10 Cyber Security Trends To Watch Going Into 2020

Cybersecurity breaches have become an ever-growing threat, with more types of attacks cropping up as the years pass by. With this increase of attack methods comes an increase in the kinds of cybersecurity procedures that are available to fight these attacks.

It’s certainly likely that the sorts of attacks that will occur in 2020 and later will be ones that could be recognized by current cybersecurity experts. This means that companies should exert their security-related resources towards working on security vulnerabilities that they have already assessed and accounted for.

These companies should keep track of the following 10 cybersecurity trends that are expected to occur in 2020.

1. A Rise in Automated Cyber Security

Automation is quickly becoming a staple of business modernization and is widely recognized as an advantageous factor in a company’s quest for improved cybersecurity.

Palo Alto Networks reports that many Information Technology (IT) security professionals and specialists actively use automated platforms and products within their companies or plan to use automation soon. The movement towards greater automation is meant to relieve some of the stress faced by low-staffed cybersecurity teams.

At present, the move to automation poses its issues that will need to be addressed by organizations in the future. Specifically, organizations implementing automation security solutions will have to seek out knowledgeable automation experts to properly and efficiently utilize those platforms.

2. The Advent of 5G

5G is continuing to develop network infrastructure and has done so since 2018.

With this increased development, there have been a rise in Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices that utilize 5G networks rather than merely relying on Wi-Fi networks.

Over time, these IoT devices will become completely defenseless from sophisticated hacking attempts, as the devices will not receive their internet connection through an encrypted router signal. The ability of a 5G network to reach cloud-based storage platforms will also create new, valuable targets for future attackers to breach and exploit.

3. Public Utility Development

Public utilities and infrastructure are crucial elements of an advanced economy and society.

Their importance makes them significant targets of cyber hackers and terrorists.

Utilities such as roadways, electricity, waste management and telecommunication provide vital services for the vast majority of people and governments across the world.

In spite of this, these individuals and agencies typically work with outdated and less efficient infrastructure models. Attempts to rectify these infrastructure issues and correct cybersecurity problems can create undesirable periods of service interruptions or downtimes.

The utilities of some countries are also tied up with private contractors and private utility providers, who typically are not capable of effectively handling a major cybersecurity threat.

The development of the public utilities to prevent exploitation by cybercriminals will certainly be something to watch for in 2020.

4. AI Attack Mobilization

Malicious hackers and cyber attackers will not be satisfied with merely attacking the artificial intelligence (AI) systems and platforms of organizations.

Cyber attackers will begin to mobilize AI, exploiting the increased efficiency and versatility of AI-enhanced automation to their data breaching exploits.

AI-powered automated systems could evaluate organizational systems and networks, noting previously unforeseen vulnerabilities and taking advantage of them.

AI can be incorporated into social engineering and phishing attacks, creating seemingly credible emails and videos that can scam unfortunate individuals of information, resources or money. Malevolently used AI could even be used to carry out believable misinformation campaigns.

5. AI Defense Mobilization

Machine learning technologies are already being used to identify and protect networks and companies against cyber threats. AI can be mobilized for the protection of IT networks and frameworks as well as for attacks. AI platforms can track and correct vulnerabilities, strengthening networks against future attacks.

An AI platform could be used to simulate progressively challenging attacks to identify a previously unknown vulnerability that can be corrected before a malicious force finds the same issue.

6. Shadow IT Assets

According to McAfee MVISION Cloud – Skyhigh Networks, Shadow IT is a suite of IT applications or functions that are operated outside of the IT department without their explicit knowledge. Shadow IT is increasingly raising non-IT technology expenditures, as it has made organizations more productive.

However, the increased use of Shadow IT will also make it a prime target for cyber attackers in 2020. Organizations will have to address their organizational culture’s use and protection of Shadow IT assets to safeguard themselves from Shadow IT vulnerabilities.

7. Software Supply Chain Exploitation

Software supply chains are a regular target of cyber-attacks, with malware being sent along with legitimate software bundles. Cybersecurity experts from vpnAlert note that many organizations lack processes for fully vetting all of the vendors and third-parties that they work with.

The attacks can be orchestrated during the software generation stage at a vendor’s facility or when the software is being handled by a third-party. The software exploitation usually involves the attacker including malware into a legitimate software update, granting the attacker access to data connected to the computer network once the update is accepted by an end-user.

