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How critical do you think cybersecurity is for your business? Well, business leaders in the advanced economies consider it the #2 global risk, second only to the fiscal threats. It’s not surprising since the number of publicly reported data breaches reached 3800 in 2019. And it continued to increase in 2020 with 540 data breaches in the first quarter.
The growing number and sophistication of the threats faced by organizations put a bigger demand for cybersecurity. And challenges of protecting organizations online becoming even greater with work from home or remote work as the new normal. Let’s take a look at numbers. As per Fintech News, COVID-19 is blamed for a 238% increase in cyberattacks on Fintech businesses. As a result, 80% of the firms worldwide increasing their digital security infrastructures.
The pandemic we face in 2020 has become a catalyst for cybersecurity threats to rise exponentially. And your business is as vulnerable as others. Based on the cybersecurity statistics by CSO Online, 94% of malware spreads through emails. Meanwhile, phishing attacks account for more than 80% of the reported corporate security breaches.
While online platforms face a constant threat of credit card frauds, hackers and malicious actors are gradually adopting new strategies. Now more than ever, B2B sectors are under immense pressure to upgrade their cybersecurity systems to prepare against malicious attacks.
Common Cyber Security Trends Expected in 2021
Let’s take a look at the most common cybersecurity trends in 2021:
Worldwide Implementation of DevSecOps
The year 2020 marks the rapid progress of transformational DevOps paradigms such as co-development in global communities (e.g. Postman, GitHub), platform agnosticism, serverless computing, infrastructure-as-a-code, end-to-end workspace with a unified experience across the entire software lifecycle.
That DevOps transformation has offered a unique opportunity for application security. For the first time in a decade, it is realistic to create and integrate security in a complete DevOps, thus making it DevSecOps. The absence of unified DevOps, along with the absence of native tools, was an obstacle for Sec. Now, the obstacle has gone.
A critical step toward DevSecOps has been taken by DevOps outsourcing companies, which started offering application security technologies. Cybersecurity providers, as well as open-source security communities, have started addressing this emerged opportunity as well.
They have begun integrating their existing technologies in the unified DevOps. Thus serving it with intermediate solutions (intermediate – because those solutions have not been designed for new paradigms). At the same time, those security vendors/communities will be rapidly developing native solutions for the emerged DevOps.
Security Threats for SMBs will Increase
Overall, small businesses have transitioned to meet the moment during this pandemic and all the challenges of 2020. As we move forward into 2021, they will continue to adopt new technologies, streamline their business operations, and create a more effective workforce, regardless of their location.
This doesn’t change the fact that small businesses will also continue to get targeted. Cybercriminals always look to exploit unsure employees, unsecured access points, and devices who “forget” to secure their connection to the corporate network.
To combat this, SMBs will need to increase their network security awareness in 2021, continue to deploy multi-layered network security solutions, and begin to consider reducing their technology investment timelines to take advantage of better solutions now instead of in the future.
Broad Scale Adoption of Mobile Threat Defense
Mobile-targeted cyber-espionage. Due to the remote working new-norm in 2020, businesses are rushing to implement remote working practices; but securing these remote working practices isn’t always implemented in lock-step. Enabling employees to access email from home on mobile devices vastly improves mobility and remote working capability, but introduces a huge risk to the business’ information assets on those devices if left unsecured.
As the security and visibility remain focused inside the office perimeter and mobile devices extend beyond it, the security-debt of newly introduced Shadow IT devices will unearth many goldmines for cyberattackers.
MTD (Mobile Threat Defense) will become as widely-adopted as endpoint protection platforms. As mobile-borne threats increase, grasping the low hanging fruit that is unsecure mobile devices, the need and value of MTD will become a priority.
Securing traditional (Mac/Win) endpoints with an Endpoint Protection Platform became common-place after traditional malware became too prolific to avoid. Mobile threats are already prevalent in the wild, following in the same upward trajectory as traditional malware.
5G will Open the Floodgates
In 2021, 5G will bring boundless opportunities, both in introducing new ways to connect and elevate the standard for securing 5G infrastructure. Once 5G is widely available, the floodgates will open. And both white and black hats of the world will experience a swift learning curve in navigating the mass distribution and interconnectivity of 5G. The profound speed and reach will connect businesses more than ever before. And will translate to dangerous ripple effects of a successful attack.
5G will revolutionize the security landscape. More devices will go online and we will see more convergence among IT and OT as the environments collide. To avoid creating an attacker’s advantage, the market will learn lessons from cloud adoption and embrace a shared risk responsibility.
As data continuously flows through the potentially vulnerable 5G infrastructure, it will be essential to build holistic security to close the exposure gap. To combat new and emerging threats, both users and service providers have to lock arms to prioritize security measures and build an ecosystem of trusted vendors.
Botnets Pose a Big threat
Botnets pose the single largest security threat in 2021. We can assume that nearly any individual or organization can be taken down considering the size of recent botnets. Earlier in 2020, we saw what has been attributed to the Fancy Bear or APT28. Despite highly collaborative public and private defense efforts that escalated each day. Botnets shut down trading on the New Zealand stock exchange for 4 days.
We will continue seeing detrimental botnet attacks like this likely more focused on supply chain weaknesses exposed by the pandemic. In parallel, botnets will grow exponentially through the exploitation of consumer devices. As bad actors are aware of increased remote work, compromised home devices added to botnets (TVs, modems, smart lighting, etc.) will be used to exfiltrate data from consumer networks. It’s more likely than ever that information stolen from consumer networks can be used to break into larger prizes: enterprises and governments.
Businesses Will Increasingly Turn To Cybersecurity Outsourcing
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. Organizations are looking to increasingly outsource cybersecurity to providers that offer extensive security measures. Moreover, in times when focusing on core business activities is more important, decision-makers will have to justify their spending on cybersecurity.
To level up in 2021, businesses want to become more proactive and offensive against outages, data loss, and digital adversaries. We expect a spike in companies across the U.S., Canada, and Europe seeking cybersecurity service providers to not only handle cloud storage, colocation, data protection, and connectivity tasks but for expertly managed SOC services as well. Vulnerability management and scanning are key to ensure their IT environments are clean and free of cybercriminal activity and ransomware.