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With great amounts of data, comes great responsibility. The world is getting more connected through technology and that connection is powered by data. Unfortunately, the great power that data holds is also something worth exploiting. How can this happen? What are the IT weaknesses that we should all be aware of in 2020?  


What went wrong in 2019?


To better understand current IT threats, let’s first take a look at how much IT security threats have cost businesses in 2019. According to a study carried out by the Ponemon Institute and IBM:

  • the average cost of a data breach reached $3.92 million;
  • the average size of a data breach has been of 25,575 records.

These numbers show that IT disasters are still a big problem and can produce great damage. This threat is still real in 2020. 


What should you worry about in 2020?


You are probably familiar with most IT threats, as IT security threats are rarely eradicated. However, the rise of new technologies brings new things to worry about. Here are 5 IT threats and weaknesses you should be aware of in 2020:

  1. The internet of things (IoT)

While this is in itself not a threat, its popularity is. The Internet of Things hasn’t been around a decade ago. But it’s now becoming a reality, as more and more devices are getting connected, forming smart „everything” – from smart homes to smart cities. 

And each new technology added to this chain will add weaknesses to be exploited. Zero-days can be taken advantage of, leaving people and businesses vulnerable to new IT security threats. 

  1. Phishing attacks 

Phishing is a very old phenomenon and though we might think humans have eradicated it, the truth is far from that. While the general public has been educated regarding phishing and many phishing scams are very easy to spot, the threat still exists. 

In addition to easily recognizable phishing e-mails, sophisticated phishing strategies have been developed – especially ones targeting social network users. And the frequency of phishing-related data breaches are surprising: according to a 2018 report powered by Verizon, phishing represents 98% of social incidents. 

  1. Malware/Ransomware

Malware has been a constant threat for businesses for many years. Ransomware has caused a lot of damage, like for example the worldwide WannaCry attack in May 2017 or the NotPetya attack in 2018. 

As ransomware is constantly „mutating” in new strains, it remains a threat. If in the past few years ransomware attacks have been visible on a worldwide scale, it is now believed to have become more specialized. As the malware evolves, it can be used to target various niches (like for example public sector, healthcare or manufacturing), where data is vital and where the owners are able to pay high amounts of money to get their data back. 

  1. AI attacks

Artificial intelligence or AI is a technology that is evolving and gaining popularity rapidly. As we will be hearing more and more about AI in the following years, the chances are high that not all news will be good news. As in the case of all new technologies, wrong-doers will have an interest in exploiting AI for personal profit. 

  1. Underestimating threats

While all these technology-related threats are real and we should all be aware of them, the biggest threat is given by people and companies who don’t take IT threats seriously. This is actually the biggest weakness that can be exploited. 

Most companies, especially small companies, believe that it won’t happen to them. But the reality is different. In fact, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. (Source: Verizon, 2019 Data Breach Report) If a company does not take such threats seriously, they will not prepare for them and they won’t be able to overcome them easily.


How do you keep your data safe?

As a company, it is as important as ever to keep your data safe. To defend your business from data loss in 2020 and beyond, it is vital to not underestimate the threats out there. A proactive approach to data protection is recommended. This involves finding the right tools and solutions, but also putting adequate policies in place. 

In the long term, the only thing that can assure data protection and recovery is a sound backup strategy. Organisations should know how to prioritise their data and create efficient backups. These backups should then be easy to restore and use in case of an IT disaster. 

IT immunity with Syneto

Syneto solutions have been developed with data protection in mind. We believe data is the new oil and has immense value. That is why we have made it our mission to help our customers save and protect it. Find out how you can protect your business from IT security threats. Get in touch with our team to schedule a free demo.