8. Capturing Online Data Traffic

In 2020, cyber attackers will target IoT applications, home routers and other data centers to gain access to some of the data going through these technologies.

Malware affecting these applications could record credit card numbers, spam a victim with malicious websites, steal secure banking information or access personal and proprietary information. Organizations are implementing methods to prevent these data breaches, such as not storing credit card CVV numbers to better protect eCommerce databases.

Cyber attackers will certainly seek out new ways to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data and buyer information while it is in transit.

9. Cloud-Based Security

In 2020, the majority of deals involving CASBs, cloud-based access security brokers, will be bundled together with web application firewalls (WAFs), secure web gateways (SWGs) and network firewall technologies. As clients and organizations move their data and services to the cloud and consider bundled cloud services, they should investigate each bundle’s application deployment guide.

10. Increased Cyber Security Spending

Expect cybersecurity spending to rise in 2020. Spending on cybersecurity solutions across the globe has increased steadily each year, with spending on software and hardware for cybersecurity spending growing past $100 billion in just 2019.

This increased spending is expected as organizations put higher amounts of resources into their cybersecurity solutions. The US is expected to be the largest individual cybersecurity market, with spending estimated to reach somewhere close to $45 billion by the end of 2019.

7 Ways Hackers and Scammers Are Exploiting Coronavirus Panic

“Every country in the world has seen at least one COVID-19 themed attack,” said Rob Lefferts, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365 Security. These attacks, however, account for less than 2% of all attacks analyzed by Microsoft on a daily basis.

“Our data shows that these COVID-19 themed threats are retreads of existing attacks that have been slightly altered to tie to this pandemic,” Lefferts added. “This means we’re seeing a changing of lures, not a surge in attacks.”

1 — Mobile Malware

Check Point Research uncovered at least 16 different mobile apps, which claimed to offer information related to the outbreak but instead contained malware, including adware (Hiddad) and banker Trojans (Cerberus), that stole users’ personal information or generated fraudulent revenues from premium-rate services.

“Skilled threat actors are exploiting people’s concerns about coronavirus to spread mobile malware, including Mobile Remote Access Trojans (MRATs), banker trojans, and premium dialers, via apps which claim to offer Coronavirus-related information and help for users,”

2 — Email Phishing

In a separate report published today and shared with Salam Digital, cybersecurity firm Group-IB claims to have found that most COVOD-19 related phishing emails came with AgentTesla (45%), NetWire (30%), and LokiBot (8%) embedded as attachments, thereby allowing the attacker to steal personal and financial data.

Email Phishing

The emails, which were sent between February 13 and April 1, 2020, masqueraded as health advisories from the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and other international agencies and companies such as Maersk, Pekos Valves, and CISCO.

3 — Discounted off-the-shelf Malware

Group-IB’s research also found more than 500 posts on underground forums where users offered coronavirus discounts and promotional codes on DDoS, spamming, and other malware services.

This is consistent with Check Point Research’s earlier findings of hackers promoting their exploit tools on the darknet with ‘COVID19’ or ‘coronavirus’ as discount codes.

4 — SMS Phishing

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) also issued a joint advisory about fake SMS messages from senders such as “COVID” and “UKGOV” which contain a link to phishing sites.

sms scam

“In addition to SMS, possible channels include WhatsApp and other messaging services,” CISA cautioned.

5 — Face Mask and Hand Sanitizer Scams

Europol recently arrested a 39-year-old man from Singapore for allegedly attempting to launder cash generated from a business email scam (BEC) by posing as a legitimate company that advertised the fast delivery of FFP2 surgical masks and hand sanitizers.

Face Coronavirus Mask and Hand Sanitizer Scam

An unnamed pharmaceutical company, based in Europe, was defrauded out of €6.64 million after the items were never delivered, and the supplier became uncontactable. Europol had previously seized €13 million in potentially dangerous drugs as part of a counterfeit medicine trafficking operation.

6 — Malicious Software

As people increasingly work from home and online communication platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams become crucial, threat actors are sending phishing emails that include malicious files with names such as “zoom-us-zoom_##########.exe” and “microsoft-teams_V#mu#D_##########.exe” in a bid to trick people into downloading malware on their devices.

