Top 10 Cybersecurity Businesses in 2021:
Cyber-criminals are taking advantage of the changes to business operations caused by the global health pandemic. Most organizations assumed things would be back to normal within a few months after the initial lockdown, and certainly thoughts everything would be status quo by now. As the changes created by COVID-19 continue into 2021, the cybersecurity threats to companies of all sizes and in every industry is growing. Here are my top 10 cybersecurity predictions for this year.
1. Work-From-Home Model Security Gaps
- The lockdown has permanently changed how we do business. For the foreseeable future, the work-from-home model is here to stay. In fact, about two-thirds of businesses that have adopted remote work policies as a result of COVID-19, plan to keep at least some of those policies in place long-term or permanently, according to a recent study. Because of the Flex/Hybrid remote workforce, threat actors or hackers are taking advantage of changing circumstances. As employees become more productive working from home, cybercrime is increasing. Employers are just one click away from a compromise of their entire environment.
2. Patch Management Vulnerability
- Patch management is the process of distributing and applying updates to software. These patches are often necessary to correct vulnerabilities or gaps in security. Therefore, patch management must be a continuous project to update issues. Hackers are out looking to exploit unpatched vulnerabilities. Standardization around patch management will ensure repeatable and predictable process, minimizing time, resources and threats.
3. Threat Ransomware Will Continue to Hold Data Hostage
- Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid to secure the confidentiality and integrity of the data. Typically, this money is paid in the form of Bitcoin. Ransomware has been hitting companies in every sector AND the payments of each incident is increasing. In the first quarter of 2020, the average enterprise ransomware payment increased to more than $100,000.
4. Healthcare Organizations Will Face Significant Risks
- Protected Health Information, or PHI, is any personal health information that can potentially identify an individual, that was created, used, or disclosed in the course of providing healthcare services. These records are worth hundreds of dollars per record to a hacker, making them particularly vulnerable of a cyber-attack.
5. Supply Chain Attacks Will Rise
- Threat actors search for targets that can be easily compromised and have high monetary value. Once they have a foot hold in your network, they will move laterally and escalate. They can then gain privileges and control of your systems or they can lie dormant in your network to gain more information for a future attack.
6. Mining, Transportation, Construction and Energy are Prime Targets
- Hackers are also looking for industries that are not highly regulated, plus are worth significant monetary value. These companies are poised to do well during the economic recession, making them prime targets, including:
- Transportation: Stock prices have soared for all big box companies like Amazon, Chewy, Walmart, and Costco
- Construction: Projects are continuing to increase
- Energy and Natural Gas: As these areas consolidate the market, the demand will increase and the survivors will benefit.
7. Financial Companies
- Financial institutions have a lot to worry about in 2021 due to market changes and reputational damages. Asset and wealth management (AWM) companies play an important role in handling finances and investments for different clients throughout the world. For that reason, these firms can be tempting targets for cybercriminals who smell an opportunity to compromise accounts and steal financial data. These firms hold valuable financial data, but often have smaller security budgets and fewer staff. Cyber criminals are also the new bank robbers. Due to the breadth of information banks store about their customers, they are a prime target for ransomware attacks. The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations recently issued an alert warning firms to beware of a rise in ransomware attacks.
8. Increase in Wireless Attacks
- Unsecure wireless network attacks will rise in large residential areas (apartment complexes, condominiums, etc.) where hackers can benefit from mass attacks.
9. Weak Bring Your Own Device Policies Create Vulnerabilities
- Companies that do not have clear Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies are an instant vulnerability. Even if you do have a good BYOD policy, but it hasn’t been properly communicated to employees, you open the window to numerous security threats. The same holds true to lost or stolen devices, unsecure networks, malicious apps, and unsecure data transfer.
10. Security Operations Centers as a Service is on the Rise
- Security Operations Centers (SOC) provide real-time monitoring, detection and response. Companies that are looking to protect their organization from hackers won’t have the resources or money to build their own internal SOC, opting for SOC as a Service to have a monthly subscription to services.