2019 Data Breaches in Review, and What to Expect for 2020

No matter the industry, no matter the target goal, cybercriminals have ramped up their efforts to infiltrate network systems across the globe. From hotel chains to major credit card companies, data breaches and cyberattacks have grown in sophistication as well as widespread effects, causing major digital damage as well as financial damage.

According to Risk Based Security research published last summer, the first six months of 2019 alone saw more than 3,800 publicly disclosed breaches reported, compromising an excess of 4.1 billion records. And while the total numbers for the complete year are still being calculated, it’s no secret that there’s still plenty to worry about in terms of cybersecurity in 2020.

Here’s a look at some of last year’s major data breaches and what to expect in 2020.

Major Data Breaches of 2019

  • WhatsApp: Last May, hackers were able to install surveillance tech on the phones os users of the digital messaging app through phone calls. It’s still unclear how many people were affected by it, but with 1.5 billion users worldwide, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a number reaching the tens of millions.
  • Hacked iPhones: Hacked websites were used to attack iPhones for more than two years, culminating in more significant breaches in 2019. The sophisticated iPhone hacks were discovered by cybersecurity researchers with Google’s Project Zero. The attack showed signs of a state-backed effort and it’s likely that attempts were made by the Chinese government in order to monitor regional Muslims.
  • S. Customs & Border Protection: Last June, hackers breached a database of images kept by the United States Customs and Border Protection. The data included images of travelers’ faces and license plates, affecting data of around 100,000 travelers.
  • Quest Diagnostics: The clinical laboratory company announced last June that an unauthorized user had gained access to nearly 12 million patients’ information, including financial data and social security numbers.
  • Microsoft: Seattle-based tech giant Microsoft found in April of 2019 that hackers breached its development tool known as Visual Studio, creating three backdoors into three video game companies. As many as 92,000 computers were running compromised versions of the affected video games. The group responsible for the attack is speculated to be a collective of Chinese hackers known as Barium.

What to Expect in 2020

Businesses in all industries and of all sizes would be right to look into their cyber risk services insurance coverage to make sure they are protected from major fees and legal problems arising from cybercrimes. Having network security is only one hurdle that cybercriminals have to jump before gaining what they want, and with sophistication being the key to accessing information, it’s only a matter of when and not if data breaches will occur.

This is why it’s important for businesses to invest in cyber risk services in order to have the resources to keep the risks low.

Here’s what businesses in all industries can be on the lookout for in 2020:

  • Artificial Intelligence Monitoring: Organizations will move past traditional approaches and technology that rely on learning from known attacks. Instead, companies will depend on deep learning and artificial intelligence that are able to analyze complex situations with a high level of detail. The reason for this shift is due to cyber attackers’ growing level of sophistication to analyze data more quickly and more hidden.
  • Phishing Attacks: Phishing has always been an issue with email, but companies can expect phishing efforts to go beyond email. With the advent of social media networking and marketing, hackers will employ social engineering as a way to infiltrate systems and gain information.
  • Cloud Security Issues: By 2022, most companies will move some of their workloads to the cloud, according to a report from INAP. Beyond this year, more companies will accept responsibilities when it comes to cloud services and cybercrimes that contain the information held within. There is expected to be a higher demand for professionals who are skilled at managing and securing the cloud as attacks will be focused on obtaining the data.

About Highland Risk Services

At Highland Risk, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.