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5 Cyber Security Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2021

Because few people foresaw the dramatic developments of the past year, cybersecurity experts clarified several cybersecurity trends that persisted or even increased amid global uncertainty.

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5 Cyber Security Trends You Can not Ignore

Because few people foresaw the dramatic developments of the past year, cybersecurity experts clarified several cybersecurity trends that persisted or even increased amid global uncertainty.

This story will dive into several cybersecurity trends that pose a considerable potential risk in 2021 and provide practical advice to help entities minimize overall risks.

For most tech corporations, the first quarter of 2021 is just another cybersecurity crossroad. Currently, they’re shifting staff back into the office and managing the risks and the outcomes of WFH policies at the same time.

For cybercriminals, on the other hand, this opens a door.

We’ve seen how the proliferation of remote work has resulted in undetected security susceptibilities, which will impact the corporate world in the months ahead. But it’s not all bad news.

This year should also bring new automation opportunities to help companies in the ongoing struggle to more with less. But before that, let’s explain how these cybersecurity threats impact individuals and companies alike and what you can do to be more digitally secure.

1. Lockdown Defines the New Business Style

As companies have shifted their employees to flexible models or full-time work from home models, so have the attack areas. Cybercriminals take advantage of current events and shifting circumstances to exploit those who are the most susceptible.

There is a big chance you have already come across a text message or email scam linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. That, or countless charity agencies that claim to be supporting front-line employees. Or even worse, those who pretend to sell essentials like protective masks, hand sanitisers, or food.

The concerning truth is that cybercrime as a whole has peaked at 600 per cent since the outburst of the global pandemic.

There’s a ruling uncertainty that doesn’t seem to end. As we continue to wait for the future of the pandemic and restrictions, the only certain thing is cybercrime.

Restrictions have permanently altered the business space, but shockingly, productivity has increased by 47 per cent YOY despite WFH policies. That, however, is another reason for the corporate world to discuss security needs.

4 Key Things to Consider When Testing a Mobile Application

2. Ransomware – All-Time High

Expect to see the ongoing growth of ransomware and monetization of exploits throughout the year. As increasingly more businesses were forced to apply WFH policies for all employees, many loosened their infrastructure and created security gaps or invitations for hackers to exploit what they wish. This famous malware made history last year, contributing to the first reported death linked to a cyber-attack.

Industry trends don’t look that peaceful either. In a 582 information security experts survey, 50 per cent say they don’t believe their company is prepared to battle ransomware attacks.

The Healthcare industry is one of the hardest hit and most susceptible industries because:

  • PHI or Personal Health Information can sell hundreds of dollars per record, and it’s typically sold again to cybercriminals.
  • Their security systems are mostly driven by compliance and not by proper security measures.

3. Supply Chains – Successful But at What Cost

Solar Wind’s case leads by example, but not in the good sense. Their recent security failure brought global attention to companies’ need to make cybersecurity a top priority for the years that follow.

In this case, an advanced supply chain attack impacted more than 18,000 clients, including fortune 500 businesses and government agencies.

Reports show that 50 per cent of cyber attacks today target the networks and those linked to the supply chain platforms.

Supply chain attacks on open-source software also surged by 430%, according to a Sonatype report. With this deeply rooted in your head and systems, it doesn’t matter how steady your cybersecurity measures are if your vendors have been compromised.

Once hackers have entered your network, they will try to move laterally to reach their privileges and gain control of your system. Or, as in most cases, they will hibernate for months to years at a time, collecting and exfiltrating data.
To eliminate or at least reduce such threats, most WFH employees or shoppers rely on obfuscated servers to bypass strict censorship and remain private while using retail platforms.

Mobile app for business

4. MFA Use Will Escalate

Given the peaking cases of cybersecurity threats, it comes as no surprise that multi-factor authentication is now seen as the gold standard.

Tech giants like Microsoft advised users to stop using device-based MFA and instead endorse using app-based authenticators and security keys.

The traditional SMS may come in handy. However, these messages don’t seem to be encrypted. This only allows threat actors to automatically undergo the middle attack and access the one-time passcode in a second.

Online banking is an example of such risks. Recent reports showed that a massive banking fraud operation compromised more than 16,000 devices, causing over 11 million damages.

