Businesses constantly face challenges and change. While an ever-changing technology landscape isn’t new, the pace of change has undoubtedly been heightened this year. The way people work, where they work from, how data and information are stored and moved, and the growing complexity of cyberattacks all present risks.
We look over the trends and disruptions affecting businesses, systems, and the cybersecurity industry in 2021.
Five changes that affect your cybersecurity
During the past twelve or so months, the following significant occurrences are affecting your cybersecurity:
1. Remote working
COVID-19 may have forced a shift to working from home, but we shouldn’t be surprised if this move isn’t quite as temporary as we first thought it would be. For many of us, remote working will be the new normal.
A rapid switch to remote working presented significant consequences on cybersecurity. Businesses were forced to make unplanned cloud migrations and conduct a hasty process of finding new services to accommodate the change. Many companies rushed security measures that would usually be well-planned and considered, creating new levels of vulnerability.
Responding to remote working threats: If your organisation was one of the many who experienced a quick change in the workforce, you must check and identify any vulnerabilities now.
2. The rise of ransomware
Ransomware has become more commonplace this year, and it is no longer a cyber threat directed only at major corporations. In 2020, the average cost of a ransomware attack was £3.3 million. Phishing attacks are becoming significantly more troublesome, and VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) used to access corporate networks have proved inadequate.
Responding to ransomware and network threats: Your company must strengthen its remote access network to reduce the risk of an attack. By 2023, it is predicted that 60% of businesses will transition from VPNs to ZTNAs (Zero-Trust Network Access) to protect systems and sensitive data.
3. Attacks on cloud services
Unsurprisingly, as companies moved to cloud-based services to support COVID-19-induced remote working, they became a cybersecurity vulnerability. Cloud-based services present advantages that companies can’t ignore, such as lower costs, scalability, and efficiency. However, rushed adoption made them a prime target for attackers and misconfigured cloud settings were the primary culprits of many data breaches in 2020/21.
Responding to cloud service attacks: Before migrating to cloud-based services, you should make sure your company has the correct security measures in place to avoid a data breach.
4. Demand for cybersecurity professionals
There is a critical need for cybersecurity professionals in 2021, and it has always been a challenge to find them. As the shortage of cybersecurity professionals continues, companies should focus on educating their employees on how to spot attacks on their own. Training should be continuous, and companies should constantly measure its effectiveness.
Responding to a lack of cybersecurity professionals: Ensure you prioritise company-wide cybersecurity training in 2022.
AI and machine learning continue to evolve, becoming more sophisticated and capable. More companies will need to implement AI and machine learning in 2022 to stay ahead of cybercriminals. The advantages for large businesses already exist with the technology commonly used to automate security systems and replace the need for human intervention.
Unfortunately, the scales continuously tip from side-to-side and criminal networks are beginning to use AI to automate their attacks. Data poisoning and model-stealing techniques are two emerging attack strategies.
Responding to AI automated cyber attacks: Add AI-powered security systems to your network to streamline threat detection and potentially save your company millions in the costs associated with a data breach.