If a cyberattack is successful, on average, it can cost a small business almost $54,000. Not only do you have to spend money to fix your cybersecurity holes, but you may also lose valuable data, such as your customers’ information and/or your trade secrets.

Cyberattacks don’t just harm businesses either. These criminals go after people like you too; if successful, they can steal your bank details and identity, which can be a mess to sort out.

Want to be prepared for 2020 and beyond? Then keep reading. We’ll tell you about the top 5 cybersecurity threats you need to watch out for.

1. Social Engineering

Social engineering is a very old practice; it’s pretty much existed since the beginning of mankind. Essentially, social engineering isn’t hacking technology, but rather, hacking people.

This is when fraudsters psychologically trick their victims to achieve their goals. For example, if one wants your company’s trade secrets, they may dress as a serviceman to bypass security clearances.

How can you prevent such things from happening? By making sure your workplace knows physical threats are just as real as digital ones.

Make sure all visitors (including servicemen like HVAC technicians and exterminators) are registered and always have escorts. Combine this with a company-wide practice of locking your devices whenever you’re not at your desk. A clean desk policy helps too.

If someone nefarious gets into your physical office and is left unattended, they can easily access sensitive information on a computer if it’s not password protected. And they can also easily access sensitive information if vital papers are left in plain sight.

2. Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks have also been around for quite some time. They started back in 1996 when people would masquerade as AOL admins to get other people’s paid login credentials.

Phishing is so successful because the cybercriminal doesn’t have to do any hacking. Instead, they use social engineering to trick their victims into handing over their credentials without a fuss.

While phishing’s been around for decades now, there’s no sign it’s going to die out. In fact, for 2020, you can expect phishing attempts to become even more sophisticated.

In the past, phishing emails were laughable and you could tell they were fake emails straightaway. But now that people are getting more educated about phishing, fraudsters are stepping up their game; their social engineering is so on point even professionals can’t tell the difference at times.

To fight against these cyberattacks, make sure you always type in the web address yourself. That way, you’re 100% certain you’re on the authentic website and not a phishing site.

3. Ransomware

As you can guess, ransomware is where the attacker holds your device hostage and won’t give back access unless you pay a fee. In the majority of cases (if not all), they’ll want a decent amount of Bitcoin; this is because these transactions are untraceable.

The problem with paying the ransom is it’s not a guarantee that you’ll regain control over your computer. Many victims of ransomware pay the asked fee and never hear from the cybercriminal again. So not only do they lose control over their computer, but they’re out a couple of hundred dollars as well.

You can protect yourself by having multiple backup copies of your data. Not only that, but you should store them in different places, both onsite and offsite. If you’re ever unfortunate enough to be hit with ransomware, all you have to do is just wipe your computer and reboot with your last backup.

You should also consider using a managed security services provider. They’ll be able to up your security and stop any ransomware attacks should they make it through.

4. Cryptojacking

If you haven’t been living underneath a rock, then you’ll know that cryptocurrency is huge now. With how much Bitcoin is worth, everyone wants a piece.

Mining for cryptocurrency can take up lots of resources and power, so cybercriminals have taken to hijacking other people’s devices to carry out mining, essentially for free.

Should you be crypto-jacked, this can cause serious issues in your network’s performance. And if it’s your business network, this can eat up valuable IT resources, as they’ll have to find the root cause of the slowdown and fix it.

As cryptocurrency is growing in strength, you can expect to see crypto-jacking attempts continue to increase. To prevent this from happening, install ad-blocking and anti-cryptomining extensions on your web browsers.

5. Internet of Things (IoT) Attacks

IoT refers to how a bunch fo digital machines, networks, and other electronics are linked together to form one giant, streamlined network.

While this can certainly make life easier, it also makes us more vulnerable as well. If a cyberattack is successful, the criminal has access to not only one thing, but potentially, everything that’s connected!

You’ve probably noticed that as technology makes leaps and bounds, more and more things are being added to the IoT. This could only mean increased IoT attacks in 2020 and beyond.

You can protect yourself and/or your business by learning how to maintain security on your IoT devices. Having the services of a managed security services provider can help immensely as well.

Be Prepared for These Cybersecurity Threats

Now that you know what the top cybersecurity threats are for 2020, hopefully, you can keep a better eye out and avoid them better.

However, keep in mind that these are just the top cybersecurity threats around. This means there will be many more to dodge. So be vigilant; being proactive will help you avoid a world of trouble in the future.

Does your home or business need help with cybersecurity? Then get in touch with us now! We’ll help you get anything and everything set up so your network is secure.