2020 Predictions: AI, Cloud Breaches & Quantum Computing

2019 has been an extraordinary year for cyber security hacks and emerging vulnerabilities. We saw a record number of state sponsored cyber-attacks, ransomware campaigns, as well as an increased number of breaches occurring due to ignorance, misconceptions and poorly configured environments.

Public cloud migrations are accelerating and new application architectures have made many organizations more agile but has also exposed them to new security vulnerabilities and pitfalls. Individuals are becoming aware of the sensitivity and impact of misinformation campaigns raising their awareness on the power of data cause them to have an urgent craving for improved privacy.

What does the cybersecurity landscape hold as we move into 2020? Advances in technology from AI to quantum computing are paving the way for new possibilities.

AI Will Amplify Fake News and Disinformation Campaigns

Disinformation and fake news can wreak serious havoc in business and organizations. In today’s digital age, its significance has increased and is being used as a weapon in the cyber arsenal of nation states.

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As deep learning algorithms to generate fake images and movies become more powerful, I predict this application of AI will be a catalyst for large scale disinformation and fake news campaigns that are targeted and individualized based on the behavior and psychological profile of each victim.

Data Breaches Through Stupidity or Ignorance Will Fade

The Wall Street Journal reports that most cloud data breaches occur due to a lack of proper data protection and security measures. Gartner estimates up to 95% of cloud breaches stem from human errors. Cloud security strategies are lagging behind actual cloud use and leaving companies with unsanctioned public cloud access creating unnecessary risk exposure.

I predict that in 2020 data breaches caused by misconfiguration on the public cloud will fade out as cloud- and service-providers take a stronger role in helping organizations reduce their attack surface.  Organizations are becoming more experienced, learning from other’s previous mistakes, and getting better at evaluating and mitigating the risks associated with their cloud migrations.

Quantum Communication Will Start to Become Integrated into Security Policies

Quantum communication, the field of applied quantum physics for protecting information channels against eavesdropping, will become an important technology for organizations that trade in sensitive and highly valuable information.

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Quantum key distribution, one of the most well-known and developed applications of quantum cryptography, will become more widespread as we are getting into the dawn of quantum supremacy, the potential to solve problems that classical computers practically cannot. 

But as researchers get closer to quantum supremacy, the tension will grow among organizations that are handling sensitive and highly valuable information. This tension will push certain organizations across the line to take protect their communications against cryptographic attacks through quantum communication technology. I predict that we will see this trend begin in 2020.

Note: A version of this post originally appeared on VMblog.com.

Read “Radware’s 2019 Web Application Security Report” to learn more.

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Pascal Geenens

As the Director, Threat Intelligence for Radware, Pascal helps execute the company's thought leadership on today’s security threat landscape. Pascal brings over two decades of experience in many aspects of Information Technology and holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the Free University of Brussels. As part of the Radware Security Research team Pascal develops and maintains the IoT honeypots and actively researches IoT malware. Pascal discovered and reported on BrickerBot, did extensive research on Hajime and follows closely new developments of threats in the IoT space and the applications of AI in cyber security and hacking. Prior to Radware, Pascal was a consulting engineer for Juniper working with the largest EMEA cloud and service providers on their SDN/NFV and data center automation strategies. As an independent consultant, Pascal got skilled in several programming languages and designed industrial sensor networks, automated and developed PLC systems, and lead security infrastructure and software auditing projects. At the start of his career, he was a support engineer for IBM's Parallel System Support Program on AIX and a regular teacher and presenter at global IBM conferences on the topics of AIX kernel development and Perl scripting.

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