4 Cybersecurity Threats Expected to Rise in 2020

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4 Cybersecurity Threats Expected to Rise in 2020

In this article, we discuss four cybersecurity threats, including System Piggybacking and IoT attacks that are expected to be on the rise in 2020.

· Security Zone ·
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Cybercrime is on a steady rise and drastically impacts every industry imaginable. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center of the FBI, cybercriminals cost consumers and business owners 2.7 billion dollars in losses in 2018

Couple that alarming statistic with the fact that CyberCrime Magazine predicts there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs in 2021. Due to the shortage of cybersecurity personnel, many developers, hobbyists, and business owners are trying to proactively learn about security threats so they can keep their hard work safe. 

In light of this trend, we are going to take a look at four cybersecurity crimes and trends that are expected to rise in 2020. 

System Piggybacking

System piggybacking is a phrase that means someone is using your system without permission. Hackers can break into vulnerable networks and use the system as a tool to perform illegal activities. 

One of the most common uses of piggybacking involves obtaining cryptocurrency through tactics like Bitcoin mining. There is nothing illegal about mining for bitcoins inherently. Still, because of the computing power it takes to complete this action, malicious internet users will piggyback off of internet connections so they can speed up the mining process. 

You can protect your system from piggybacking by frequently changing your wifi password to long passwords with a complex input of numbers, letters, and symbols. We suggest changing your password monthly, but if you live in a high traffic area, you may want to change your password more often. If you’re working from a home network, you can turn off your wireless router and hard-wire everything to your router. Hackers can’t access your wireless network and piggyback if it’s off. 

You may also like: The Fundamentals of Cybersecurity

Internet of Things (IoT) Attacks 

When most people think of the internet, they think of their computers, laptops, and smartphones. Anyone who is experienced in tech knows that the Internet of Things (IoT) attacks are on the rise. Smart homes, cars, and city-wide infrastructure are all part of IoT. These advancements have helped us grow in new and exciting ways, but it also presents a risk for consumers and business owners. 

There’s a concern that cybercriminals could take out the smart security systems on homes. This concern has many people concerned about using smart security to protect their property. The truth is, this emerging technology does have vulnerabilities. If you want to rest easy with your smart home protection, always shop with reputable dealers and check for vulnerability updates. 

Application Vulnerabilities 

Application vulnerabilities are a huge problem for consumers and developers. Hackers can find exploits in software and use an application as a back door to access all of your most valuable information. 

Consider this -- the WordPress platform alone has 50,000 plugins. Some plugins are great tools that can help you build an excellent website; others are a breeding ground for ransomware, adware, and malware. 

Smartphones are another gateway for cybercriminals. There are currently over 3 billion mobile users worldwide. Additionally, Statista cites that the Google Play Store has over 2.8 million applications. Much like the WordPress plugins, there are quite a few fantastic applications for your phone -- however, there are far more apps that can open your phone up to security vulnerabilities. 

If you want to prevent these types of cyberattacks in 2020, we suggest only using reputable applications and plugins on your website and smartphone. Additionally, check for security updates as many apps and plugins introduce new security patches throughout their life cycle. 

AI as a Hacking Tool

Finally, cybercriminals are going to push harder when it comes to tricking email users. Research shows that over 281 billion emails were sent last year, meaning there is a ton of information exchanging hands every single day. Scammers are taking notice and monitoring networks or launching phishing attacks against unsuspecting developers and consumers. 

Hackers have evolved to the point where they are using AI as a tool to help them fool email users. They send out a bunch of emails, and the AI tracks the emails that were opened, and which were ignored. They take this data and give the artificial intelligence program the ability to tweak the message so they can trick the consumer into opening the message so they can obtain private information. 

Always make sure you know the sender when you open an email and use a VPN if you want to protect your network behind the scenes. 


Technology has given us access to tools that we could only dream of just a few short decades ago. Along with these fantastic advancements, we see that a group of people using this technology to take advantage of others. Keep your eyes out for these trends, and more as hackers discover new ways to exploit consumers and technology in the coming year. Staying aware of your behavior online, or when using an IoT device, can help keep you safe in 2020. 

Further Reading

big data, cybercrime, cybersecurity, machine learning & ai

Published at DZone with permission of Thomas Griffin . See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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