Top 3 cybersecurity threats to expect in 2021 (and how to respond to them)

The COVID pandemic complicated life for security teams around the planet. As everyone rushed to enable remote working at an unprecedented scale, it weakened security processes and led to many headlines and damaged reputations.

Going into the new year, the bad news is that some of the problems we had in 2020 will be much worse in 2021. The good news is that we can respond to the threat effectively  by leveraging our  expertise and technology stacks.

As hackers deploy more sophisticated cyber attacks, a combination of domain expertise, ethical hacking, technology integration, and advanced analytics are required to fortify enterprise IT infrastructure and get ready for relentless attacks.

What are the top three cybersecurity threats to expect in 2021? Let’s take a look.

1. Remote workers will be the focus of hackers

Threat actors have always followed users as humans are consistently the weakest link. In the new year, hackers will observe and exploit their behaviors and habits on a grand scale.

We saw an explosion of phishing, vishing, and ransomware attacks in 2020 to exploit remote workers (as many companies weren’t prepared to support a remote workforce securely).

Failure to adequately prepare and support a remote workforce can have disastrous consequences. For example, it led to 25% of organizations paying for unexpected expenses to address malware infections and security breaches.

In 2021, organizations must rethink their security approach, only allow connections from enterprise devices, regularly train staff, and better secure entry points into corporate IT ecosystems.

2. Ransomware attacks will be vicious

Ransomware related data breaches are reported almost daily. In fact, 2020 was the year of ransomware attacks. For example, ransomware accounted for a whopping 41% of all cyber insurance claims in the first half of 2020.

According to the 2020 Crowdstrike Global Security Attitude Survey, 27% of the victims paid the ransom fee, spending on average $1.1 million. If you thought the bad guys would be happy with that, you would be wrong --they want much more.

To raise the stakes, cybercriminals have changed their tactics from just encrypting enterprise data to stealing sensitive information and threatening to release it publicly if the ransom isn’t paid.

As companies scramble to protect their brand value and reputation, they are now increasingly likely to pay the ransom, making them an enormous target. Ransomware will continue to be the most profitable line of business for threat actors in the new year, so expect an explosion of ransomware attacks in the new year.

In 2021, enterprises must make cybersecurity a priority. Businesses must fortify their infrastructure, engage ethical hacking services (to identify vulnerability missed by in-house teams), leverage cutting-edge security technologies (powered by artificial intelligence), and repeatedly address the human element.

3. The lack of security talent across industries will be exploited

As the demand for security professionals grows exponentially, many companies won’t have the necessary skillsets to secure their IT infrastructure properly.

According to CyberSeek, over half a million security jobs are vacant in the US, compared to 390,000 before the pandemic began. What’s worse is that fewer than 200,000 qualified candidates are available to fill these vacancies.

In 2021, companies need to get creative. If you don’t have the resources to compete in the job market, the next best option is to partner managed services provider. This approach enables immediate access to security experts to secure your cloud or on-premise infrastructure efficiently and effectively.

In the current threat landscape, cybersecurity must be a priority to ensure business continuity and relevance. So, take a proactive approach to cybersecurity and evolve with the threat.

Do you need help to mitigate risk and improve your cybersecurity posture? We can help, request a commitment-free consultation, or schedule a demo.

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