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5 Cybersecurity Threat Predictions For 2021

The cyberthreats you need to look out for.

5 Cybersecurity Threat Predictions For 2021
March 19, 2021 Liz Pena

It’s a new year, which leads us to a variety of cybersecurity questions. What will the landscape of cybersecurity look like for businesses this year? What are the risks for cybersecurity leaders and professionals?

Here is a list of 5 cybersecurity threat predictions that will affect businesses and cybersecurity leaders in 2021:

Cybersecurity Threat Prediction #1

Remote workers will be the focus of cybercriminals through 2021.

Cybercriminals  launch attacks that exploit user behaviors and habits. We saw this very clearly in 2020 when employees suddenly became remote workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, cybercriminals took advantage of this disruption to launch phishing, ransomware and a whole slew of other attacks that targeted gaps in companies’ security postures.

In the past year, the failure to figure out how to support remote work without exposing sensitive information has had massive consequences. If organizations don’t rethink their approaches to security, cybercrime will continue to evolve and exploit remote workers as the ideal entry points into corporate IT ecosystems. Security Awareness Training is one solution that can help prevent cybercriminals from taking advantage of your employees.

Cybersecurity Threat Prediction #2

VPNs will be the weakest link for many organizations.

To quickly comply with stay-at-home orders, many organizations looked to VPNs as a silver bullet solution for remote work. However, this is not a sufficient long-term solution. VPNs introduce latency, hamper productivity, can be difficult to scale and can grant employees excessive access to internal resources.

Furthermore, VPNs represent liabilities as cybercriminals can easily exploit unpatched VPNs with ransomware. Even a “perfect” VPN setup is vulnerable to an attack. For example, during the July Twitter hack, attackers were able to use stolen employee VPN credentials to access high-profile users’ accounts without having their identities authenticated.

In conclusion, with 400 million businesses using VPNs across the globe, it’s likely that we will continue to see VPNs targeted by cybercriminals.

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Cybersecurity Threat Prediction #3

The impact of breaches in the healthcare sector may be deadly.

The healthcare sector stepped up in a heroic fashion to help combat the spread of COVID-19. However, the pandemic created financial pressures for healthcare organizations! For example, hospitals faced revenue issues stemming from individuals cancelling services and avoiding going to the doctor unless it was absolutely necessary.

Among these challenges, cybercriminals are still targeting hospitals and healthcare providers — particularly with ransomware attacks.

Knowing that cyberattacks can have fatal consequences and that many healthcare organizations may not have adequate cybersecurity controls in place, attackers are in a prime position to get healthcare organizations to pay a ransom.

Cybersecurity Threat Prediction #4

Financial organizations beware — more attacks are coming.

Financial organizations must remain vigilant in their cybersecurity efforts throughout 2021. The high value of financial data makes it a prime target for cybercriminals.

It’s true that financial services organizations are not breached as frequently as those in other industries. However, when financial firms are breached, these incidents tend to be much larger and more detrimental than companies in other industries.

With the projected rise of new technologies throughout the new year, the sophistication of cybercriminals’ attacks will likely be enhanced. As a result, it is crucial that financial organizations take a proactive approach to data protection.

Cybersecurity Threat Prediction #5

COVID-19 forced organizations to accelerate digital transformation efforts.

Digital transformation has been an objective for countless organizations for many years. Consequently, if stay-at-home orders were never enforced, it’s possible that digital transformation would still be on many organizations’ “to-do lists”. However, 2020 has accelerated to keep remote workers connected, organizations expanded their use of AI and ML-powered analytics and also increased their use of cloud computing.

Most importantly, remote work and other technological advantages will long outlast the pandemic. As a result, organizations will experience more flexibility, cost savings and an overall edge in their business plans to conquer any obstacles the future may bring.

Verity IT will develop the strategies you need to improve your security posture!