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Emerging Cybersecurity Trends for 2021 and Beyond

In the era of global digitalization, cybersecurity is more relevant than ever before. The modern age brings more and more advancements to cybersecurity so that the technology landscape is constantly transforming. While the global pandemic of COVID-19 has impacted all areas of human existence, shifting our lives to the digital environment, it also has changed the traditional meaning of cybersecurity. Nowadays, cybersecurity is not just a popular trend or innovative technology most of us aren’t aware of, it is also a foremost necessity for multiple businesses that started their journey within the virtual environment.

Here we invite you to look through the most popular emerging cybersecurity trends this year will bring to our lives. All in all, awareness is the first step toward protection, so hurry up and join the cohort of those who are capable of eliminating cyber threats.

Current Cybersecurity Landscape: Challenge or Opportunity?

Significant Rise in Investments

As far as the range of cyber dangers expands, new vulnerabilities arise, and the recurrence of cyberattacks is unlikely to recede, cybersecurity is of paramount importance today. The ongoing lockdown restrictions have set a timeframe for recovering economies, and the overall cybersecurity market value is expected to grow since the middle of the current year. Despite all of these adversities and risk factors, companies are actively investing in cybersecurity, and this tendency is likely to continue.

Canalys Chief Analyst Matthew Ball emphasizes that

“cybersecurity must be front and center of digital plans, otherwise there will be a mass extinction of organizations, which will threaten the post-Covid-19 economic recovery. A lapse in focus on cybersecurity already has major repercussions, resulting in the escalation of the current data breach crisis and acceleration of ransomware attacks”.

The following statistic shows that a decade in cybersecurity venture funding is associated with the continuous growth of investments, and this year is not an exception. During the first months of 2021, over $1.3 billion was invested in this area, so this year will undoubtedly become a new record.

More Cyberattacks

Considering all of the above, you may be wondering why businesses are actively investing in cybersecurity. Well, the answer to this question is quite logical: as far as the number of cyber threats grows, companies also require more protection. In a nutshell, several factors led to the expansion of the global cyber-attack surface:

More People Are Doing Business Over the Internet

Nowadays, the world enters the early stages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Hence, this technological era dramatically transforms the way we live, interact, and work as it brings a new digital dimension to our existence. Thanks to the ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing/industrial practices and a fusion of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, genetic engineering, etc., more and more businesses expand their online presence and simultaneously become potential victims of cybercriminals.

COVID-19 Post Effects

Moreover, the global pandemic of coronavirus also impacted the digital transformation. As a result, most people started working remotely from their homes instead of working from offices.

For example, statistics show that

58.6 percent of the U.S. labor force is now working from home full-time and that it is higher in many other countries because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Source: NorthOne

Unfortunately, home computers are not as safe as the fortified office sites with more secure firewalls and routers. Thus, remote work provides new opportunities for hackers to exploit vulnerable employee devices and networks.

Popularization of the Internet of Things (IoT)

The world of IoT may be described as the reality of endless possibilities: 50 billion connected devices and trillions of sensors working among those devices create an incredible network of physical objects that enables users to live in a digitalized interactive environment. However, with such a great number of IoT devices and sensors, hackers have a multitude of opportunities to breach cyber-defense and exfiltrate information.

Current State of Cybersecurity

After all, challenge or opportunity? Definitely both. On the one hand, the rise in investments advantageously affects this area, providing new opportunities for the development of cybersecurity. On the other hand, this positive tendency is defined by several risk factors, including the global pandemic’s impact, the variety of devices, and online business processes. The only thing that is clear for sure is the rapid and ongoing development of the cybersecurity area, which will soon turn this powerful tool for protecting data into a necessity for everyone.

Electronic Medical Records (EMR)

Although the healthcare sector is still adapting to the digital age, cyber threats have already posed some risks to this industry. For instance, EMR is considered the top healthcare trend in terms of cybersecurity today. That is because of several privacy concerns: the more devices connected to hospital networks, the more vulnerable patient data becomes. Sensitive and patient-care information makes healthcare organizations a primary target for different security threats. Accordingly, the protection of EMRs is also considered one of the leading cybersecurity trends of the current year.

Intelligent Medical Devices

While the global pandemic remains a part of our life, the medical area also stays the vulnerable sector. For instance, devices directly connected to the patients are at risk of remote hacking. Cyber attackers may decrease or increase doses of drugs, end electrical signals to a patient, or even damage vital sign monitoring.

As reported by HIPAA Journal,

“82% of healthcare providers that have implemented Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices have experienced a cyberattack on at least one of those devices over the course of the past 12 months.”

For this reason, the security of intelligent medical devices plays a crucial role in terms of the modern healthcare system because cyberattacks not only may steal patients’ personal data but also can harm their health.

How to Cope with These Cyber Threats?

