In 2020, cyber threats hit every industry sector. We’ve seen extraordinary new types of cyber threats. And higher percentage of organizations have suffered cyber breaches than usual due to quick transitions to a distributed working environment and other pandemic-related hurdles. How will cyber threats and threat defenses evolve in 2021? Here’s what cyber security experts anticipate.
- Securing the ‘next normal’. In 2021, organizations will need to focus on ramping up automated threat prevention across all aspects of the network—from employees’ mobiles and endpoints, to IoT devices, to clouds. Automation will be critical, as nearly 80% of organizations report that they don’t have enough cyber security hands on deck.
- Coronavirus-related exploits. As in the year 2020, vaccine developments and new national restrictions may be used in phishing campaigns. Pharma companies creating vaccines are also likely to continue seeing cyber threats.
- Remote learning security lapses. Academic institutions and educational groups are largely conducting online classes or activities at the moment. In August, this sector experienced a 30% increase in weekly cyber attacks. In this coming year, attacks could increase, although cyber security postures may also improve.
- Double extortion and ransomware. In Q3 of 2020, we observed a significant uptick in the number of double-extortion ransomware attacks. In these attacks, hackers’ exfiltrated heaps of sensitive information, and then encrypted victims’ databases. Unless a ransom was paid, hackers asserted that they would publish the stolen data.
- The burgeoning botnet army. Many malware families have been transformed into botnets; where armies of infected computers are used to launch attacks.
- Weaponization of deepfakes. Advanced audio-visual editing techniques mean that clever individuals can turn regular video clips into masterful mind-trickery mechanisms. Earlier this year, a Belgian political group published a deepfake video of the Belgian prime minister linking the coronavirus to environmental damage. Many viewers mistook the video as genuine.
- The privacy predicament. Websites and mobile apps are throwing consumer privacy into question. Are your mobile apps sharing your contacts, messages and more with third-parties?
- 5G benefits and challenges. While advanced wireless networks could work wonders for organizations, they could also offer cyber criminals the opportunity to initiate new types of threats. Securing 5G will consume more of our attention.
For an in-depth analysis of these cyber security predictions, visit this blog.