Without the use of a crystal ball, no one can really tell you what 2021 will bring. Afterall, no one would have thought that a global pandemic would bring about so much change to the workforce in 2020 with many office workers now working-from-home. The pandemic has certainly influenced the rapid adoption of remote workforce technology and has brought about new ways of thinking about defending the corporate network. Indeed, what has happened in 2020 with COVID-19 is certainly going to influence cyber security in 2021.
Cyber attack every 11 seconds in 2021
An article in Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that in 2021 there will be a ransomware attack on a business every 11 seconds. Contrast this with every 40 seconds in 2016, and every 14 second in 2019, and you have an alarming trend. The same article in Cybersecurity Ventures also predicts that cybercrime will cost the world in excess of $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.
Remote Workers will Continue to be a target for Hackers
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many office workers to become remote workers, the attack surface changed. Work-From-Home (WFH) and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) became necessary for many businesses to continue; however, it left many employees and businesses vulnerable without the protection of the corporate network. WFH brought an unprecedented number of exposed IT and cloud assets, ranging from exposed RDP and VPN servers to IoT devices and admin consoles of security appliances such as secure email gateways of web application firewalls. As a result, nearly 25% of organizations are paying unexpected costs to address cybersecurity breaches and malware infections caused by this. You can expect in 2012 that attackers will certainly continue their APT campaigns, searching for such low-handing fruit in the form of unsecured WFH employees vs. leveraging expensive 0 days and laborious spear-phishing attacks.
Ransomware to Be More About Threatening to Release Data, Not Just Data Encryption
Security experts have often warned businesses that the best way to ward of ransomware attacks is to have strong back-ups you can restore from so you don’t have to pay a ransom to de-crypt your data. 2020 saw the growth of double extortion ransomware, whereby the hackers don’t just encrypt your data, they also steal it and threaten to release it publicly if you don’t pay. Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist, ESET, tells Infosecurity Magazine that this will become the norm in 2021. Back-ups alone will not be able to thwart ransomware.
Cyber Security Budgets to Increase
Forbes Magazine quotes PWC’s study on cyber security spending. It found that “55% of enterprise executives plan to increase their cybersecurity budgets in 2021 and 51% are adding full-time cyber staff in 2021.” This despite the fact that 64% of executives expect their revenues to decline in 2021. This makes sense though in a climate where organizations are suddenly finding themselves needing to protect a larger attack surface (WFH), and increasing attacks on intellectual property (think theft of COVID vaccines).
While no one can predict the future with any certainty, it seems Cyber Security is something that will continue to be important in 2021. Cyber criminals will continue to step up their attacks on remote workers, hoping to catch them unprotected and vulnerable to attack. To find out more about how you can protect your business from attacks, contact Uzado today.