The ubiquitousness of information technology has seen new heights over the course of post-COVID time. The rapid digital revolution of all businesses and their increased reliance on computerized systems for managing daily tasks has also lead to making cybersecurity a primary objective to protect data online.
Dealing with the ever-changing needs of the cybersecurity industry, both security providers and hackers are competing to outwit each other. Here, we will discuss five emerging cybersecurity trends for the year 2021.
1. Impact of Work-From-Home
The first significant cybersecurity trend of 2021 is not a new threat but emerged gigantically in 2020. There is no denial that COVID-19 and its consequent shift towards remote work had major implications on the world of cybersecurity.
Initially, it had been a chaotic shift towards the cloud and mostly involved a haphazard procurement of IT products and types of equipment by businesses. During this hasty process, many companies did not pay much heed to the immense cyber security challenges and thus opened many possibilities for attackers.
Work-from-home isn’t going anywhere post-pandemic and organizations working on cybersecurity challenges must develop a long-term plan to deal with a potential breach in security infrastructure.
Ransomeware is still a major cybersecurity trend for 2021 and is expected to exceed its estimated global damage in 2020. Ransomware, a type of malware that restricts access to networks and files for the administers, and upon infecting the systems ransom is demanded.
There has been a huge increase in ransomware attacks in recent times due to monetization, as cybercriminals can easily profit from such attacks. The ransom amount is taken in cryptocurrency which is difficult to trace thus keeping this dangerous trend on the rise.
3. Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-Factor authentication has been the most commonly used procedure to secure data by several companies, where it is considered as an additional layer of security other than the usual password. However, as of recent findings, MFA has become an easy opportunity for threat actors to breach security and impose cyber attacks.
As of 2020, Microsoft has warned against the use of SMS and voice multi-factor authentication. For an SMS multi-factor authentication you receive a passcode via text which being not encrypted can be accessed by hackers. Moreover, in case you lose your gadget or even if a hacker attempts a sim-cloning technique your MFA code received through SMS will be compromised.
The use of MFA is continuously increasing thus another cybersecurity trend to look forward to, however as recommended by Microsoft, users can start switching to other options like; Twilio Authy, Google, or Microsoft Authenticator.
4. Data Breaches
Data is going to be a leading cybersecurity trend for 2021 and even for the years to come. With the digitalization of almost everything, people are severely concerned about the protection of their data, making it one of the primary goals in cybersecurity.
Data breaches have become a significant privacy threat, as a minute error or a bug in the software or in your system can be a vulnerability for hackers to access your data.
According to the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report based on 524 companies across the world, analyzed that most data breaches had occurred on user credentials (passwords and names). Since most users reuse one password for multiple accounts, it can be the most common reason for data heists.
5. Cloud Is Still Vulnerable
Cloud vulnerability will continue to be one of the top cybersecurity trends for 2021. The rapid shift towards remote working in 2020 tremendously increased the requirement of cloud-based services and infrastructure, thus also increasing the security implications.
Cloud-based computing services have been adopted by many organizations because of the ease of access it provides towards data that doesn’t rely on a specific device. Apart from being highly beneficial, the cloud is an easy target of cyber-attacks if not maintained and configured properly.
Since many of the work-from-home employees use their personal networks, the cloud’s vulnerability is only increasing and requires properly configured and managed cybersecurity policies.
The Wrap Up
Protection and security of an organization’s systems from a plethora of cyber threats is no easy feat. However, keeping an eye on and specifically targeting the cybersecurity trends, investing in skilled and experienced cybersecurity professionals can improvise the safety situation.
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- Weinert, A., 2020. It’s Time to Hang Up on Phone Transports for Authentication. [online] TECHCOMMUNITY.MICROSOFT.COM. Available at: <https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/azure-active-directory-identity/it-s-time-to-hang-up-on-phone-transports-for-authentication/ba-p/1751752> [Accessed 1 October 2021].
- EFANI. 2021. Series 1 – All about 2FA (Two-Factor Authorization) | EFANI. [online] Available at: <https://www.efani.com/blog/all-about-two-factor-authorization-2fa/> [Accessed 1 October 2021].
- Zorabedian, J., 2020. What’s New in the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report. [online] Security Intelligence. Available at: <https://securityintelligence.com/posts/whats-new-2020-cost-of-a-data-breach-report/> [Accessed 4 October 2021].
Ashley Stefan has a daytime job in a stealth FinTech startup. During her free time, she runs a blog at VIGOR.icu. Hobbies: swimming, doing research on the latest gadgets, and binge-watching popular TV shows.