It’s easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom of the cybersecurity space. With each day comes a new story about a company being breached, an organization being held for ransom, or a new form of malware that cyber criminals are using to steal data. However, it isn’t very often that we take time reflect and acknowledge the positive aspects of cybersecurity. As we gather with friends and family this Thanksgiving, here are a few cybersecurity trends that we’ve seen from 2019, and what we expect in 2020, that we are thankful for!
Browser-maker Mozilla has made enhanced tracking protection (ETP) a default setting in the Firefox browser. As a result, more than 10 billion trackers are being blocked every day. In the past, these trackers could gain access to unlimited data based on a user’s browser activity. That data is being better protected thanks to ETP. This enhanced security setting from Mozilla is helping create a trend among browser-makers to limit tracking potential. Security and privacy are two of the most important factors for users. It will be important for browsers to be equipped with tools to protect users if they want to continue building activity within their search engines.
Many security activists would like to see passwords removed as a data gatekeeper. Many believe that passwords are outdated and need to be replaced by newer technology. Former con-artist and cybersecurity expert Frank Abagnale says it’s time to do away with passwords completely. “They are old-fashioned and useless,” He says, “The only extra layer they add is annoyance for consumers, not protection.” The problem with passwords is that they can be predictable and easily stolen. Trusona is a company creating technology that replaces passwords with personal authentication. This technology is revolutionizing multi-factor authentication, using factors such as a PIN, the associated device, and a biometric of the individual. Moving away from passwords could be a huge step forward in thwarting hackers attempts to steal data through brute-force attacks.
The HTTPS Migration
A study found that just four years ago, only a quarter of all sites encrypted their traffic. This has drastically changed in 2019. Over the past year many organizations have pushed forwards for sites to adopt HTTPS to protect traffic. Google even began demoting sites that were not encrypted. Today over 75 percent of sites use traffic-encrypting protocol. This trend should continue in 2020.
AI Cybersecurity Advancements
Real-time data and analytics are creating opportunities for AI to make tremendous headway in 2020. Budgets are growing for machine learning, and companies are willing to make the investments necessary to see AI become a large contributor in the data security space. AI’s capability of recognizing normal behavior from a user and distinguishing anomalies is what makes it a tremendous tool in advancing cybersecurity efforts. While advancements are certainly being made, it’s also important to recognize the vulnerabilities of AI. Just like other technologies, hackers are capable of exploiting weaknesses and will certainly try to find gaps as AI cybersecurity continues to develop.
People are beginning to move to more secure forms of device operating. Fewer people are leaving their devices unencrypted and vulnerable to outsiders. Phones, laptops, USB drives, along with other devices are being secured by users. Many business regulations now require any work-related device to be encrypted with a pin or passcode. It’s also in the best interest of users to secure their personal devices as well. Studies show that over the past year, more than 1 billion people communicated through encrypted messaging devices and apps. While it is vital to see that number increase in 2020, it is also remarkable to see users comprehending and acting on security awareness.