power sector
Image credit: Stock

Global certification body TUV Rheinland has released a new report which explores the cybersecurity trends to watch for in 2020.

The report is the group’s seventh annual report on cybersecurity and discusses seven key trends that will be important to be aware of in 2020.

The cybersecurity trends include:

  • Uncontrolled access to personal data carries the risk of destabilising the digital society

For instance, in 2017, Frenchwoman Judith Duportail asked a dating app company to send her any personal information they had about her. In response, she received an 800-page document containing her Facebook likes and dislikes, the age of the men she had expressed interest in, and every single online conversation she had had with all 870 matching contacts since 2013. The fact that Judith Duportail received so much personal data after several years of using a single app underscores the fact that data protection is now very challenging.

  • Smart consumer devices are spreading faster than they can be secured

Smart speakers, fitness trackers, smart watches, thermostats, energy meters, smart home security cameras, smart locks and lights are the best-known examples of the seemingly unstoppable democratisation of the “Internet of Many Things”.

  • The trend towards owning a medical device increases the risk of an Internet health crisis

Researchers have identified a growing number of software vulnerabilities and the possibility of attacks on personal medical devices such as insulin pumps, heart and glucose monitors, defibrillators and pacemakers.

  • Vehicles and transport infrastructure are new targets for cyberattacks

Due to increasing amounts of vehicles and transport infrastructures becoming connected, broad cyberattacks targeting transport could affect not only the safety of individual road users but could also lead to widespread disruption of traffic and urban safety.

  • Hackers target smart supply chains and make them “dumb”

As smart supply chains increase to leverage IoT automation, robotics and big data for greater efficiency and lower costs, the new business model considerably increases the financial risks, even with only relatively minor disruptions.

  • Threats to shipping are no longer just a theoretical threat but a reality

Many aspects of shipping such as ship navigation, port logistics and ship computer network are vulnerable to attacks.

  • Vulnerabilities in real-time operating systems could herald the end of the patch age

It is estimated that by 2025 there will be over 75 billion networked devices on the Internet of Things, each using its own software package. This, in turn, contains many outsourced and potentially endangered components.

Petr Lahner, a business executive vice-president at TUV Rheinland, said: “From our point of view, it is particularly serious that cybercrime is increasingly affecting our personal security and the stability of society as a whole.

“One of the reasons for this is that digital systems are finding their way into more and more areas of our daily lives. Digitalisation offers many advantages – but it is important that these systems and thus the people are safe from attacks.”

Click here for more information about the report.