As if 2020 was not hard enough with Covid-19, the year ended with the discovery of a massive cyberattack that hacked United States government networks and private companies. The SolarWinds hack was a heavy blow to the country and brings the realization that cybersecurity systems in the federal and private sectors need critical improvements.
The Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats of 2021
Cybersecurity experts will have their work cut out for them in 2021. Besides working to prevent another SolarWinds fiasco, several other cybersecurity threats loom on the horizon.
As more rely on cloud storage, cloud jacking is expected to escalate. Cloud jacking means taking control of or stealing the private information of an individual or company stored on the cloud. Given the significant increase in work-from-home arrangements, cloud reliance has become crucial. At the same time, hackers have more targets and can gain access to poorly secured information more easily.
Industrial Control Systems (ICS)
Oil, gas, and manufacturing companies will become prime targets for cybercriminals with malware specifically designed to infiltrate ICS environments. They will likely be targeted by international spies, including Russian, Iranian, and North Korean intelligence agencies.
5G and IoT (Internet of Things) Devices
5G wireless is the 5th generation mobile network designed to deliver more speed, reliability, and security. While 5G is more secure, it is not foolproof. In fact, its increased speed can serve to ramp up the speed of attacks and expand the attackers’ potential target pool. The same is true for IoT devices.
Continued Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware attacks have been on the rise as employees have shifted to working at home without proper security precautions. In Q3 of 2020, global ransomware attacks reached 199.7 million. In 2021, these attacks are expected to increase in scale and sophistication.
While 2020 saw a rise in healthcare breaches, it also became apparent that intellectual property presents a valuable target for cybercriminals. They have already been spying on rival countries’ vaccine research, and this information promises to be far more valuable than health data and credit card details.
Preparing for the Cybersecurity Threats of 2021
The cybersecurity software market is predicted to grow from $183.2 billion in 2019 to $230 billion in 2021, attaining a 12% CAGR in the forecast period. Global SMB spending on cybersecurity is expected to grow at a 10% CAGR between 2019 and 2024. As companies of all sizes are increasing cybersecurity expenditures in terms of products and services, we recommend our clients do the same.
Cybersecurity is a dynamic industry evolving to keep up with the pace of threats. Companies and individuals that do not protect themselves will be vulnerable to attacks. For individuals, a lot of damage can be done, but it is usually relegated to that individual. For companies, the damage can be far-reaching and cost a small fortune, depending on the kind of attack.
While we have enumerated some of the expected cybersecurity challenges ahead, the year 2020 showed the need to be prepared for the unexpected.
For additional resources and guidance, the Interfor team is here to help.