The year 2021 is finally here, bringing with it the promise of a brighter future — but an extended road ahead. during this piece, we’ll dive into five cybersecurity trends that pose significant potential risk in 2021 and offer practical advice to assist entities reduce overall risk.
The first quarter of 2021 represents a cybersecurity crossroads. Business owners could also be shifting staff back to the office and managing the risks and rewards of remote work on an equivalent time. For malicious actors, this opens a door. From common compromise vectors to new threats, attackers are always trying to find ways to flee IT notice, evade defense measures and exploit emerging weaknesses.
Setting the Stage: Cybersecurity Trends in 2020
Some of the threats in 20121 are not new. consistent with data from IBM Security X-Force, for instance , one in four attacks was as of September 2020 were linked to good old ransomware.
Working from home, meanwhile, offered another approach vector for threat actors and new information security threats emerged. From privileged credential compromise to the utilization of mixed personal and professional networks, attackers wasted no time in hopping over the lower bars for entry.
IT teams, meanwhile, worked hard to defend potential weak points and hamper on emerging risks by improving identity and access management (IAM), enhancing encoding and switching to managed services.
Last year’s cybersecurity trends are important to 2021 because they set the stage. Both companies and cyber criminals know the ‘new normal’ of IT at a distance well. So what happens next?
The first major cybersecurity trend of 2021 stems from 2020. While WFH isn’t a replacement threat this year, it’s only a matter of your time before attackers compromise multiple, insecure home networks at an equivalent time to manufacture a massive-scale breach of critical systems and services. It is sensible . With many staff using home broadband connections for both personal use and their jobs, the company attack surface has increased by tons .
Solving this problem means doubling down on IAM with tools capable of intelligently analyzing user activity, resource requests and company connective habits to permit streamlined sign-in when it’s safe to try to to so — and need extra authentication if potential problems are detected.
Brute Force Frustrations
Brute-force efforts also are back in fashion. The attackers behind this and other cybersecurity trends recognize the potential of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) in bringing down corporate networks. The last half of 2020 saw a 12% uptick in DDoS attack efforts, especially those using the straightforward services delivery protocol (SSDP) and therefore the simple network management protocol (SNMP).
How it works
By using botnet swarms, attackers were ready to amplify IP requests and overwhelm enterprise networks, successively slowing response times or entirely sidelining services. SNMP exploits are even more worrisome since this protocol connects and manages common corporate devices, including modems, printers, switches, routers and servers. Compromise of SNMP services puts attackers largely beyond the reach of firewalls and exposes all enterprise services to risk.
To combat DDoS-driven threats in 2021, enterprises need agile, adaptable tools capable of detecting, isolating and remediating distributed attacks as they occur.
Fileless malware and ransomware attacks will still plague entities in 2021. Hackers design them to bypass familiar detection controls and infiltrate key systems by ‘living off the land’ — using reliable platforms or software tools that exist already within corporate networks.
This approach allows attackers to urge around common detection methods that scan for malicious file attachments or catalog the creation of latest files. What’s more, the utilization of existing system tools means malicious actors don’t need to design their own attack framework. That decreases the time required for malware development. Attackers in 2021 are likely to use fileless malware to compromise service providers instead of specific groups. Afterward, they will use their existing infrastructure to attack downstream clients.
As with many of the opposite cybersecurity trends listed here, vigilance is vital . Enterprises can defend against fileless threats with a Q1 cybersecurity hygiene housecleaning. This focuses on getting software and systems up so far , ensuring security tools are working as intended and deploying effective access controls — like multifactor authentication (MFA) — to scale back potential risk.
Older Cybersecurity Trends Still Matter
Even as attackers develop new sorts of threats, old ones like ransomware, Trojans and botnets also are still around. To face these familiar threats head-on — and emerge relatively unscathed — enterprises must ensure staff have the tools and training they have to identify these attacks ASAP. This starts with training around common compromise vectors like malicious email attachments and links. It also includes ongoing efforts that help monitor email accounts, remind staff of security standards . It notify them automatically if potential threats are detected.
Front Line Phishing
The biggest news article for 2021 is, of course, the COVID-19 vaccine. People are continuously looking out for vaccine information. That’s getting to affect 2021’s cybersecurity trends. As a result, companies must be prepared for an uptick in related phishing campaigns. These are very dangerous because they interest readers directly .
There are clear evidences that attackers are taking adnavtage of that. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service recently sent out warnings about fake vaccination appointment emails. IBM X-Force identified a supply-side attack looking to compromise the vaccine cold chain.
Fall of Enterprises
The reason for this uptick is straightforward . Despite how often people mention them and therefore the continued efforts of enterprise IT, phishing scams still work. They’re even more problematic during WFH. Workers reception are receiving plenty of emails whilst pandemic pressures put increasing stress on their personal and work lives. The result isn’t surprising: people fall for phishing.
Combating this common threat starts with improved identity management. By ensuring access to only relevant people, loss of data and finances can be controlled. It’s also critical to make a culture of second opinions around safety. If staff experiences something suspicious, they must report it to authorities. Employess always to get support in these type of situations. Bottom line? When it involves fighting phish, slow and steady wins the race.
Proven Tools for Today’s Cybersecurity Trends
As organizations take their first steps toward a replacement normal, malicious actors are ramping up their efforts. To combat today’s cybersecurity trends, both emerging compromise vectors and familiar threat frameworks, employers need an idea of attack that mixes next year’s tools with tried-and-true best practices.