Tempered Executives: Attacks on Critical Infrastructure More Rampant in 2021

This is part of an ongoing 2021 predictions series. We’ve asked top cyber experts to contribute their insights and expertise to provide a look ahead at what the new year may bring to cybersecurity.


Bill Kalogeros, advisor, public sector, Tempered:

"Attacks on electric grids, water supplies and other critical infrastructure systems will become a more frequent reality. Cybercriminals will only continue to ramp up their attacks in 2021, so it’s up to those in charge of critical infrastructure to ensure their systems are armed with the latest network security technology. Critical infrastructure systems, typically controlled by the public and industrial sectors, maintain and enable our society. If cybercriminals gained access to the networks that control a city’s stoplights, monitor its water supply and even keep the lights on for its citizens, it would invoke utter chaos. And incidents like NotPetya and Sandworm in recent years prove it’s not just a theoretical threat -- it’s 100% possible. That’s why in 2021, all critical infrastructures must adopt Zero-Trust approach to security. With Zero Trust, only those who are given explicit permission can gain access to a network, and even then, they are only able to perform actions that have been approved."

Rick Moy, VP of sales and marketing, Tempered:

"IoT, 5G and the shift to the cloud will converge to expand organizations’ attack surfaces. As more operational decisions depend heavily on the ability to consistently and securely access data, seamless connectivity to data generating equipment is a must. There is a pressing need for secure connectivity in a world where the devices and infrastructure supporting them are ill-equipped to deliver it, especially as the need to move data and manage systems across expanding landscapes has outpaced techniques such as VPNs and firewalls.

As we move into 2021, we’re just starting to see the full transformative potential of 5G connectivity and the exponential rise of devices connected to the cloud. The power of IoT coupled with 5G and this shift to the cloud will push into ever more remote and challenging environments, bringing greater value, but also greater risks in communications and attack. To be successful and thwart an ever-growing pool of sophisticated attackers, organizations have to put more refined communications infrastructure in place that is ready for the scale and ruggedness the future of IoT demands."