2020 has sure been a rollercoaster ride with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has no less been tiring to the security teams. Hackers have taken advantage of the disarray that ensued when the normal world was pulled from its roots and thrown into this pandemonium. From Zoom to Twitter, a surprising number of the top dogs had their database records breached and a report from Risk-based Security showed that 36 billion records had been exposed, thus crowning the past year as the worst year for cybersecurity.

While we spent the last year questioning what would be left of our sanity by the time the year comes to an end, people can’t help but hope that 2021 would provide a refreshing turn of events. Hence, predictions for the upcoming year are at an all-time high. So without further ado, here is our bid on the top 7 security trends that can be expected for 2021.

Prediction #1: Adapting security to the new normal

This is one of the first changes that defined the “normal of the new world” and this is the one with the most probability of integrating into our daily lives. People working from remote locations have widened the network of devices they are connected to, but the security still depends on what was established before the pandemic. Maybe a predictive analysis at the beginning could have been what was needed to take the security measures, but it’s not too late! Companies could begin their investments in securing the endpoints of the employees and other security tools.

Prediction #2: Deeper involvement of CISOs

Some of the IT firms have cut down their spendings to handle the sudden changes, and of course, some backlash was to be expected from this. Less spending has led to weaker security measures and, this has put pressure on CISOs to play a major role in ensuring the security of the organization. With CISOs gaining more importance in an organization, they have to take creative measures and evolve beyond the status quo.

Quoting the words of Roland Cloutier, a CSO at TikTok, “This is so far beyond cyber defensive operations. We’re really talking about controls, assurance, and monitoring at a data level and how you integrate that into your security platform.”

Prediction #3: Increase in Ransomware attacks

This one is not very surprising. With 2020 holding the trophy to be the year with the most number of ransomware attacks, cybercriminals have found plenty of new tactics to attack. Now, ransomware attacks are more than just threatening people with encrypted files. Some hackers go a step further and expose these stolen records. By maintaining the same pace, we could expect an even higher rate of ransomware attacks. 

To know about the top ransomware attacks faced in 2020, check this out!

Prediction #4: How ignorance leads to trouble

No matter the pace at which the IT field expands, there still exists that ignorant group of people who think it’s a wonderful idea to have your password as “password”. Surprising, right? This is one of the many security issues of an ignorant worker, including unsafe networks and vulnerability to phishing attacks. “More people are working from home than ever before, and with that trend not changing any time soon, attackers will go after people’s personal systems. Diligence in preserving and protecting not only work but also home systems, will be of the utmost importance.”, says Mitchell Kavasky from Sungard AS. Unless employees are educated on cybersecurity measures, this could lead to a huge data breach in the organization. 

Prediction #5: How hackers have taken advantage of Covid-19

Cybercriminals have shown to use whatever means available to them to get their hands on the records. Every day, people are probing the internet for the latest updates regarding the Coronavirus and this is what the attackers are hoping to exploit. Phishing attacks through emails on fake job offers, government-sponsored campaigns, and information on vaccines could increase in the next year and soon, valid proofs on the credibility of the information would be needed to accept the emails. Other than these, the malicious actors could use the confusion of the people to spread false information, or even worse, sensitive information, all of which are sure to lead to more threats in a different context.

Prediction #6: Acceleration towards Cloud  Technologies

Before the pandemic, when organizations had the time to question every aspect of a new technology before implementing it, questions were raised on the integration of cloud into a business. But the virus has taken a leaf out of time’s book and has decided to change the phrase as “Covid-19 waits for no one”. It has forced the hands of all the companies to turn towards Cloud solutions and 2021 could be the year it would become the norm to fully depend on these advancements.

Prediction #7: With offense comes the defense

Even though the hackers, with the help of the current situation, have caught everyone off guard, it has driven the IT field to focus on securing all the endpoints. This will definitely lead to an influx of new technologies that can automate and regulate threat detection and early avoidance of cyberattacks. So, this year is an opportune moment for security industrialists to make their mark in this domain.

No matter the probability for a high number of security threats, there is also scope for the advent of sophisticated and improved security tools. Overall, there are high hopes for this new year. Let’s wait and watch which of these predictions will come into effect in full swing!