Fortunately, the ongoing year is also associated with significant improvements in healthcare cybersecurity defenses. Thanks to enhanced authentication and access technologies, it is easier to address the threats listed above. Here are some of the most prevalent cyber defense trends for 2021 and beyond:

Multi-Factor Authentication

Passwords are considered an easy target for hackers, especially with new hacking methods such as password spray attacks and phishing. However, multi-factor authentication methods can provide an extra level of identification security.

As reported by Intrado Globe Newswire,

“the global MFA market size is projected to grow from USD 11.1 billion in 2021 to USD 23.5 billion by 2026.”

Password Management

During the last few years, password management has been an ongoing trend, and this tendency does not lose its relevance even today. More and more healthcare organizations adopt password policies. For example, an organization might necessitate that passwords should be a certain length and include various characters, numbers, or symbols. At the same time, healthcare providers strive to make these passwords easy to use and remember for workers. These password management tools help to avoid common passwords, like “12345678,” “1111,” or “abcd,” etc., and therefore decrease the number of potential hacker attacks.

Risk-Based Access Controls

Taking the modern diversified business environment into account, risk-based access controls should rise in popularity. That is because this individualized approach allows companies to choose a cybersecurity protection method that perfectly meets their business specificities. Promoting access policies based on risk could not only strengthen an organization’s overall security posture but also lessen user resistance to new authentication technologies (e.g., password management and MFA).

Do you know how your official or consumer data is used? Nowadays, this question is one of the most relevant concerns cybersecurity professionals have to deal with. While the internet continues to evolve at a rapid pace, cyberattacks also transform and search for new, more upgraded ways to hack sensitive business data. Accordingly, here appears another critical question: how will cybersecurity change in the immediate future? What trends in cybersecurity are expected to emerge? Read on to unleash the full potential of cybersecurity trends that would soon become a reality.

Agility as a Key Factor

Keeping an eye on cyber threats is the main trend of 2021, and it will undoubtedly make sense in the following decade. While companies that take a proactive approach to cybersecurity certainly gain a competitive advantage by keeping their business afloat, those who do not pay enough attention to cybersecurity risks may soon find themselves in hot waters. Therefore, deploying an agile team within workplaces is expected to be the future cybersecurity trend. The first and foremost purpose of these teams is to understand the business’s cybersecurity weaknesses, current problems, and potential issues in detail. Additionally, they should be responsible for the proper protection of their corporate networks

The Urgent Need for More Professionals

The cybersecurity field is facing a huge problem because of the unavailability of experienced professionals worldwide. The following graph shows how the number of unfilled cybersecurity positions will change by the end of 2021.

Source: InfoSecurity

Thus, it is logical to assume that cybersecurity expertise will soon become a necessity for every type of business, and it does not matter whether it is a company with 100 workers or the one with over 500 employees.

Cybersecurity Training: Why Companies Need It

Why do cybersecurity incidents usually happen? Indeed, one of the most popular answers to this question reveals that inappropriate use of IT resources by employees is among the most prevalent reasons. Even though only a few years ago the opportunities of remote working were something new and unfamiliar to most companies, the coronavirus pandemic has helped to hasten this process. It will become necessary for employees to know how to behave securely within the digital environment.

Source: FinancesOnline

Unfortunately, in 2021, this problem remains unsolved as most employees claim that they do not get appropriate cybersecurity training.

5G Cybersecurity Issues Remain a Concern

There is no doubt that 5G will indeed become a game-changer in the near future. Nevertheless, it will also create a wide variety of cyber risks for organizations using it to improve their productivity. In this regard, 5G cybersecurity requires some significant enhancements to avoid the increasing dangers of hacking. Some of the 5G-related security threats result from the network itself, while others involve the devices connected to 5G. However, both of these aspects put businesses, governments, and consumers at risk.

Ransomware as a Powerful Cyber Weapon

During the last decades, Ransomware has gained popularity among cyber attackers. Moreover, with the advent of cryptocurrencies in Ransomware, it became a significant profit motive for many cybercriminals. As technologies continually develop, criminal hacker groups are becoming even more sophisticated in their phishing exploits because they use machine learning and more coordinated sharing on the dark web. Thus, it is expected that Ransomware will become a powerful cyber weapon in the following years, and it may pose a real danger to businesses as well as personal users.

On a Final Note

To make a long story short, emerging cybersecurity trends have both beneficial and adverse perspectives for businesses. While it is expected that the number and types of threats targeting businesses will continue to increase and develop, we also have access to security measures that can decrease our exposure to being compromised. All in all, the future of your cybersecurity assets is in your own hands as it is only up to you to pay attention to emerging trends or not. Whether or not better defensive techniques are executed will define how efficient your business will be in fighting off the onslaught.

Stay Aware, Stay Safe!

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