The impact of technological advancements on businesses across the globe has become undeniable over the last few years. Yearly, cybersecurity trends continue to become smarter and more efficient for all industries. Innovation in automation, fintech, and the internet, to name a few, has made it possible for companies to reach potential clients that live thousands of miles away from their headquarters. It has opened up opportunities for small and medium businesses to grow and scale. It has made what were once elusive products and services accessible to more people. 

It is expected that more companies would nurture an online presence and maintain digital assets. In fact, according to research, by next year, more than a quarter of the world’s population is expected to make a purchase online. This is a significant bump from the 1.66 billion digital buyers a mere four years ago in 2014. 

There is no stopping the shift towards digital. Unfortunately, this shift would also bring about a more sophisticated slew of cybersecurity threats despite all the benefits. In this day and age, formidable cybersecurity measures are as necessary as an online presence. 

The Top Cybersecurity Trends to Prepare for in 2021

Remote Service Attacks

The current global pandemic has caused a significant shift in how most businesses conduct their day-to-day operations. One of the emerging cybersecurity trends a lot of companies are getting on board now is moving their digital assets to cloud-based applications; enabling their employees’ access to documents remotely. 

While this development has done workers well, cloud-based threats have also increased since the shift. These breaches exploited the lapses in security configuration and the lack of formidable security infrastructures. 

Social Engineering Campaigns 

To this day, the machinations of COVID-19 remain a mystery. Over the last few months, hackers have used the lack of verifiable information to coax businesses into providing sensitive data. 

With the election turmoil and the ongoing global health crisis, 2021 will continue to see a surge in cybercrime.  Hackers will exploit the general populace’s unfamiliarity with the new normal for their financial benefit. 

Data Privacy Attacks

Data privacy has become a hot topic over the last few years. This, of course, is for good reasons, considering the multiple attacks on major social media platforms that have compromised the sensitive data from millions of people. 

Breaches in data privacy are expected to be one of the top cybersecurity trends in 2021. As a response, data privacy policies would become more than mere compliance requirements for companies. There is a possibility that in the turn of the year, it would become a standalone discipline that would impact most aspects of a corporation – from strategy building to human relations. 

Insider Attacks

According to Verizon’s recent report, 34% of cyberattacks are products of employee mistakes or maliciousness. This type of data breach can cost a company millions of dollars regardless of whether the leak is deliberate or not. 

With the shift towards remote work, employees have more access to sensitive company information. The instances of insider attacks are projected to increase in 2021. As such, by the turn of the year, businesses should be able to put protective measures such as limited access and permission protocols in place. More than being one of 2021’s cybersecurity trends, guarding internal assets will eventually become a necessity, more than a luxury.

Emergence of Deepfakes

Deepfakes are images or videos that seem convincingly real but are entirely fabricated. Over the years, the quality of these images has improved drastically. In fact, in 2020, deepfake technology can almost pass as the real deal. 

Deepfakes pose a threat to companies since hackers can use this technology to spread misinformation. At this point, attackers can create sophisticated images and videos that most audiences find it difficult to differentiate from the real deal. In light of this, it only makes sense that one of next year’s emerging cybersecurity trends will focus on defense against deepfakes.

Vulnerabilities of Remote Workers

As discussed earlier, the pandemic has changed the face of office work. More companies have allowed their employees to work remotely in the last few months to halt the virus’s spread. COVID-19 cases are still rising, and the situation has yet to be contained. As such, remote work is still expected to continue in 2021. 

One of the most pervasive emerging trends in cybersecurity is the expected onslaught of attacks targeting remote workers. Hackers would always choose to pinpoint behaviors and habits to expose the vulnerabilities of a network. This is disastrous for companies that do not have security measures for software and hardware they release to their remote team. 

Mandatory Cyber Insurance Policies 

The volume and the cost of a cyberattack have increased tremendously over the last decade. Attacks have gotten more sophisticated, and the damage they inflict has become costlier. 

Aside from network security measures, 2021 would see a spike in companies opting for cyber insurance. 

Rise of Identity-Centric Security

With emerging technologies moving away from traditional security measures, securing digital assets would lean more towards proof of identity. This means that a user should be verified, be using an identifiable system, and be in a verifiable location to access sensitive information. 

Increase in Computer to Human Virus Attacks

2020 saw the first computer virus-related death in human history. Early this year, attackers targeted Düsseldorf University Hospital. They incapacitated their system with ransomware that ultimately resulted in the demise of a patient. 

In 2021, with COVID-19 still an issue, more casualties are expected to stem from healthcare security systems’ vulnerabilities. 

More Users, More Attacks

The shelter-in-place orders have driven more people and organizations into having an online presence. 

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, instances of cybercrime has quadrupled since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. With more companies online, one of the top cybersecurity trends is merely anticipating the increase in the number of malicious attacks throughout 2021. 

As various technologies advance, it is expected that breaches and threats also improve with the times. As a business, it is your responsibility to respond and prepare for these changes. The 2021 cybersecurity trends mentioned above are mere predictions – the tip of the iceberg. It is best to set time to evaluate your current security measures and consider new technologies that can safeguard your operation at the turn of the year. 

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