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Like any new year, 2020 will likely offer in the name of progress. For example: a presidential election is on the horizon, Tesla might be releasing the first fully-autonomous car, and newer, more secure social media platforms are likely to change the way we interact online. The future of technology is not all positives, though, according to technology expert Jack Wallen’s predictions for the coming year. While the future of technology might continue to improve our lives long term, we should not expect everything to be totally seamless.

The Negatives

It’s been said that the world is darkest before dawn. When it comes to technological advancement, this might be true. Sometimes, people don’t take the time to sit back and evaluate a new technology’s complete power until they’ve fallen under attack. The following are some of Wallen’s 2020 predictions that may catalyze cybersecurity’s reset button. While these incidents are not a guarantee, the chances of them occurring are not at all far-fetched.

Catastrophic Cloud Data Breach

2020 would not mark the first time that cloud storage systems have suffered data breaches, but there’s a strong likelihood that the predicted breach will be the first of its magnitude. Hackers are getting smarter, and people are depending more and more on the connectivity of their various online accounts. Unless security measures undergo significant reforms, the individuals seeking to do harm are not going to stop at their most recent breaches.

2020 Election Hacking

Many Americans eagerly await the upcoming presidential election. Unfortunately, due to the pandemonium that arose during the 2016 election, there is no guarantee that our votes are secure. Decades ago, the idea that our voting system was dismissed as a mere conspiracy theory. One of the most controversial election blunders imaginable had to do with the 2000 Florida recount issue. 

No matter how much we try to use technology for good, there are many people out there who have less than good intentions. This election, hackers may well go all out. This election might once again fall victim to vote-tampering, leading to outcomes that the voting majority did not choose.

Cybersecurity Attacks Using AI

Most tech-positive people are counting on artificial intelligence to guard against cyber-attacks. While there are plenty of people working toward that end, there are others still who are trying to ensure the opposite, as was seen with the emergence of the Emotet trojan malware attack. Because of these individuals, 2020 might see cybersecurity breaches being perpetrated by the same AI that was intended to prevent such attacks.

The Positives

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction–meaning that for everything negative that happens, there is also a positive solution. While 2020 might very well see technological devastation unlike anything we’ve known in the past, it is just as likely that we are going to experience positive developments that we can also attribute to technological advancement. There will always be people dedicated to the wrong cause, but overall technology has done more good than harm. In the most likely scenario, it will continue to do so.

AI’s Deepening Relationship with Security

Fighting fire with fire is a phrase that’s often thrown around but in this case, using AI to reinforce security measures might be the answer to preventing AI-perpetrated security breaches from gaining traction. As our relationship with AI continues to develop, so will AI’s relationship with the security systems that we’ve set into motion to keep our data protected. What’s a better solution to technological security than a technologically-developed mind?

Facial Recognition Software Will Improve

Facial recognition software is getting better every year, and this presents benefits that are outside of the tech world. Imagine the possibilities when facial recognition software becomes a fundamental tool in law enforcement. Finding missing and endangered people and apprehending dangerous criminals is likely to become less difficult with the help of technology keeping a watchful eye on the populace. The UK has already employed the use of facial recognition software in law enforcement, with mixed reviews from UK citizens.

A Possible Improvement in Security Measures

As Wallen states in his article, even though our technological advancements could work against us this year, they may very well be what’s needed for people to take their online security more seriously. Not only will ordinary citizens take smarter steps in protecting themselves and their data, corporations and technological development will also find innovative ways of combating the serious issues being brought to the world’s attention. 

Often, people perform at their best when they absolutely must come up with a solution, and the chance of our greatest security developments occurring this way is quite likely. Many brilliant minds are applying themselves to some of the most in-demand cybersecurity careers in an effort to be part of the answer.