The pandemic of 2020 has transformed the way the world works. With significant disruption in the IT sector last year, the effects are yet to be grasped entirely. Cybersecurity is facing new challenges like never before, and with remote working becoming mainstream, there’s a lack of network perimeter.
On top of it, the cloud is storing more and more data without the proper security layers. With technology constantly changing, cybersecurity trends witness a parallel transition with new threats, breaches, ransomware, etc.
Let’s take a look at some of the latest cybersecurity trends in 2021.
Remote Working: New Security Threats
Covid-19 forcing organizations and companies to adopt remote working has caused notable impacts on the cybersecurity world. Many companies had to look for cloud migration solutions, while others acquired new IT products without testing. The main objective of all businesses was to keep everything operational, leading many of them to side-step security measures. The situation only led to new security vulnerabilities and a rise in threats.
As the year progresses, the remote working model will stay post-pandemic. Companies must assess their remote security structure to cover the weak spots left behind during the sudden pandemic transition.
AI Integration into Cybersecurity
Over the last few years, artificial intelligence has found a place in most market segments. When combined with machine learning, AI has brought significant changes in cybersecurity. Artificial intelligence plays a prime part in designing automated security systems, face detection, natural language processing, etc. Even though new AI-based malware in development bypasses present-day security protocols, the latest AI-enabled threat detection systems can instantly detect new attacks.
There is a noticeable rise in automotive hacking in 2021. The hi-tech, modern vehicles come fully loaded with automated software to provide harmonious connectivity to the drivers. This includes engine management, cruise controls, central locking, airbags, and other advanced driver assistance.
Modern vehicles rely heavily on Bluetooth and WiFi technologies to function and communicate. While these offer connectivity, it also makes them vulnerable to hacks and thus jeopardizing security. With self-driving vehicle development gaining momentum, they will require better cybersecurity measures and protocols.
New Ransomware Threats
Ransomware is probably the most common threat that an organization’s data security faces. And with the current work scenario, this threat will only grow during 2021. Ransomware attacks rob companies of data while inflicting economic hits because of high recovery costs from the attacks.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that companies use are proving insufficient in 2021. And the inadequacy will only grow in the future. Currently, Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is a much better option to control remote access to a company’s network. Speculations are that most businesses will replace VPNs with ZTNA by 2023.
More use of Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication has quickly gained ground. While passwords are still in use, with time, companies will transition to multi-factor authentication (MFA) for that extra security layer against data breaches and fraudulent attacks in 2021. MFA uses two or more distinct factors to authorize a user and access secure data.
But there are still more to MFAs than it may seem. The phone-based MFA right now has security lapses due to the telephone networks having weak security. MFAs based on SAMS lack encryption, and attackers can easily access the plain text codes. The only way forward is for the companies to invest in better, secure MFA methods like application-based MFA such as Microsoft Authenticator or Google Authenticator.
Prioritizing Data Privacy
During the last two years, many high-profile cyberattacks exposed Personally Identifiable Information (PII) records. The matter led to intense discussion about data privacy, management, and security. In 2021, companies are redirecting their resources to better data privacy when moving forward.
Every organization has felt the effects of data privacy in all its departments. Some ways for these organizations to maintain data privacy are through record retention and destruction, encryption in transit, role-based access control, and data privacy officers. It will allow companies to study the critical weak fields and strengthen them to gain better data privacy in 2021 and beyond.
Phishing Associated with COVID-19
With the governments worldwide releasing COVID-19 vaccination for the masses, people are now searching for vaccination centers and other information. These online searches about the vaccination have led to a rise in phishing attacks related to the COVID-19 vaccine. People receive phishing emails as vaccination appointment emails, while pharmaceutical companies and vaccine distributors are under attack.
To overcome security challenges and fight against phishing attacks, organizations must review their identity management and security agenda. They must also ensure that only the right people have access to the resources they require at the right time.
The New Age of State-Sponsored Cyber Attacks
While the fight between the western and eastern powers to achieve superiority is quite old, cyber warfare is taking a new turn in 2021. The constant tiff between the US and Chinese or Iranian hackers have made to the news. Even though the attacks are few, they have prominent effects on national events like elections. With some elections already underway, you can expect more data breaches, and these will eventually become the top cybersecurity trend in 2021.
Demand for Skilled Cybersecurity Professionals
While the industry has always been on the lookout for trained cybersecurity professionals, the present situation where enterprises are increasingly dependent on the distributed workforce has led to an increased search. Companies and organizations will have to push harder in their search for qualified professionals to secure their corporate network much better.
While hiring more cybersecurity professionals is one thing, companies also need to focus on increasing their employees’ awareness about potential attacks.
Result of these Cybersecurity Trends?
These cybersecurity trends of 2021 effectively create a tense atmosphere within the industry. Infrastructure security is a key talking point within most companies today. And with the changing landscape, companies should learn and strengthen their cybersecurity today to be secure tomorrow.
Companies like iDenfy are constantly striving to offer cybersecurity solutions and Enhanced Due Diligence. With organizations now having a better grip on their situation, they can focus on their cybersecurity.