The year 2020 and cyber threats. What projections for what threats?

This year has had its share of computer attacks and massive data disclosure.

It will even be said that data leaks are at the forefront of cyber threats in 2019. From the American bank Capital One, to the Canadian firm Desjardins through Revenue Quebec, 2019 will have had its share of disclosure and computer intrusion.

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Apart from data leaks, ransomware has also shone this year. And that's not all, they are becoming more and more sophisticated more dangerous and more expensive. the latter began to target mainly institutions with high financial potential, against the original target of SMEs, and especially health institutions that came into play. According to an estimate by the Internet Society's Alliance for Online Trust, ransomware attacks have caused estimated damage to more than $8 billion in 2018 alone and almost double in 2019.

But according to the report provided by the U.S. cybersecurity firm, Symantec, ransom programs would be down 20% since the beginning of 2019 while observing a rather particular increase at the corporate level with 12% more attacks. "The first ransomware worked a bit like duspam. The criminals were sending emails to everyone hoping someone would take the bait.

It wasn't very complex," said Kurt Baumgartner, a senior security researcher at computer security firm Kaspersky. But today we have to see a strong evolution in the use of these malware. Now, cybercriminals are no longer content with small businesses in development. they now target cities of large companies but also health institutions. "An individual is only going to pay $300 or $400 to get their data back. These organizations sometimes pay millions, in part because of the insurance companies that allow them to pay," says Kurt Baumgartner.

For our researcher, it is indeed a serious mistake that to pay the ransom: "It makes the crime attractive and it causes a ball effect snow," he notes."It's not that there will be more ransomware in 2020, but the attacks will be more important," acknowledges David Masson, the firm's national director. Darktrace cyber defence for Canada.

In terms of the infrastructure targeted by cybercriminals, it should be noted that "The ransomware that now targets IT will also affect infrastructure networks," adds David Man. For this former Canadian Intelligence Officer (CSIS) and England (MI5), "connected buildings and smart cities represent new points of contact for criminals to launch their attacks. ».

It should also be noted that in a report by the Canadian Centre for computer security, published in 2018 on cyber threats public institutions had noted the strong possibility that Canada's sensitive infrastructure could be disrupted by the intervention foreign state of any state. For "the introduction of more Internet-connected devices made infrastructure providers more likely to be targeted by perpetrators of less cyber threats. such as cybercriminals. (…) After all, we can amass much more money by attacking infrastructure than the network library," notes David Masson.

In 2020, of course, cybercrime should be observed as a service, which has already become a trend today, although it will continue to grow. Cyber criminals will continue to hire their services to the highest bidders. With machine learning, we should also expect an evolution in cybercrime. "In 2020, we will see an attack entirely propelled by machine learning, which will be able to move through a network without being detected and without the participation of a human," predicted David Masson. However, this view is not fully shared even if it is accepted with reservation. "It's hard at the moment to collect data on the use of artificial intelligence by attackers," said Kurt Baumgartner of Kaspersky.

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