5 Cybersecurity Trends We Expect in 2021
#1 Ransomware: More and Meaner
In 2020 over 40% of cyber insurance claims were the result of Ransomware. Cybercriminals are shifting tactics to raise the stakes for victims. Improved encryption schemes, making them harder to crack without paying a ransom. Threats of public disclosure of data are now on the table as well, don’t pay the ransom; we will release your data. Attackers are also more aware of the targets they are impacting, demanding a higher ransom based on the victims’ ability to pay.
Ransomware should continue to be a top of mind concern as we move forward into 2021.
#2 The Rush to Remote Work: Strengthening the stack
2020 forced many companies to switch to remote work rapidly. The struggle to keep the doors open and teamwork means that remote work solutions were sometimes hastily deployed. In 2021 expect companies to take the time to re-evaluate their remote work posture, policies, and tools. Which devices are connecting, how are the endpoints secured, are they monitored? Anytime remote access is introduced, so is an additional attack vector. Businesses will need to take the time in 2021 to make sure the rush changes made during the early days of COVID are properly secured.
#3 Phishing: More Careful and More Targeted
In 2021 security awareness training and phish testing for all employees needs to become mandatory. With the increased adoption of interconnected cloud based services like Microsoft 365, the impact of having one of these accounts get compromised has grown exponentially.
A phishing attempt hits an employee’s mailbox; they click the seemingly innocuous-looking link and enter their companies M365 credentials. Just like that, your entire company has potentially been compromised.
Attackers are choosing targets more carefully. Why go after the CEO when the bookkeeper will do? Phishing messages are looking more believable, and the malicious actions are harder to detect. Expect this trend to continue into 2021.
4. Purchase reliable equipment.
While it might be tempting to make the decision to purchase lower-priced products and services, it can greatly increase the risk of system downtime. The decision to invest in high-quality equipment is a simple, effective step in being sure that you avoid system errors. Higher quality products will last longer and perform at a more productive level. Even though the initial purchase of low-quality equipment is cheaper, it will require maintenance and will have a shorter lifespan.
BUT UNTIL THEN…
#5 Password Management
We are stuck using a password for now. One of the biggest weaknesses is requiring passwords for every little thing is passwords tend to get reused. This leads to what is known as password stuffing attacks, where passwords are compromised from one place and tried in another.
This is where password management comes in. Look for tools in 2021 to not only store passwords, but check for duplicates, search the dark web for compromises, and alert on weak or recycled passwords. We also expect to see a trend in these tools of set access and view/change restrictions on passwords.
A simple password manager is an easy and cost-effective way to remove a major attack vector.
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