By 2020, there will be 50 billion Internet-connected devices in use, and each one will provide an entry point for hackers.

In addition, according to Jason Porter, VP Security Solutions for AT&T, which handles about a third of U.S. Internet, mobile and video-viewing traffic, there was a 62 percent increase in the number of times distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks occurred over the past 2 years, as well as a dramatic 458-percent increase in the number of times hackers searched for IoT vulnerabilities. In its Cybersecurity Insights Report, AT&T predicts the following events that will begin to occur or continue in 2016.

DDoS attacks will continue to rise. These attacks are a tool of choice for many attackers. "It's possible that we’ll see an increase in hacktivism," said Porter. "Threat intelligence will also help to start playing a huge role in being able to defend against these attacks. Industry will also be more active in terms of threat intelligence sharing."

Targeted organizations will expand to include more small businesses and smaller institutions. "Hackers can now perform analytics on the data they are collecting and combine data to make it more valuable, so hackers do not just have to target the large organizations, as they can get equally valuable information in other places," said Porter.

Smaller organizations are likely to be affected. They previously weren’t hacked because they didn’t have the same wealth of information as bigger stores

The Cybercrime Black Market will continue to grow. "Corporate boards are also starting to recognize this," said Porter. "Risk Management and awareness of cybersecurity related business risks are on the rise and we will see the awareness at the C level continue to grow."

The Healthcare sector will become a bigger target. "Attacks in the Healthcare sector will increase because they have so much valuable information," said Porter. "Emerging technology adoption, legacy systems/networks and the reliance on service providers in healthcare will make them an attractive target."

Enterprises will start to remove organizational silos to help improve security. "We will see more awareness and communication, and better interoperation," said Porter. "And accountability for security will be a shared responsibility."

Business will spend more on becoming proactive in their security defenses and the use of threat intelligence will rise. Managed security will continue to grow. Businesses will re-prioritize their security experts to get ahead of bigger attacks.

The cost to recover from a security incident will continue to rise. "Cloud attacks will grow more serious and widespread in 2016, and will serve as a harsh wake-up call to many organizations," said Porter. "The concern and urgency will quickly trickle down from large enterprises to medium-sized businesses, and drive a spike in demand for stricter, more effective cloud controls and security to better protect critical cloud data. This will also drive increased focus on highly secure cloud networking solutions."

Read the full report: Cybersecurity Insights Report.