security.

Take away about prevent SQL injection

It is essential to conduct regular penetration testing to evaluate how you have implemented measures to prevent SQL injection attack responses. Through this option, you can stay ahead of the attacker and prevent lawsuits and hefty fines from coming your way. Besides the above measures, you can implement other safeguards like limiting access, denying extended URLs from your application, not divulging error messages, among many others.

Top Cybersecurity Trends

As we are already in 2020, it’s obvious to think about what the future has in store for us. From a cybersecurity viewpoint, there are a lot of concerns to be answered. 

How cybersecurity will behave this year and what risks will come to the surface? 

Will attackers capitalize on new tools like AI and biometrics or will they focus on utilizing traditional systems in new ways? What will shape cybersecurity in 2020 and beyond? 

By reviewing the cybersecurity happenings over the past couple of years, it is somehow possible to predict the things in cyber scenarios over the next 12 months. 

From cybersecurity staff shortages to the AI’s role in cybersecurity, let’s have a quick look at key cybersecurity trends that are likely to define the digital landscape in 2020. 

The Cybersecurity Talents Gap:

The tech industry is going through cybersecurity talent crises, even though security teams have to face more risks than ever. 

Various studies have found that the shortage of skilled cybersecurity workforce is expected to hit 3.4 million unfilled positions by 2021, up from the current level of 2.93 million, with 500,000 of those vacancies in North America. This can worsen the problem, leading to possible data incidents not being investigated. Consequently, there will be a greater dependence on AI tools that can help organizations with fewer humans. 

Automated security tools such as digital threat management solutions are increasingly becoming important to safeguarding the data. Modern products can enable even a small team to protect their websites and web apps, ensuring a technological solution to persistent cybersecurity talent concerns. 

Starting of the New Cyber Cold War:

In 2017, American intelligence agencies confirmed the Russian government’s involvement in a campaign of hacking, fake news, data leaks to affect the American political process to benefit Donald Trump. 

This is how the cyber-game is played among powerful nations. And this has led to a new kind of war which is termed as a cyber-cold war. 

Cyber-attacks in smaller countries are reportedly sponsored by larger nations to establish their spheres of influence. 

Moreover, critical infrastructure continues to be on the radar of cyber-attacks, as seen in attacks on South African and US utility companies. Countries are required to ponder over their cyber defenses around their critical infrastructure.

Hackers to Exploit Misconfigurations:

Former Amazon Web Services employee Paige Thompson was found guilty of accessing the personal information of 106 million Capital One credit card applicants and clients as well as stealing information from over 30 other enterprises. Thompson was also accused of stealing multiple TB of data from a variety of companies and educational institutions. 

The investigators found that Thompson leveraged a firewall misconfiguration to access data in Capital One’s AWS storage, with a GitHub file containing code for some commands as well as information of over 700 folders of data. Those commands helped him get access to data stored in the folders over there. 

The point is here that human errors in the configuration process can provide an easy entry to the cyber-criminals. Therefore, hackers are looking to make the most of this security vulnerability. 

The Eminent Role of AI in Cybersecurity:

In 2016, AI was used to propagate fake news in the US elections. Special teams were used in a political campaign to create and spread fake stories to weaken the opponents. As we are gearing up for the 2020 elections, the use of AI is likely to take place once again. 

As AI continues to be a major tool for cyber-crime, it will also be utilized to speed up security responses. Most security solutions are based on an algorithm based on human intellect, but updating this against the sophisticated risks and across new technologies and devices is challenging to do manually. 

AI can be useful in threat detection and immediate security responses, helping to prevent attacks before they can do big damage. But it can’t be denied that cybercriminals are also leveraging the same technology to help them identify networks for vulnerabilities and create malware. 

Cloud Security to Remain a Top Concern:

Cloud technology has been gaining momentum among all businesses over the years. After all, it ensures flexibility, collaboration, sharing and accessing. Simply put, you can share and access data from any part of the world, especially if you are on the go. 

However, cloud technology is not immune to threats like data loss, leakage, privacy violation, and confidentiality. These threats will continue to plague cloud computing in 2020 too. No wonder the cloud security market is expected to hit $8.9 billion by 2020

The cloud threats are mainly caused by poor management by the clients, rather than the service provider. For example, you require a password to access a basic cloud service that is shared with you or created by you. In case of using a weaker password, you are making your cloud account vulnerable to cybercrimes. Keep in mind that detecting such flaws in your cloud usage is not a big deal for today’s sophisticated cybercriminals. Besides, sensitive information should be placed in a private cloud that is safer than a public cloud. 

State-Sponsored Cyber-attacks will Rock the World:

Advanced cyber-attacks sponsored by nation-state actors will have a profound impact. Cybercriminals who are unofficially backed by the state can unleash DDoS attacks, create high-profile data incidents, steal secrets and data, and silence some voices. As political tensions are increasing, these things are likely to go up—and managing security in such a scenario will require equally sophisticated solutions to detect and prevent vulnerabilities. 

Bottom Line:

Cyber incidents are on the rise. They will be even more malicious this year as hackers are looking for new ways to discover vulnerabilities. That’s why cybersecurity should be the topmost priority for organizations. Pondering over the new risks will help you better prepare. What do you think? Let me know by commenting below.