Cybersecurity is rapidly changing. Malicious actors are finding new ways to exploit remote and hybrid workforces, and cybersecurity vendors constantly offer new solutions to these issues.
These are the top trending topics in Web security, regardless of whether your infrastructure is close to the data center or spread globally.
- Cybersecurity Risks related to Remote Working
- Increased Hacking in the Automotive Industry
- Evolving Internet of Things (IoT) domain
- Rise of Ransomware
- Integration of AI with security
- Cloud Security Threats caused by an increase in Cloud services
- State-Sponsored Cyber Warfare
- Smarter Social Engineering Attacks
- Mobile Apps Vulnerability
- Application-based Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Cybersecurity Risks related to Remote Working
Most organizations had to rapidly move their workforce to remote work after the Covid-19 pandemic. Numerous surveys indicate that a large proportion of the workforce will work remotely after the pandemic.
The most talked-about new trend in cyber security is working from home. It poses new cybersecurity threats and presents new opportunities. Home offices are less secure than centralized offices. Central offices tend to have better firewalls and routers. Traditional security vetting might not have been as thorough as it used to be due to the urgency to keep everything operational. Cybercriminals may have adapted their methods to take advantage of this.
Employees are increasingly using personal devices to perform two-factor authentication. They may also have mobile apps for instant messaging clients such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. This blurring of the lines between professional and personal life increases the chance that sensitive information may fall into the wrong hands.
Organizations must focus on security issues faced by distributed workforces as a key trend in cyber security. This includes identifying and mitigating security vulnerabilities, improving systems, implementing controls, and monitoring.
Increased Hacking in the Automotive Industry
Increased hacking in the Automotive industry will be one of the major cybersecurity trends of 2021. Autonomous software is embedded in modern vehicles, allowing for seamless connectivity between drivers and automated systems such as cruise control, engine timings, door locks, airbags, advanced driver assistance, and more.
These vehicles communicate using Bluetooth and WiFi technology, exposing them to hackers or making them vulnerable to attacks. With more automated vehicles, the possibility of gaining control of the vehicle and using microphones to eavesdrop is likely to increase in 2021 and beyond. The complex mechanism of autonomous or self-driving vehicles requires stringent cybersecurity measures.
Evolving Internet of Things (IoT) domain
Cybercrime is increasing due to the expanding Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things is a term that refers to physical devices, other than computers, phones, and servers, that connect to the internet to share data. Wearable fitness trackers and smart refrigerators are some examples of IoT devices. Voice assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo are also included. It is expected that 64 billion IoT devices will be installed in the world by 2026.
The increase in IoT devices increases the cyber attack surface or the potential entry points for malicious actors. IoT devices are smaller than smartphones and laptops in terms of processing and storage. It can be difficult to use firewalls, antivirus, or other security applications to protect them.
Rise of Ransomware
Ransomware is not a new threat. It has been around for over two decades. But it is growing. Ransomware has evolved into more than 120 different variations, with hackers mastering the art of hiding malicious code. Ransomware has been growing in popularity partly because hackers can easily use it to get financial rewards. The Covid-19 pandemic has also contributed to the increase as Ransomware has found new targets due to the rapid digitization of many organizations and remote working. As a result, both the volume and size of ransomware attacks increased.
Criminals steal data from a company and then encrypt it to prevent them from accessing it. Cybercriminals then blackmail the company, demanding ransom in exchange for their private data. This cyberthreat significantly impacts the organization’s ability to protect its sensitive data and the economic consequences of paying the ransom.
Machine learning is helping ransomware hackers become more sophisticated in their phishing attacks. This has been made possible by more coordinated sharing of dark Web information. Hackers often demand payment in crypto that is hard to track. In the near future, we can expect more ransomware attacks against organizations that aren’t cyber-secure.
Integration of AI with security
AI has been introduced to all markets and has made huge changes in cybersecurity. AI is a key component of automated security systems, natural-language processing, face detection, and automatic threat detection. It is also used to create smart malware and attacks that bypass current security protocols for controlling data.
The AI-enabled threat detection system can instantly detect new attacks and notify administrators about any data breaches. This will make it the next cybersecurity trend in 2021.
Cloud Security Threats caused by an increase in Cloud services
Cloud vulnerability is still a major trend in cyber security. The rapid adoption of remote work following the pandemic has increased the need for cloud-based infrastructure and services, which can have security implications for organizations.
Cloud services can offer many benefits, including scalability and efficiency as well as cost savings. They are also prime targets for hackers. Cloud settings that are not configured correctly can lead to data breaches, unauthorized access, insecure interfaces, and account hijacking, so it is important for organizations to take precautions to reduce cloud threats.
State-Sponsored Cyber Warfare
Cases on cyber attacks between the US, Iran, and Chinese hackers often make news worldwide. These attacks have a significant effect on events such as elections. Cyber security trends in 2021 will include high-profile data breaches and exposure to industrial secrets.
Smarter Social Engineering Attacks
Phishing and social engineering attacks are not new, but they have become more serious in an increasingly remote workforce. Because they are easier targets, attackers target those who connect to their employer’s network via home. In addition to traditional phishing attacks against employees, there have been whaling attacks on executive organizational leadership.
Due to the popularity of messaging apps like WhatsApp, Slack, Skype, and Signal, SMS phishing, also known as “smishing,” is also on the rise. Hackers use these platforms to trick users into downloading malware to their phones.
Another variant is voice phishing, also known as ‘vishing’ has been used in numerous cases to attack large corporations and financial institutions.
SIM jacking is another scam. This involves fraudsters contacting the customer’s mobile operator and convincing them that their SIM card has been hacked. It is necessary to transfer the phone number from one card to another. If the deception succeeds, the cybercriminal can access the digital contents on the target’s smartphone.
While organizations are improving their protection against phishing attacks, criminals find new ways to get ahead. This includes sophisticated phishing tools that target victims differently depending upon their location.
Mobile Apps Vulnerability
Mobile is growing at a faster rate than ever thanks to the trend towards remote work. Remote workers can switch between mobile devices using public WiFi networks. They also have access to remote collaboration tools. Mobile threats are constantly evolving. As 5G technology continues to roll out, there are potential security holes that will need to be addressed.
Mobile cybersecurity covers many other topics, such as back-end/cloud security and network security. It also includes a network of more connected objects (i.e. the Internet of Things), like wearables or automotive devices. It is not possible to protect all apps from insecure environments. Instead, you need to ensure additional security layers to improve your overall security. To strengthen sensitive data storage, security specialists combine mobile security with hardware-based security.
Cybercriminals continue to find new ways to harm individuals and companies in this age of digital transformation.
Application-based Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Multi-factor authentication (MFA), has become the gold standard for authentication. Malicious actors are now finding ways to bypass MFA, specifically via SMS and phone calls. In 2020, Microsoft advised users to discontinue using phone-based MFA and recommend instead that they use app-based authentication and security keys.
Although SMS does have some security features, messages sent, even for authentication purposes, are not encrypted. To obtain one-time passcodes in plaintext, malicious actors could carry out man-in-the-middle attacks. This is a problem for online banking activities, where authentication is done often via SMS. To address this problem, banks and other organizations will increasingly turn to application-based MFA like Google Authenticator, Authy and others.
Organizations will be more concerned about cyber security in 2021, and they will need to increase their security measures. Organizations will likely spend $100+ billion this year to protect their assets.
It is important that infrastructure security plays a major role in every organization. This makes it a great choice to begin your cybersecurity education today in order to be experts for tomorrow. Highly-skilled and experienced cybersecurity professionals are amongst the most highly paid in the IT industry.
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