Cybersecurity in 2021: What Can We Expect?

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IT employees are also recovering from the huge work-from-home change that pushed them to reinvent cybersecurity and created new dependence on technology such as cloud computing and interactive digital platforms such as Zoom, Skype and Slack. Those patterns for 2020 will have a lasting effect.

From the potential threat of government cyberattacks to the enormous growth collaborative remote work that was sped-up by the pandemic, what can we expect as far as cybersecurity and what will influence it this year?

The following are things to think about and consider in cybersecurity trends and threats.

Data Privacy

Something shifting the cybersecurity landscape, and perhaps increasingly so with the swearing-in of a new administration in the United States will be data privacy. On election day, California enacted the toughest data privacy rules in the country, and they’re following in the footsteps of many other countries as well.

These data privacy rules make it harder for corporations like Facebook and Google to use data, and users have the opportunity to avoid disclosing their personal data.

A new landscape of privacy laws aimed at data will put the responsibility on companies large and small but potentially will make for a better consumer experience.

Soaring Costs of Cyber Breaches

The economy in 2020 throughout the world faced serious headwinds because of COVID-19. With that also came continuing problems with data security, particularly as more people were working remotely.

While the U.S. economy is only expected to see single-digit growth this year, on the flip side of that, the costs of cyber breaches are set to hit double-digit growth.

Companies but also governments and other organizations are going to have to figure out how to avoid or mitigate the economic losses expected to stem from cybersecurity issues, particularly when they’re already feeling financial pain. It could take years for them to overcome these costs otherwise.

Threats From Within

There are a few different factors that are going to make internal cyber threats more prevalent than ever before. Some of it will simply be because of how many remote workers employers will have. It’s much tougher to manage your cybersecurity controls when the majority of your employees are working offsite.

These threats won’t necessarily be malicious but can still be destructive.

There may also be growth in what’s called insider-as-a-service model. This term means that cybercriminals will be set up as trusted employees in order to steal information and data.

Increases In Spear Phishing

Even as in many ways cyber-attacks become increasingly sophisticated, some of the classic methods of attack still work remarkably well. That includes spear phishing.

Now, cybercriminals have access to tools that will allow them to increase the overall volume of these effective attacks through automation. They will also have a higher success rate thanks to the volume.

At the same time, the volume may be balanced out by the fact that without the human element in the creation of these cyberattacks, they may be easier to spot.

Major Automation

Most analysts believe 2021 is going to be the year of true AI, machine learning, and ultimately automation in all business processes, including those that relate to IT.

Due to the increase in security vulnerabilities and the volume of threats, again largely because of remote work, many IT professionals and executives think the burden of dealing with these potential threats is too much for humans.

That’s where automation and machine learning will come into the equation.

Then, there will be the opportunity for humans to analyze the most relevant, pertinent, and pressing data as needed to combat potential threats.

There’s not just a large volume of threats facing organizations. There’s also a lack of qualified security talent, which is part of why the automation trend will be so much a part of cybersecurity in 2021.

Smaller-Scale Video Calls

An interesting trend in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that we might see taking shape this year is a move away from large-scale video chats and meetings. Instead, there is likely to be smaller groups and break-out rooms.

The reason?

Many large organizations had video calls that in some cases had hundreds of participants.

That means it’s much easier for cybercriminals to go under the radar and create problems.

Employees are starting to focus again on productivity, and they’re growing exhausted of seemingly never-ending Zoom calls anyway.

It’s likely that these video calls and meetings will become smaller in terms of participants and also more focused on efficiency and very specific goals.

In many ways, organizations and governments may have been caught off guard by the cybersecurity challenges that 2020 presented. 2021 should be the year to truly grasp the very real threats within the realm of cybersecurity and come up with appropriate solutions to deal with them.

Melina Richardson is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cybers Guards & w-se. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.