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Illumio 2020 Predictions: Hybrid Attacks and Voishing on the Rise -- New Threat Vectors to Emerge

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By PJ Kirner, chief technology officer and founder, Illumio

Hybrid Attacks and Voishing on the Rise -- New Threat Vectors to Emerge

2020 will mark another year in the evolution of cyberattacks - this time, as bad actors exploit new mediums and target a new generation of cyber victims.

In 2020, we'll hear more about the convergence of physical infiltration with cyberattacks, see new threats emerge as attackers corrupt speech technology and AI, and connected devices will face a new threat vector: kids.

1. We'll start to hear more about the convergence of physical infiltration with cyberattacks, challenging security across the board. Cyberattacks on an enterprise or a government can be carried out remotely but, in 2019, we started hearing more about the physical element added to the mix. It doesn't take sophisticated software or intelligence operations to execute these attacks - a well-planned, staged scenario is all it takes. For instance, someone could pose as an electrician to gain physical access to a hospital being built, walking around unimpeded until they find an unprotected device to access the network. I believe we'll see more of these high-profile, hybrid cyber-physical attacks in 2020.

2. AI and speech technology will be exploited, making voice a new weapon of choice. If there's one thing that malicious actors are good at, it's creativity. We'll see business email compromise (BEC) extend further over into voice next year. Even though many organizations have educated employees on how to spot potential phishing emails, many aren't ready for voice to do the same as they're very believable and there really aren't many effective, mainstream ways of detecting them. And while these types of "voishing" attacks aren't new, we'll see more malicious actors leveraging influential voices to execute attacks next year.

3. Our sons and daughters will quickly become a new threat vector to enterprise security. Unfortunately, no one is off limits when it comes to cybersecurity threats and our kids will be squarely in the crosshairs next year. Whether it's the child of an executive, an executive assistant, or even someone with administrative privileges, it only takes one wrong click for them to implant malware on their parent's phone, opening up the back door for a bad actor to get into the company network. This will become much more prevalent in 2020.


About the Author

PJ Kirner 

As chief technology officer and founder, PJ Kirner is responsible for Illumio's technology vision and platform architecture. PJ has 20 years of experience in engineering, with a focus on addressing the complexities of security and data centers. Prior to Illumio, PJ was CTO at Cymtec and a Distinguished Engineer at Juniper Networks. He graduated with honors from Cornell University. Follow him on Twitter: @pjkirner 

Published Tuesday, December 31, 2019 7:19 AM by David Marshall
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