The technology landscape is continuously changing, especially in the past year. The pandemic disrupted organizations of all scales. The impact that COVID-19 had on the business, technology and cybersecurity has produced new types of threats, several of which we’ve detailed in this article. Keep reading to learn about 2021 cybersecurity trends to look out for.
Analyze What Was Overlooked During COVID-19
The shift from on-site to remote work has had huge implications for the cybersecurity world. Many companies experienced unexpected cloud migrations and fast procurement of IT services and products in response to the work-from-home push. Consequently, many companies overlooked typical security protocols or skipped over them entirely which ultimately resulted in vulnerability and risk.
In 2021, the remote work model is the new normal and it doesn’t seem to be changing in the post-pandemic world. To rise to the challenge, organizations must assess current security infrastructure for blind spots left unattended because of COVID-19. Thinking in the long-term will prevent cybersecurity threats and result in increased protection for your organization.
Prevent Ransomware with Zero-Trust Network Access
One of the most common threats to data security is ransomware, which we predict will evolve into one of the top cybersecurity trends this year. Data theft and economic blows are the common result of ransomware attacks which may result in financial losses when recovering from these attacks. Ransomware attacks in 2020 were more expensive than the typical data breach, costing about $4.44 million.
Criminals are learning sophisticated techniques as time goes on; extortion attacks are a particular point of contention because this is when criminals will steal an organization’s data and encrypt it to prevent the company from accessing it. After this, these cyber criminals will often blackmail said company by threatening to release confidential data unless they pay a ransom fee. This presents a significant burden to the company because of the sensitive data involved and the financial loss of paying a ransom.
Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are what many IT departments and companies rely on to manage who can access their corporate network. However, it seems as though VPNs are no longer adequate. Phishing has been identified as the most common entry point for ransomware.
A more secure option than VPNs is Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) which gives you more security for controlling remote access to sensitive information as well as reducing the likeliness of an attack. Experts reported that 60% of businesses will phase out of VPNs and instead use ZTNA by 2023.
Consider Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication
Passwords are the oldest security tactic in the book, however there has been much more recent use of multi-factor authentication (MFA). In 2021, more companies adopted MFA as additional protection from data breaches and malicious attacks. MFA uses two or more forms of authorization before letting users access secure data and forcing individuals to use multiple devices to confirm their identity. One example of an MFA is the one-time passcode sent to their phone or email.
However, Microsoft has recently urged users to try other methods outside of phone-based MFA because the telephone network security is weak: text messages aren’t encrypted and therefore attackers can easily gain access to plan text codes. More secure MFA methods include application-based MFA like Google or Microsoft Authenticator.
As technology grows and evolves, cybersecurity must also invest in new ways to secure data and protect against cyberattacks. Organizational leaders have the unique responsibility of finding the appropriate personnel and software to protect their businesses and secure confidential information. Approaching security strategy with urgency will ultimately diminish overall risk and prevent future attacks.
Check out this infographic from PandaSecurity that illustrates these trends.