Cybersecurity In 2021

Cybersecurity In 2021

By Published On: January 6, 2021Categories: Tech Trends

Whereas many organizations may have had some sort of security framework to protect their data during day-to-day operations, 2020 brought with it a lot of changes in the way we work and deliver to customers.

This means that there’s a need to revisit cybersecurity policies as start the new year.

For starters, many businesses are now handling a lot more payments online while in the background, there has been an increase in hybrid working, with many team members alternating between the office, their homes, and other workspaces.

These new modes of operation have come with their own requirements such as migrating to the cloud, enacting a “Bring Your Own Device” policy, extra software licenses for remote workers etc.

While these practices boost flexibility and facilitate more efficient data management, they come with security risks.

Let’s examine some of the cyber threats that businesses making these changes are exposed to and how they can protect themselves:

Coronavirus Bait

From the already prevailing face-mask scams to false contact-tracing requests, cyber criminals are going to continue taking advantage of the information storm surrounding the pandemic.

Organizations need to identify all health and government agency websites, helplines, seals/symbols and more to properly differentiate between legitimate and false messages and communication channels.

Skills and Personnel Scarcity

As cybersecurity skills of varying levels become more in-demand, it is going to take a while for the industry to catch up.

A recent (ISC)2 survey indicated that the skills gap is around 4.07 million professionals worldwide.

Even with a new PwC report showing that at least 16% of global respondents plan to scale down their security teams, 56% still believe that their organizations are at risk of cyber attacks due to security staff shortages.

Cloud security is becoming more sought-after, and generally speaking, employment in the cybersecurity sector needs to grow by 89% worldwide.

Many organizations will therefore have to consider outsourcing more personnel or even training existing team members depending on the level of expertise required in problem-solving.

AI-Powered Cyber Attacks

Hackers are continuing to adopt some form of automation or AI-driven tools to imitate human behavior, be it sending messages, logging into accounts or even merely visiting websites.

2018 saw TaskRabbit, a marketplace for workers and employers suffer an AI-assisted attack that led to the theft of social security numbers and bank account details of at least 3.75 million users.

Up to 20,000 WordPress sites have also been victims of botnet attacks and in 2019, Instagram was attacked twice with user account information being altered in a manner which shows that the attacks may have been AI-driven to some extent.

AI can also be used to manipulate bot-controlled systems like some Cryptocurrency trading platforms, carry out data poisoning such as derailing spam filtering models and in Generative Adversarial Networks that imitate normal traffic patterns.

Businesses will have to adopt machine learning technologies and other AI-enabled counter measures to spot patterns and block suspicious traffic and other AI-related cyber-attacks. These include solutions like Darktrace, Cylance, Falcon Platform, Versive and Tessian.

Supply Chain Compliance

From contractors working with sensitive government agencies to private industry top players and their suppliers, there is a need to ensure that the cybersecurity policies of your organization’s partners are on par with yours.

Any loopholes in their systems can leave your company vulnerable to breaches.

Whether it’s the CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) or some other independent security audit, businesses should prepare to meet any new industry-specific cybersecurity compliance standards.

Email Phishing

As remote working becomes more mainstream the number of instructions going back and forth between people who are geographically removed from each other does as well. Phishing attacks are taking advantage of these scenarios.

Phishers are leaning on urgent prompts to transfer operational funds, re-register soon-to-be-closed accounts, download documents and software updates and many other tactics to get employees to click on harmful links.

It is important to not only train employees to spot these dubious messages, but also restrict access based on IP addresses, limit password validity periods and use multi-factor authentication amongst other measures.

5G Security Gaps

This fifth-generation mobile network technology is meant to boost data transfer speeds for governments, the private sector, and ordinary consumers.

However, a rushed adoption of this technology by numerous entities may leave them vulnerable to continued large scale attacks, with some probably state-sanctioned.

Organizations must perform extensive research and work with specialists on how to replicate existing cybersecurity measures in a 5G environment while protecting against new 5G-oriented attacks before making the switch.

Quantum Computing

Attempts to build computers that can solve massive problems/calculations in time spans way shorter than what current supercomputers can are continuously covering ground.

While Google’s recent breakthrough may only signify a small step towards achieving such computing power, quantum computing could go on to threaten coveted solutions such as distributed ledger technology.

Businesses should remain aware of the areas of their digital operations that are more prone to the processing power capabilities of other systems and have contingency plans in place.

Cloud Jacking

Cloud Jacking involves the use of pre-packaged scripts that leverage automation to take over an organization's cloud infrastructure without the need for any expertise in breaching systems.

Be it botnets or some other malware, these tools are being ferried through malicious emails to gain credentials of cloud business accounts on platforms such as AWS (Amazon Web Services).

Some may do it just to use these cloud services for free while others may want to steal sensitive data and sabotage applications.

Evolved Ransomware

For those handling sensitive customer data especially on-site, it is important to have solid backup and recovery plans while also ensuring that system breaches don’t turn into data leaks.

Thinking about updating to a more comprehensive cybersecurity plan?

Let the experts at ASB Resources help you identify all your organization’s vulnerabilities and recommend the ultimate set of tools and methods to deploy. Schedule a call with one of our experts today!

Digital Platform Transformation
IoT Vulnerabilities

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