7 — Ransomware Attacks

The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) warned member countries that cybercriminals are attempting to target major hospitals and other institutions on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 with ransomware.

“Cybercriminals are using ransomware to hold hospitals and medical services digitally hostage, preventing them from accessing vital files and systems until a ransom is paid,” Interpol said.

Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus Threats Online

“Malicious cyber actors are continually adjusting their tactics to take advantage of new situations, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception,” CISA said.

“Malicious cyber actors are using the high appetite for COVID-19-related information as an opportunity to deliver malware and ransomware, and to steal user credentials. Individuals and organizations should remain vigilant.”

The NCSC has offered guidance on what to look out for when opening coronavirus-themed emails and text messages that contain links to such fake websites.

In general, avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments, and do not make meetings public and ensure they are protected by passwords to prevent videoconferencing hijacking.

15 REASONS WHY YOU GET NO TRAFFIC FROM GOOGLE?

Why does my website get no traffic from Google?

If you’re reading this article, chances are that your website is feeling lonely and you’re in search of a solution to increase traffic from SEO. Whilst likely that you are doing something wrong; do not fear as you are not alone! In fact, according to a recent search traffic AHREFs study, over 91% of all content on the internet gets no traffic at all!

From simple fixes to on-going medication for your website, we’ve compiled an infographic with the top 15 reasons why your website is getting no traffic from Google. Time to put your website in the top 9%.

Why You Don’t Get Traffic From Google

At times Google can be a fickle creature. Although most of the time it operates exactly as it’s designed to, with businesses either too inflexible or uninterested in learning and leveraging the world’s most powerful platform. The reason why you get no traffic from Google will stem from issues surrounding SEO, content or technical flaws. For more businesses than not, it may just be all three that are holding you back. If you’re looking at another month of dismal web traffic numbers, stop wondering where it is all going wrong and start diagnosing and correcting those issues.

TECHNICAL ISSUES

We’ve all been the bearer of our fair share of 404’s, but these issues should hopefully be quite infrequent. The goods news? Correcting these issues will have an immediate benefit to your website, setting yourself up to facilitate traffic and house your content. The bad news? If you are not deep in the detail or hanging out in the backend, some of these technical issues might not readily present themselves and can continue to wreak havoc undetected.

Technical issues that may be causing no traffic from Google are:

  • Poor code structure
  • Your website is set to ‘no index’
  • Your website has been hacked
  • Your hosting server is down
  • You are using ‘free hosting’ or a free domain

SEO CHALLENGES

Second only to the technical running of your website is your SEO. SEO is the gatekeeper to traffic from Google, with many businesses underestimating the three letter acronym. If your website is SEO challenged then Google will not deem it to be an authoritative source in its field. What that means for you, is that even the sleekest web design and greatest content will not assist with visibility or allow your website to climb the ranks. Resist SEO compliance at your own risk, or choose to optimise your website to a position where Google is working with you to put your page and business in front of the right customers.

SEO challenges that may be causing no traffic from Google are:

  • Bad SEO practices from a provider in the past
  • There’s a problem with your backlink profile
  • You have multiple websites for the same business
  • You have not set up google analytics
  • Broken 301 redirects

MISSED CONTENT OPPORTUNITIES

Content failures are particularly painful for businesses as there shouldn’t be any excuse for it. While an SEO agency will advise on a superior content strategy, there is nothing stopping internal resources from transforming a website with relevant and keyword-rich content. With unrivalled knowledge of your business landscape and the ins and outs of customer pain points, your team should set about designing a content narrative that will support your SEO outlook.

Missed content opportunities that may be causing no traffic from Google are:

  • Your site doesn’t have any information
  • Your Google Business page is vacant and not optimised
  • All your content is plagiarized
  • Your website is hard to navigate
  • Your on-page is not optimised

Less head scratching and more optimisation will see a significant shift in the traffic you generate from Google. Each technical, SEO and content issues can be approached in tandem so that you make incremental improvements as time goes on. Finding an SEO agency that has mastered these areas will allow for a faster diagnosis and recovery plan, getting you competing again for the top spot.

Using AI and Analytics to Predict Consumer Behavior

Predictive solutions are a necessity for today’s markets. Machine learning, Deep learning, Big Data and Artificial Analysis (AI) are all part of solutions that can predict consumer behavior.

