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.
Trevor Bidle, Chief Information Security Officer, US Signal:
"Organizations will increasingly turn to data center providers that offer extensive security measures. With 64,000 more IT professionals expected to lose their jobs by the end of 2020 and cybercrime quadrupling during the pandemic, many companies will be left short-staffed yet increasingly targeted by hackers. Many of our customers, for instance, have done an excellent job around backup and disaster recovery, but they feel it’s a very ‘defensive’ strategy. To level up in 2021, they are looking to become more proactive and offensive against outages, data loss and digital adversaries. We expect a spike in companies across the U.S. seeking data center providers that can not only handle cloud storage, colocation, data protection and connectivity tasks but offer expert managed SOC services as well. Vulnerability management and scanning will be a key requirement -- to ensure their IT environments are clean and free of cybercriminal activity and even ransomware.
Businesses will invest more in cybersecurity to tackle ransomware attacks and avoid legal penalties. More than half of organizations have fallen victim to ransomware in the past year, and at least 26% paid the hackers to get their systems back up and running. We expect the number of incidents to rise in 2021 and, therefore, expect businesses to increasingly work with third-party data center and security services providers to tackle this growing threat. This is especially critical following the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC)announcement that paying the ransom will not only encourage hackers to continue these attacks -- but could now go against OFAC regulations. We will almost certainly see multi-layered cybersecurity products that include protection solutions such as vulnerability management, frequent data backup and snapshots, cloud-based security services and secure data centers to restore lost or corrupt data grow in popularity in response."