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Cybersecurity is a big business and it’s going to get bigger. Individual users, small business owners, and IT professionals at international corporations know that threats occur every day. Staying ahead of those threats is the only way to protect proprietary data, network integrity, and network functionality.

But when is enough security enough? As the past confirms and the future indicates, there is always the need to upgrade, replace, or add to online security measures. That need ensures that the cybersecurity market will be around for as long as the Internet exists. To understand why that’s so and what’s driving the market, it helps to start with where we are now.

What Is the Current State of the Market?

Cybersecurity covers a lot of ground. It involves everything from website design, authentication processes, protection from malware and ransomware, data breaches, and even physical tampering with servers and network-connected devices. With that in mind, the fact that the current (as of the end of 2018) global market size is estimated to be around $100 million USD should come as no surprise.

While figures about past growth from year to year vary, it’s safe to assume that the market demonstrates the ability to expand at a rate of somewhere between 6% and 10% annually. That expansion would include bolstering aging protections with upgrades, switching to new services or security apps and software, and making changes to the protections used locally on servers and other devices.

What Do the Cybersecurity Prophets Say Will Happen?

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Cybercrime will continue to rise. One estimate indicates that the average loss to companies could amount to $5.2 trillion annually from 2019 to 2024. There are no expectations that the creation of new threats will slow down in comparison to previous years. If anything, most predictions are that a greater number of threats will be released from one year to the next.

While the quantity of threats is important, it’s a good idea to spend time learning more about the nature of those threats. Will they be more of the same type that criminals launched in years past? Will they come up with something different? Could they use different angles in an effort to breach security measures? The answer is yes to all of the above. Consider the following as examples of what to expect in the near to medium future.

Attacks on Blogs and Websites Are on the Rise

Hypertext Preprocessor or PHP remains the single most popular language used on the server side for creating website pages, blogs, and various web applications. Of the sites where the choice of server-side language is identified, 79% used PHP.

Criminals love to manipulate PHP and focus many of their attacks on the popular CMS WordPress, especially plugins, which are highly problematic. For these site owners, one of the best ways to protect your online presence is to undertake a comprehensive WordPress security check-up, regularly scan your site with a WordPress security scanner, understand how to avoid SQL injections, and make sure your hosting company regularly updates to the latest version of PHP.

And so Is Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking is basically hijacking devices and equipment as a way to gain access to proprietary data and/or control the use of those devices. The IBM index for 2018 indicated that this type of threat is increasing at a significant rate. For that year, cryptojacking was up 450% over 2017. There’s no doubt that this particular threat will continue to increase over the next several years.

While cryptojacking receives a lot of attention, don’t think that more traditional threats are going away any time soon. They will remain around for as long as they serve any purpose. Do expect that apps and software designed to protect networks will enhance their scanning ability to detect the newer threats. Some companies offering protection support may issue updates at an accelerated rate in order to keep customers safe from new threats as they are released.

Shifting Focus of Malware Toward Smartphones and Tablets

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It’s no secret that the use of smartphones and tablets is on the rise, and the increase is not just in personal usage. Many companies are dumping desktop and laptop computers in favor of tablets. With business apps that make it easy to access business networks, employees can also be productive using smartphones.

Criminals will go wherever the action happens to be. While it’s doubtful that they will stop generating threats aimed at desktop and laptop computers, expect an increase in threats designed specifically for smartphones and tablets. They may piggyback on what appear to be innocuous apps, or attempt to use network access between devices and networks as points of entry.

Email Scams Are Getting More Sophisticated

Email may almost seem antiquated in a world where texting and various messaging apps make communication so easy. Even so, email remains a powerful tool for spreading viruses, infecting networks, and tricking users into providing personal data. The threats today still come in the form of bank scams, promises of great wealth by communicating with Nigerian princes, and helping lawyers settle vast estates located in various countries. Expect all of these scams to continue flowing into your inbox and spam folder.

Add a few more to your list of email scams. For example, social media scam emails that warn of account breaches are getting as prolific as fake banking breach notices. The same is true with emails warning that PayPal and other online payment sites are breached. As with older scams, never click links embedded in such emails. You should also avoid opening attachments until after they’re scanned and found to be safe.

Virtual Private Networks Are Great But Still Vulnerable

Virtual Private Networks aren’t new, but they are growing in popularity. The overall use of VPNs stands at 26% during the calendar year 2018. That figure includes the use of free VPNs as well as fee-based services.

It’s true that most VPN providers offer products with built-in security. The thing to remember is that the quality of that security varies. Instead of assuming it’s enough, learn how to test your VPN for leaks and invest in back-end measures that protect your network and all connected devices.

Cybercriminals already have threats out there that can breach a VPN. You can bet that new threats will be released regularly. Expect new and improved options to prevent network breaches and the ensuing data leakages.

Final Thoughts

Cybersecurity protection is also evolving. That’s why it’s important to stay up to date on what types of protections are available. Know when it’s time to toss out something that no longer works and invest in new apps and software that will secure every element of your online presence. On your end, it’s not about keeping the cybersecurity market strong, although that is a natural outgrowth. It’s about protecting your brand, reputation, and data.

Samuel Bocetta
Retired Research Engineer and Freelance Journalist
Sam Bocetta is a freelance journalist specializing in U.S. diplomacy and national security, with emphases on technology trends in cyberwarfare, cyberdefense, and cryptography. Currently working as part-time cybersecurity coordinator.