With cases like this lying on top of their minds, organizations will shift towards application-based multi-factor authentication like Google Authenticator whenever possible.

5. More Cyber Security Disputes Will Follow

It took one massive data breach crisis for the government and private sector to start a dispute. Many would say the Cold War of cybersecurity was already here, but this could lead to something greater.

The recent data breach crisis has prevalent implications but currently can only be speculated on. It’s a matter of time until the true impact of this attack will be uncovered.

As far as we know, the U.S government agencies were targeted along with other less privileged organizations using the famous monitoring platform, SolarWinds. The chances are that in 2021, considerable improvements will be made into advancing government IT systems, and different types of retaliation will partake.

Take China; they started to requalify their army in cybersecurity schools, with goals to become the world’s leader by 2027.

As cybersecurity warfare seems to advance, it’s clear as daylight that cybersecurity experts will become more valued than building nuclear weapons.

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Computer Network

How Zero Trust Networks Operate

But how do zero-trust networks operate, and what exactly makes them more effective than other types of security?

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Network Bandwidth

Zero-trust network access (ZTNA) is a way of limiting who is allowed to access enterprise networks. As the name implies, ZTNA doesn’t make any assumptions about unknown endpoints, users, or applications other than that they might be untrustworthy. To combat the ongoing risks associated with allowing dangerous actors or applications to exploit network vulnerabilities, ZTNA draws a hard line in the sand and requires proof of authentication and authorization.

It’s worth noting that ZTNA works by only affording information that must be known, and only that much. While this might seem restrictive, it’s not overly cumbersome when you consider the problems resulting from a data breach. In essence, ZTNA reimagines what it means to secure networks. Instead of creating a perimeter of security—a concept popularized by firewalls and other similar technologies—ZTNA instead focuses on building trust on the individual access level.

There are a few reasons why the traditional ways of securing networks, while still valuable, aren’t sufficient for in-depth protection in today’s world. A big part of the issue is that more and more operations are moving to the cloud and remote locations. As networks have to expand to meet this demand, older forms of perimeter protection can’t keep up. But how do zero-trust networks operate, and what exactly makes them more effective than other types of security?

1. What Are the Key Features of Zero-Trust Network Access?

When thinking about ZTNA, it’s helpful to conceptualize it as part of the DNA of your network. Implementing a ZTNA means that every aspect of how your network security functions must follow its protocols. By creating this kind of zero-trust network access, organizations can do a much more thorough job of controlling who’s allowed to access corporate data. These are a few of the key features that are essential to ZTNA:

Comprehensive, Secure Connection – No matter where legitimate users are located, they need to access enterprise networks safely. Good ZTNA creates an ecosystem where all connected users and applications can confidently connect without worry.

Computer Network Expert with Microsoft

Integration with Cloud Platforms and Applications – Your networks aren’t just your own in today’s world. The vast majority of organizations utilize public and hybrid cloud models and use large suites of third-party apps. Integrating internal ZTNA policies with these essential network technologies will help keep your enterprise safer in this ever-changing landscape.

Keep Them Separated – An actual zero-trust architecture doesn’t compromise when segregating potential threat vectors and authentication tools. Keeping each piece independent facilitates a complete zero-trust environment.

Get Experts on Your Team – No matter the skill of your internal IT department, having the expertise of ZTNA experts from a security service provider will create whole new levels of safety.

Don’t Compromise on Reaching Users and Devices – It needs to be comprehensive for ZTNA to be fully effective. This means every user and device connecting to enterprise networks must pass muster.

2. How Do Technologies Integrate Zero-Trust Network Access?

Certain technologies integrate ZTNA into larger, overarching tools. Secure access service edge (SASE) is one example of this. With SASE, you’re getting a combination of a software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) with a lineup of cutting-edge security tools.

The best SASE offerings out there today will typically have an option for enterprises to enact ZTNA protocols on their networks. Having ZTNA come as part of a more extensive offering can help drive cost savings and foster a more airtight and seamless security architecture.

The world of cybersecurity is constantly changing. It’s the job of enterprises to keep up with this, or else risk the loss of critical data. Adopting zero-trust network access policies can help organizations keep threats at bay.

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