Every cyber security threat you should know about in 2020

by Riversafe

Cyber security has been a rising theme as online threats become more prolific. Year on year, cyber criminals get smarter and find new ways to target their victims. With more threats at large, it is increasingly difficult for businesses to safeguard their network.

That’s why it’s absolutely key to understand the current cyber security threat landscape and what you need to defend against. This is the first step in creating a comprehensive cyber security strategy. We have outlined all the types of cyber security threats in 2020 that businesses need to know.


The aim of cyber security is to protect against cyber attacks or the unlawful exploitation of an online system. Using various methods and tools, cyber security will protect your system from threats and mitigate the risk of attacks.

Cyber security helps keep businesses, organisations, and agencies safe. It protects your network from external threats, such as hackers, who want to steal and exploit sensitive data. Everything from intellectual property to customer details will be secured.

In fact, as more activity takes place online, enterprises and individuals are put at greater risk. As digitisation and connectivity develop, so must your cyber security strategies. This is the only way to protect against the growing number of cyber threats.


Cyber crime is a fast-growing form of criminal activity, performed by individuals or organisations. It refers to crime that takes place online, uses technology to make the attack, or has technology as a primary target. These may be for profit or politically motivated.

Common types of cyber crimes:

  • Email and internet fraud
  • Theft of financial data
  • Theft and misuse of personal information
  • Ransomware or malware attacks
  • Cyberextortion
  • Phishing
  • Hacking websites or networks


A cyber attack is a type of cyber crime, a malicious act performed by an individual or group against another computer or network. There are various methods of cyber attack with different intentions. The hacker may shut down computers, steal and use data, or use this as a base to launch further attacks.

Common types of cyber attack:

  • Phishing
  • Malware
  • Ransomware
  • Denial of Service
  • Man-in-the-middle Attack
  • SQL Injection
  • Password Attack

RELATED: A quick guide to network security threats (for businesses)


Many attackers target vulnerabilities in a network, system, website or computer. This could be a weak password, human error, or an out-dated security system. Hackers exploit these weaknesses to enter networks unnoticed and install their own software or code.

This happens more often if a system has cyber security issues. Cyber criminals know to look for weaker systems and how to identify them. This is why a business’s cyber security strategy needs to be proactive. It’s important to keep up with the different types of cyber attacks and how to prevent them.


The continual development of the internet and how we use it means that the challenges facing cyber security are always evolving. But as a business with private networks and sensitive data it’s essential.

We’ve compiled a list of the most pressing issues in cyber security today that you should be aware of:


Implementation and training are not new challenges, but they are still important ones to address. Too often it’s only the IT department who is aware of cyber security processes and their importance. This can lead to data silos, networks vulnerabilities, or mistakes that open a gateway to malicious attacks.

Not having a widespread security protocol could resultantly make you an easy target. Training your staff on your security system and common threats can combat this problem.


In recent years, thousands of companies have migrated to the cloud, assuming it is secure. But if it’s not managed or configured properly your data can be open to attack. This creates more opportunities for hackers than on-premise systems.

And it’s not just using the cloud that increases risk – it’s entire networks. As more data and business processes go digital companies need to expand and strengthen their online defences.


The Internet of Things (IoT) also causes a unique set of challenges. Your business may potentially have hundreds of devices that are interconnected. If one of these gets attacked, there is the potential that the hacker can infiltrate all the devices connected to it.

The chances of this are only increased with the use of cheaper smart devices. Many of these have weak security infrastructure putting them at higher risk of attack.


Despite the development of cyber security technology, hackers continue to rise to the challenge. With additional tools and resources, cyber criminals are now more efficient and skilful in their attacks.  Because of this, organisations are more at risk of a multi-faceted attack to various parts of their network.


Hackers are exploiting smartphone applications to infect people’s devices. Whether it’s through phishing or malware, these apps will steal data and passwords from your phone. There has also been a rise in Smishing and email attacks which ask you to click on false hyperlinks.

Although not specifically targeting businesses, it could still impact their systems or data. Employees may bring their own devices to work or receive malicious emails on company equipment.

RELATED: The online scams hackers are using to exploit Coronavirus (explained)


There isn’t a simple, five-minute free download that will solve all your security needs. This often deters organisations from implementing an appropriate and comprehensive cyber security strategy.

A strong cyber defence requires an integration of various approaches and methods.  For example, a tailored solution is much more effective, but it requires successful adoption to make an impact. Having support from the board and training all staff on key protocols will make for a more successful deployment.

What are the impacts of cyber attacks and cyber crime?

Cyber security threats can extremely be damaging to a company’s performance and people’s livelihoods. People’s data can be leaked or extorted against them, causing both emotional distress and tangible fallout.

A business is also likely to experience financial costs either directly, through stolen money, or indirectly. For example, an attack could result in disruption of trading, loss of intellectual property, or network repair costs.

An attack can also be detrimental to your business’s relationships and reputation. A breach could likely include customer and supplier data, causing them to lose trust in the business. Therefore, a cyber security threat may have a more long-term impact on the performance of the business, especially if it is due to insufficient protection.

How RiverSafe can help improve your cyber security

RiverSafe’s cyber security solutions address all the key challenges businesses today face. Our solutions align with how your business works, so you can have full visibility and control over your cyber security. We also provide extensive training, consultancy and support to ensure you get the maximum impact from your solution.

Get in touch with a RiverSafe consultant today to discuss common computer security threats and solutions.


By Riversafe

Experts in DevOps, Cyber Security and Data Operations