Views, News & more
As a year of unprecedented upheaval draws to a close, everyone is entitled to feel a little optimism that vaccines might make the world a safer, more normal place again in 2021.
However, in the world of cybersecurity, merely hoping for safety is of course not enough and businesses around the world will now have to turn their attentions to combatting 2021’s cyber threats.
So, while not meaning to look ahead with too much pessimism, here is a rundown of five of the top cybersecurity threats that could shape 2021.
#1 More attacks across the board
As we will discuss later on in this piece, the digital environment has in some ways never been more welcoming for cybercriminals. A combination of social factors and technology have provided attackers with both the means and the opportunity to launch ever-more sophisticated attacks.
With the continued disruption of COVID-19 and the increasing prevalence of technologies such as 5G, 2021 will see cybercriminals targeting everything from small businesses to financial institutions and even political elections.
#2 Remote workers continue to be a target
With widespread homeworking set to continue for a long time yet, one of 2020’s defining cyber threats is also set to be centre stage in 2020.
While more and more companies are turning to cloud-based solutions to ensure their remote workers remain secure, for many, remote working still means logging in to company systems from home computers and unsecure Wi-Fi networks.
As we enter the new year then, the attack surface for cybercriminals to target has never been bigger and companies that are even slightly behind the curve on their security solutions will continue to find themselves targeted via their remote workers.
#3 Legacy architectures a weak link
So, it goes without saying, that insufficient security architectures could prove as problematic as remote workers. While many will simply have not upgraded outdated solutions, many others will have panicked when COVID-19 hit and, in their haste, opted for a VPN that doesn’t offer sufficient security.
VPN’s are particularly susceptible to ransomware attacks and can often create danger by giving employees too many permissions. To avoid being targeted via the infrastructures intended to protect them, companies will need to begin investing in solutions that operate on strict features such as minimum permissions.
#4 Digital transformation accelerates
Therefore, a key feature of cybersecurity in 2021 will be the struggle between firms looking to equip themselves with the best possible security to meet modern requirements and the hackers looking to find weaknesses in these new, more secure solutions.
In 2020, many companies will have belatedly recognised the importance of investing heavily in cybersecurity in order to combat the ever-evolving cybercriminal threat. In 2021, spending on cybersecurity is likely to be higher than ever.
#5 More data breaches
The past few years have seen data breaches grow larger, more frequent and more severe. Whether arising from cyber attackers or basic human error, the scale of data breaches and their cost to businesses has grown massively.
So, with more people than ever working from home, the scope for data breaches, either via malicious attackers or human error, is bigger than ever. In 2021, as firms continue to refine their cybersecurity solutions, we can expect to see yet more high-profile data breaches and, perhaps, greater punishments for those who fall victim to them.
While 2021 can hardly be expected to be more calamitous than 2020, the outgoing year has helped to create a unique set of circumstances in which cybersecurity is more important than at any time.
As cybercriminals continue to relentlessly adapt and the rise of homeworking throws up new security challenges, cybersecurity professionals and the businesses and institutions that rely on them will need to be one step ahead in order to ensure that they remain safe throughout 2021.