Top 5 Cybersecurity Trends and Predictions for 2021

As we usher in the new year of 2021, many opportunities and unknown challenges await enterprises. This includes cybersecurity and with its constantly evolving nature, it is essential for businesses to build and maintain a strong cybersecurity posture to defend against emerging threats.

Here are five cybersecurity forecasts to take note:

1) Remote working will not go away

Until mass vaccinations occur, remote working is here to stay in 2021. Cybercriminals will continue to exploit the vulnerabilities of remote working such as the security gaps in company networks and infrastructure.

Workers will continue to be a prime target. With many still working from home and using numerous digital devices like laptops or mobile phones, criminals will leverage on the lack of good cyber hygiene practices to exploit vulnerabilities. Companies must then ensure that their cybersecurity defences are strengthened and employees are educated on proper cyber hygiene habits.

2) Cloud security

The pandemic has accelerated the pace of companies migrating to cloud services. A common perception is that cloud service systems are secure. However, never assume that the cloud environment is automatically safe. In fact, it is not spared from security threats, such as cloud-jacking — the hijacking of a cloud account by hackers.

You can play a part in protecting your organisation’s data security. For instance, ensure that the company is using the latest versions of all software.

3) Phishing attacks will continue to be a major threat

Phishing attacks will continue to be a major cyber threat this year. Cybercriminals are constantly looking out for new events to tap on and the pandemic has proved to be a lucrative opportunity last year. In 2020, there was a 667% increase in phishing attacks during the pandemic, as observed by Barracuda Networks.

According to SANS Institute, 95% of all attacks on enterprise networks are the result of successful spear phishing. With remote working, emails will be the main source of communication and mode of attack. It is then crucial for employers to elevate workers’ cybersecurity awareness through education and bolstering existing digital infrastructure.

4) Increasing danger of ransomware attacks

Ransomware, a subset of malware, is widely used in cyberattacks whereby an organization’s database is encrypted, and payment is extorted from the victim organisation in exchange for the restoration of the data. Today, as many as 58% of ransomware victims, from every industry, have paid a ransom.

Cybersecurity Ventures has forecasted that in 2021, there would be 1 ransomware attack taking place every 11 seconds, with the global ransomware damage costs to reach US$20 billion. To prevent major financial losses, companies should invest in robust cybersecurity defences like Web Application Firewalls that filters out malware and other malicious inputs.

5) Data security will be an ongoing concern

In a growing digital climate, data security will be a great concern for organisations big or small. Numerous enterprises have fallen victim to data breaches due to sophisticated cyberattacks and had their reputations tarnished.

Victims also incur great financial losses from data breaches. The average total cost of a data breach is US$3.86 million, according to IBM. To avoid unnecessary costs, it is important for enterprises’ to reinforce their cybersecurity posture to defend against targeted attacks.

Organisations can improve their data security by making strategic cybersecurity investments. Simultaneously, they can restrict who has access to the company’s sensitive data to a limited pool of employees.

With all these cybersecurity threats that will not vanish in the new year, companies should quickly invest in robust security solutions to prevent them from falling victim to the next attack.

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