5 cybersecurity threats to look out for in 2020

Whilst businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of cybersecurity as they become ever more reliant on technology, most organisations, and in particular SMEs, still struggle to implement the required security and precautionary measures needed to protect them.

Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated. Attackers are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to exploit businesses, but that said, some more established cyberattack strategies remain just as much of a threat to businesses as they did in the past.

Staying aware of the spectrum of cyber threats and having solutions in place to combat them will put your business in a safer position to prevent any attack. So, what are the most important cybersecurity threats to look out for in 2020? Here are our top 5:

Cloud security

Using cloud technology has become more and more popular for businesses as part of their IT solution to store data and run operational processes. However, due to its popularity, the number of cloud-based security threats continues to rise.

Businesses using cloud technology could be at risk of data breaches, data loss, Denial of Service (DOS) attacks and account hijacking.

In 2020, businesses should review their cloud technology to ensure it is kept secure by using encryption methods, sophisticated passwords and putting in place management and access level policies to ensure there are no internal threats. You should also carry out a cloud security assessment regularly to assess your infrastructure, make sure it is kept up to date and that you have a disaster recovery plan, to avoid any data loss and to minimise downtime should you face an attack. Also, don’t forget to back up your data consistently and often!

Mobile devices

The number of mobile devices used by businesses is increasing, as organisations introduce more flexible and remote working methods for their staff. Companies are using mobiles, both personal and business-owned, to store important data which makes them vulnerable to poorly-secured connections, mobile malware and device theft.

Therefore, it is critical that businesses have systems that are secure for both mobile and desktop access, such as a secure web application with real-time vulnerability measurements. Any documents or files sent via a mobile containing sensitive information should also be encrypted.

IoT attacks

In simple terms, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of internet-connected objects which contain unique identifiers (UIDs) and are able to collect and exchange data without requiring human-to-human connection. This may be connected security systems, thermostats, cars, electronic appliances, alarm clocks, speaker systems and smart home devices.

IoT devices present a number of potential security risks, as they are vulnerable to insecure Wi-Fi connections, hard-coded credentials, unverified firmware updates, vulnerable web interfaces and unencrypted data. If the router or network that is connected to the IoT device is compromised, attackers can use this as a point of entry for further attacks to multiple devices and gain access to communications and data.

In 2020, companies should look at the way IoT is used and ensure there is a system in place to protect them against these risks.


Phishing attacks are when you receive a fraudulent email, text or message on a website which tricks you into giving up sensitive information, such as login credentials, personal identification, passwords to online accounts, credit card info etc.

Phishing is a common cyberthreat, as it is cheap for attackers, low-risk and relatively easy to pull off.

Attackers are becoming more sophisticated with their phishing methods and can make messages look incredibly authentic, despite containing malicious links or files containing malware. It therefore remains a significant threat for 2020.

Typical phishing emails include invoices, spoof emails from trusted brands, such as Amazon, Apple or Netflix, or messages posing as your banking provider asking you to update information. According to statistics from Avanan, 1 in every 99 emails is a phishing attack and when you consider the amount of emails your business and employees receive every day, the threat is very present.

To protect yourself against phishing attacks, ensure your mailing software has anti-phishing software in place to detect any suspicious or potentially threatening emails coming through. You should also educate your employees about phishing, what a phishing email may look like and the actions they need to take to remove the threat.


While ransomware attacks on individuals have been on the decline over the last few years, for businesses, it still remains a strong threat.

Ransomware attacks involve a cyber attacker infecting the victim’s systems and devices with a piece of malware that encrypts all of their data. The attacker then presents them with an ultimatum – to either pay the ransom or lose all of their data indefinitely.

Every day, organisations are vulnerable to encryption malware attacking their systems and destroying their data; therefore, it is important to use strong perimeter security, such as firewalls. Anti-virus programmes should also be installed on every device so every website and email attachment can be scanned for encryption malware. Ensure that your business has a disaster recovery plan in place, which includes an off-site back up of all of your important files and business data to protect you against this data breach and loss. That way, if your systems become infected, you can restore your data from the backup.

In addition to our top 5 cybersecurity threats, there are other cyber threats your business could be vulnerable to, including internal attacks from employees, flaws or bugs in your cybersecurity systems and distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks.

If you’re concerned about your cyber security or are looking for solutions to protect your business from an attack and reduce risk, speak to Host100. We can advise on the most effective, secure solutions for your business. Give us a call on 01252 63 60 60 or email sales@host100.co.uk.