How to predict consumer behavior with Big Data and AI
Over the years, companies have made use of effective marketing strategies such as monitoring social media and other online platforms to reach out to consumers and find out how best to serve them. Now that more than enough data has been collected from these sources, there arises the need to make use of it, for instance, to predict consumer behavior days and even months from now. Anticipating consumer needs is made possible through Big Data and advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI).


Forecasting consumer behavior is realized through merging Big Data with AI. According to predictions from Forrester, there will be increased adoption of Big Data and AI among 70% of businesses globally; this is a 51% increase than in 2017. Let’s get into how Big Data and AI can predict consumer behavior.

Levels of Predictions

  • Emotional and Intent Analysis

It refers to a solution that can identify the emotion behind the experience and the intent behind consumer actions

  • Segment Patterns
  • Segmenting customers into small groups based on actual behaviors instead of only looking at aggregate data;
  • Tacking customer 

on how they move among different segments over time including different customer lifecycle context instead of looking just at the actual segment do not considering how they arrived there.

  • Future Actions

This enables a company to predict that if a particular experience occurs, the client will act in a certain manner

Decision making is no longer based on guessing or inaccurate surveys and studies conducted on selected groups of people. The progress made in Big Data analytics using AI simplifies companies’ decision making processes in real time. Big Data can be structured, unstructured, or semi-structured, and in these forms, it can be difficult to interpret effectively by the human mind. AI systems use algorithms to break down and make sense of Big Data into actionable insight which contributes to a more mature decision-making process by businesses.

Social media is growing into a significant tool for monitoring customer needs, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and overall behavior. Big Data and AI better customer experience by predicting what they will want in the near future. Companies can easily enhance a product or service, do away with it, or introduce a new and better one altogether all based on the information gathered from AI analytics. Big Data and AI yield more relevant and creative solutions for consumers before they even know it. They are certainly a must-have for modern businesses today.

5 Digital Marketing Tips To Grow Your Startup In 2019

5 Digital Marketing Tips To Grow Your Startup In 2019

It’s a great achievement to be able to launch your own startup in this tightly packed global business industry. You dreamt big and coalesced resources, ideas, and action plan to create your nascent platform.

A pat on the back for you, and a nudge on the other shoulder. You have yet to go stronger to grow stronger.

In this fast-paced and influencing business industry, you need to take measures on establishing your brand name with a robust digital marketing strategy.

Digital marketing is a powerful tool, can contribute powerfully to your online presence, and positively impact your bottom line.

Everything you do to build your digital presence counts toward your brand name getting known. When you are known by your target audience, it will start affecting your bottom line.

And one of the most effective ways to create a strong presence is by using digital media for your marketing needs.

Here are 5 essential digital marketing tips for startups:

1. User experience

Your audience is what matters. Your audience must be able to engage with your brand name, your values, and your product, to build a lasting relationship and association with your company.

Similarly, the audience is now more reflective and receptive when brands offer them unique user experience and brand value.

Your digital marketing strategies must be designed carefully to appeal to the audience of your market. Delve into research and find out what works for your audience.

Build their interest and knowledge by providing them with content that informs and inspires. You will also be able to strengthen the brand voice by continuously engaging with your audience.

digital-marketing-tips-user-experience

User experience can be made effective primarily through content, communication channels and intuitive UI.

The loading speed of your website; the intuitive menu navigation; chatbots that assist in communication; and simplicity and tone of your content is key to a great user experience.

In addition, you need to develop a client management strategy that helps you connect with your customers.

This strategy will walk you through query and complaint management. Moreover, it will collect feedback for improvement and make your clients feel part of the brand community.

For example, develop a series of simple FAQs and use them to respond to your audience and clients’ queries on social media, via email, on phone, etc.

If you are keen to getting involved more, digital world is full of new updates. Go ahead and search for more tips and trends on making a captivating user experience.


2. Creative content

You will need to invest in a solid content marketing strategy that engages your audience. Create content that is unique and fresh as it can have a strong impact o your target market.

From communicating your brand’s message to engaging your customers with information,  content is supreme as it gives something useful to your potential customers.

Great content can increase your organic traffic and can improve your search engine rankings.

digital-marketing-creative-content

Your audience is primarily looking for content that communicates value. Jeff Bulla says that you should use the 80/20 rule of creating and managing content.

