More financial threats in 2020

TECHNOLOGY security firm Kaspersky has forecasted that in 2020 cyberterrorists may start to target investment apps, online financial data processing and upcoming cryptocurrencies.

It also noted that potential new security-related challenges are seen in the areas of health care, corporate security and telecommunications industries.

“Financial cyberthreats are considered to be some of the most dangerous ones, as the impact they bring usually results in direct financial losses for victims. 2019 has seen some significant developments in the industry and also in how financial attackers operate,” Kaspersky said in a statement.

In 2020, the security firm foresees that the financial technology will be under attack.

“Mobile investments apps have become more popular among users around the globe. This trend won’t go unnoticed by cybercriminals in 2020. Not all of these apps utilize best security practices like multi-factor authentication or protection of the app connection, which may give cybercriminals a potential way to target users of such applications,” the firm said.

Mobile banking is also at risk this year.

“Kaspersky research and monitoring of underground forums suggests that the source code of some popular mobile banking Trojans was actually leaked into the public domain. Previous similar cases of malware source code leakage (e.g. Zeus, SpyEye) resulted in an increased number of new variations of these Trojans. In 2020 this pattern may repeat,” it warned.

This year, Kaspersky experts expect an increase in the activity of groups specialized in criminal-to-criminal sale of network access to banks in the African and Asian regions, as well as in Eastern Europe. It noted that their prime targets are small banks, as well as financial organizations recently bought by big players who are rebuilding their cybersecurity system in accordance with the standards of their parent companies.

Banks may become victims of targeted ransomware attacks, as they are among those organizations that are more likely to pay a ransom than accept the loss of data.

Currently, Kaspersky researchers are aware of at least 10 different actors involved in these type of attacks and experts believe that their number will continue to grow during the next year.

The most dangerous attacks will be on companies that provide services such as e-commerce as-a-service, which will lead to the compromise of thousands of companies.

“With 2020 on the horizon, we recommend security teams in potentially affected areas of the finance industry to gear up for new challenges. There is nothing inevitable in potential upcoming threats, it is just important to be properly prepared for them,” said Yury Namestnikov, a security researcher at Kaspersky.

Other affected industries

In addition to financial sector, Kaspersky researchers also identified other industries that will face new security-related challenges in the upcoming year.

The health care industry is advised to focus on protecting medical records and connected medical devices, as they are becoming the target of threat actors.

Corporate security teams should also pay more attention to cloud infrastructure and also to address the growing risks of insiders accessing their networks.

Telecommunications and other industries that vastly use cellular communications should also be prepared to assess and address risks that will come with wider adoption of 5G, which is expected to start in 2020. (KOC WITH PR)