Cybersecurity Trends and Risks to Look Out for in 2021

Oct 12, 2020
Olga Hout

Establishing proper cybersecurity policies and protecting your business and its promise is every leader's priority, along with ensuring the wellbeing of the people. The number of disruptions affecting businesses is rising, with cyber risks having an upward trend.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on how many organizations do business, with many people working from home and increased demand for video conferencing, cloud applications, and network resources. 

The speed, connectivity, and wide range of benefits make the cyber world a must for any business; however, as the cyber community develops, so do the risks of working with today's technology.

That being the case, it's essential to make sure you know the latest trends, risks, and threats to your cyber safety heading into 2021. This article will fill you in on everything you need to know to stay informed and stay ahead of the cyber game to keep your company protected for a long time to come. Read on to find out more!

Why Real Leaders Are More Resilient About Cybersecurity Trends & Threats

Today's leaders are doing that and making sure they stay ahead of the curb. In fact, the statistical analysis demonstrated that leaders were described as the highest performers in stopping more attacks, finding and fixing breaches faster, along with reducing breach impact.

Cyber resilience occurs when a business successfully brings together the essence of cybersecurity, business continuity, and enterprise resilience. With this trifecta applied, companies can quickly and easily apply fluid security strategies to respond to any threat, reducing the damage of an attack to a minimum - if anything at all.

Business leaders who follow this trend stand by three main objectives:

  • They make sure they invest in their company for operational speed;
  • They drive value from new general and cyber-specific investments;
  • They make sure to sustain what they have.

As a result of following these objectives, these leaders can produce a cyber-resilient business that can safely introduce their latest innovations and business models securely, strengthen the level of trust with their customers, and grow their business with confidence.

This is obviously of incredible importance for any business, especially one that is scaling in size or is already a powerhouse in their industry. It's no surprise this is the case; after all, bigger companies are also bigger targets, and the more experienced hackers and cyber evildoers are bound to try their hand at taking down the system.

That said, a cyber attack can (and often do) happen on small businesses precisely because they're small and, therefore, more likely to lack the necessary security features. No matter the size, every business has to have a business continuity plan that covers both physical and virtual components of disaster recovery. 

The Cost of a Data Breach and Threats to Look Out for

The number of potential business threats is incredibly high and equally as complex. Studies show that about one-third of data breach costs occurred more than one year after a data breach incident, extending a life-cycle of a data breach. Over the last couple of years, the global average total cost of a data breach increased to $3.92 million. 

Interestingly, organizations subject to more rigorous regulatory requirements, such as healthcare, financial services, and energy, had a higher cost of a data breach experienced an average total cost of a data breach significantly higher than less regulated industries. 

Even though one of the top three root causes of a data breach or a cyberattack is a human error, there are specific threats business leaders need to be on the lookout for based on a business's size and industry type. A few of the more notorious ones are listed below.

Current Data Breach Trends

  1. Data breaches may take longer to identify and contain due to remote work.
  2. Remote work is expected to increase the cost of a potential data breach. 
  3. More mega breaches (more than 1 million records exposed) are expected to happen in the coming years.

Ransomware Attacks Have Skyrocketed

Ransomware attacks have been around for a long time, and COVID-19 has caused the use of such malware to grow exponentially due to everyone being short on finances. This is also a malware that doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, so you need to be prepared to see it in 2021 and in the years afterward.

Ransomware is a type of malware primarily used to target banks. It holds the bank for ransom (hence the name), threatening to steal and leak important company data unless that bank is willing to pay a specific amount in their own funds. Of course, with most of these banks prioritizing company data secrets over replaceable dollars, the ransomware is generally quite effective when used.

Furthermore, it's especially dangerous to small banks or subsidiaries that have been recently acquired by larger banks which seem to be the main target of ransomware makers. If your business belongs in this industry, you'll want to be careful and plan well ahead to fight against this enemy.

Cryptocurrency Is at Risk

Cryptocurrency has grown to become the hottest thing in the financial industry. Everyone wants a piece of the crypto-action - including, unfortunately, cyber thieves on the prowl for a quick and healthy snatch.

Despite the secure sounding name, cryptocurrency isn't as secure as we would like it to be. This has shown itself to be true in past years, where there was a surge of attacks on Bitcoin and other alternative cryptocurrencies in 2018. Worst still, we don't actually know if the cryptocurrency's latest cybersecurity features can stand up to the latest in malware.

Healthcare Devices Are the Next Target

The healthcare industry may not seem like one that would be a target for malware users and hackers. After all, what would they possibly gain by attacking the health sector? The answers may be numerous and varied, but the facts state that each year the industry experiences more sophisticated attacks and the numbers show no signs of stopping.

With healthcare's growing dependency on new technology, a growing pool of medical records and private information is present on the dark web. The influence of implanted devices and other medical wearers are starting to become points of entry for the hackers to directly connect with and cause harm to a patient. Make sure to take extreme caution when handling your in-patient or their private documents.

5G Isn't So Safe

We've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of 5G. After all the only thing better than the internet is faster internet. That being said, our speed may very well come at a cost.

Our current 5G internet runs on short waves to send and receive tower transmissions, which also means more towers will need to be placed in close proximity to each other. Clowser towers may allow evildoers to more easily track where you are, putting your business on the bad guy's map.

Moreover, the interconnectedness of 5G will allow service providers to have an unprecedented amount of excess to large data sent by user devices. This data could help the hackers to know more about what you do through the information picked up by the servers, allowing them to glean into your life and cause harm whenever they can.

What Your Business Can Do About It

Even though cyberthreats are best left to the pros, you don't have to rely solely on the IT department to handle all of your problems. Certain factors can mitigate the cost of a cyber attack or a data breach. Among the action management should take are:

a. Invest in incident response testing

b. Have a dedicated business continuity management specialist

c. Build an emergency response team

d. Support and promote employee education and training

Combining an incident response team with an emergency plan testing and employee education can greatly reduce the cost of a data breach. However, a comprehensive business continuity strategy should be the target for your organization if it plans on being in business for many years to come.