Get to the point!80% of your content should not be about your product – no, it doesn’t backfire at all – and 20% of it could be focused on your online sales, giveaways, etc.

Messaging is also taking the industry by storm. Neil Patel shared how Facebook Messenger marketing campaign lends a bright inlet to effective digital marketing.

Your audience will be more likely to follow a link received in Facebook Messenger than they would through email marketing campaign. Again, the content you create and the medium you choose to employ will greatly affect your business’ growth. Learn more about Facebook Messenger bots here.


3. Social media platforms

Your online presence and identity begins with your website and social media platforms. So you can engage your audience, communicate your message with powerful content through a strong social media platform.

As a startup, one of the first things that you probably worked on was an active social media strategy.

You know that in this business industry, social media is the key to leveraging your brand awareness and value.

Apps like SnapChat and Instagram are becoming popular and engaging the audience with brand names.

social media platforms for startups

Be consistent and regular in your social media strategy and maximise your growth. Good social media strategies can have a profound impact on lead generation and conversions, brand awareness and, of course, better search engine ranking.

And while social media platforms are effective and raging with success for startups and established brands, influencer marketing has seen a rise since 2016. This is like referrals that are convincing for the vast majority of social media users.

Keep a watchful eye on who could be your brand’s influencers. Get in touch with them and engage them in helping you build your brand’s visibility.


4. Video marketing is seeing an upward trend

Videos are powerful tools to communicate extensively. Consider Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and SnapChat stories to engage your audience.

You can hold webinars and live events for product launches, hold tutorials, and answer questions in real time. This gives a tangible feeling to your audience and helps them connect more closely with your brand and product.

digital-marketing-tips-video-marketing

5. Search engine optimization

And most importantly, invest in a credible SEO solution. Conduct an SEO audit and find out how users are interacting with your website and social media platforms.

SEO will look into aspects of your website and page optimization, device optimisation and credible link building for better visibility in search engine results.

For example, in one of Google’s highly important updates, the websites that are not responsive on various digital devices will not appear in search altogether, regardless of their SEO measures!

digital-marketing-tips-search-engine-optimization

Once you understand the nature of association, outreach and impact of your brand’s SEO, rehash or redefine your digital marketing strategy accordingly.

Understand how SEO works and learn about the expectations and prospects of hiring SEO specialists. This will help your startup to grow quicker. Be consistent and regular in your digital marketing strategy.


Growth optimized

A good digital marketing strategy can act as a catalyst to business outreach, impact, and growth because it connects the audience with the business in real time, and hence, swifter than conventional marketing strategies.

Resultantly, the conversion rates could be impacted positively as well. The consumer trend of trying new brands is growing if they are genuinely made to feel a connection with the brand values.


Being consistent and regular in your digital marketing strategy will help you to increase your startup’s visibility most effectively.

Moreover, engaging an effective, result-oriented team of SEO professionals will help you attract traffic to your brand’s online presence.

A good digital marketing strategy Salam Digital will do just that – attract the right kind of consumers to your business – and ensuring your survival in the fast-paced and dynamic industry.

If you have questions get in touch with us

Salam Digital is a strategic digital agency

Does your brand target a specific audience or customer? Digital Public Relations

Does your copy target a specific audience or customer?

The goal here is to ensure that your website copy is written with a particular customer in mind. One with a specific set of problems.

By having an understanding of who your target customer is your web copy will speak to their problems and fears and position your products and services as a solution to their problems.

ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS TO HELP DETERMINE IF YOUR COPY IS TARGETED:

  • Do you have a mental picture of who your ideal customer is and what their primary problem is that you are trying to solve?
  • Have you looked at your current clients and identified any that are the exact match for your ideal customer?
  • Does your website copy speak to that person and describe the problems that they experience
  • Does your website copy explain how your product or service can help that person solve their problems?
  • Do you have other resources on your site, whether content, tools or checklists that are created to help educate your target customer?
  • Do you have case studies from your ideal customers on your website where they talk about how your product or service helped them?
  • If you have not done any of this, then you need to spend some time thinking about your ideal customer, what their problems are and how your web copy can tell them that you are the solution to their problems.

If you have questions regarding your website, or website management and maintenance then get in touch with us

Salam Digital is a strategic digital agency in Toronto, ON. Our websites help businesses from all industries run their operations, meet customer needs, market and sell their products, and most importantly, make a profit.

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