There is no question organizations are still reeling from the massive work-from-home shift that forced them to rethink cybersecurity and placed new dependencies on technologies such as cloud services and digital collaborative tools such as Zoom, Skype and Slack. Those 2020 trends will have a lasting impact. In fact, some organizations announced that majority of their workforce would continue working from home in the coming year.

Endpoint Security

Therefore, in 2021, home is where the attacks will happen. This will subsequently trigger an uptake of endpoint protection to ensure protection of assets deployed to remote workforce.

Bitdefender researchers agree and say securing remote workers will become a major focus for organizations. In fact, it will be imperative, since remote workers will continue to present a unique set of opportunities for the bad guys.

Growth of Insider-as-a-service model

Fueled by the remote working practices, insider threats shall also increase dramatically in 2021.

Ransomware attacks

Sad reality as it may be, ransomware attacks were very prevalent in 2020 and the trend shall continue. According to Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUA) discovered in our SOC operations, attackers have found more clever ways of hiding programs that initiate ransomware attacks when executed. This calls upon more concerted efforts towards continuous monitoring and threat hunting.

Hyper automation

As organizations across the globe adopt technologies such as robotic process automation and task automation, the sheer volume of security alerts generated are impossible for humans. Therefore, there will be a dramatic adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning to help with cybersecurity incident management. Already, automation and machine learning help human security analysts separate the most urgent alerts from a sea of data and take instant remedial action against certain threat profiles.

There is expected growth in sophistication of such technologies in flagging anomalies and automating countermeasures.

Cybersecurity on the Cloud

Spurred by COVID-19 work realities, majority of organizations shall hasten the migration of workloads to the cloud in a bit to afford more efficient remote working capabilities for staff. As such, budget allocations for cloud security will increase, driving the Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) in 2021. CSPM includes finding misconfigured network connectivity, assessing data risk, detecting liberal account permissions, cloud monitoring for policy violations, automatic misconfiguration detection and remediation and regulatory compliance with GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA.

Zero Trust Cybersecurity

With the adoption of multiple cloud environments and agile processes, many corporate assets now exist outside of the traditional security perimeter. The use of “castle and moat” security practices are no longer adequate to protect these assets. With business boundaries blurring, trust has become a vulnerability.

The security perimeter needs to be defined around the identity of the person or the device requesting access. Strong and effective authentication and authorization enables a granular, responsive security approach by centralizing policy orchestration and distributing policy enforcement. Zero trust security is not a set of technologies, rather a culture that security needs to evolve to meet current needs.

IOT Security Gap

IoT devices are expanding, boosting productivity and innovation across a variety of industries and organizations. Industrial IoT have transformed critical infrastructures such as healthcare, automotive, maritime and shipping. On the other hand, consumer IoT are being used extensively in homes to make our lives smarter and easier.

However, despite the benefits, IoT present many risks mostly coupled the lack of visibility and secure architectures, resulting in an increased threat surface. A single compromised node can be leveraged to break into corporate networks with severe consequences.

Conclusion

According to Gartner, cybersecurity trends for 2021 will focus on three themes:

  • People centricity – People are still the center of business operations. They need to be empowered by digital tools to interact and function in today’s shifting environment.
  • Location independence – A technology shift to support remote working business operations.
  • Resilience – Withstand global challenges and risks in a constantly shifting and volatile world.