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ZeroFOX 2020 Predictions: How social media security will change in the new decade

VMblog Predictions 2020 

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

By Ashlee Benge, Threat Analyst at ZeroFOX

How social media security will change in the new decade

The past year saw a new wave of social media threats -- more complex scams, misinformation and even deepfake videos that have made us question our own eyes. In 2020, the frequency and sophistication of misinformation will online increase as technology develops and the stakes get even higher.

2020 election security concerns

In light of targeted attacks against government officials by Iranian threat actor groups, phishing and account compromise is enormously concerning leading into 2020. With the US election looming, candidates and other targets associated with the government are increasingly attractive to bad actors from other countries. These potential victims are at risk of data breaches, credential theft and more that allows attackers to easily access sensitive information. Government officials can help mitigate the threat posed to them and the democractic process by ensuring that unique credentials are used for every account, and that passwords are changed frequently.

AI-manipulated blackmail

Deepfakes took the cybersecurity industry by storm in 2019, but the potential risks are only starting to unfold. In 2020, as the tech develops, society will start to see some of the most potential damaging implications of deepfakes, including blackmail. This is especially dangerous when looking at sextortion that are now more easily accessible with AI deepfakes that make fake videos of anyone. If a sextortion campaign were to threaten to release a deepfaked image or video of someone, it would likely be much more successful than the average campaign that doesn't have doctored materials. In 2020, we'll see regulatory bodies realize the need to update revenge porn laws to include deepfaked images and videos.

Social Media Influence

Social media has the potential to be hugely influential on the political views leading up to major elections. Although there have been some improvements by the social networks to verify the source of political ads, there is still very little fact checking of anything posted to public social media channels, and fake accounts are hugely abundant. In fact, in August 2019, Twitter announced that 200,000 accounts were removed that had been used to discredit independence and democracy protests in Hong Kong. Removing these accounts only does so much, however. It is only through advancements in bot and fake account detection that this threat can be controlled in the coming years.


About the Author

Ashlee Benge 

Ashlee is an astrophysicist turned security researcher. In her current role, she researches emerging threats for ZeroFOX. Prior to joining ZeroFOX, Ashlee worked in threat hunting, outreach, and detection analysis roles at Cisco Talos. Outside of infosec, she is also a competitive CrossFit athlete, and dabbles in stained glass work.

Published Tuesday, December 31, 2019 7:24 AM by David Marshall
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