Cybersecurity is currently one of the most demanded skills and this demand has grown exponentially during the Covid-19 times. This sudden spike is attributed to the fact that everything has shifted online, from classes to business meetings and conferences. The employees of most of the companies are working from home and are at a greater risk of being attacked by a new cyber threat, vulnerability, or a hacker.
IBM X-Force Exchange (threat intelligence sharing platform) has seen a significant increase of close 4300% in coronavirus-themed spam worldwide during the lockdown. More than 7 out of 10 Indian companies being attacked with phishing, malware, and ransomware with a soaring 260%. A recent study conducted by the Data Security Council of India in collaboration with PwC states that the cybersecurity market in India is predicted to grow from USD 1.97 billion in 2019 to a whopping USD 3.05 billion by the year 2022.
With organizations shifting completely online and observing the increase in malicious attacks, here is a list of 7 cybersecurity predictions for the year 2021.
1. Technological Advancements in Cybersecurity Methods
Cyber attacks will greatly improve due to more work from home nature and will take advantage of architecture vulnerabilities and unpatched systems. There will be a dramatic increase in IoT (Internet of Things) hacks because it deals with interconnecting and exchanging data. Different ransomware will get worse like stealing important data even before its encryption and with the onset of 5G technology, new threats and vulnerabilities will arise. The use of the Dark Web will grow and will be used primarily to buy and sell sensitive corporate data. Mobile devices will see an unprecedented increase in unauthorized access by applications installed through malicious websites and even app stores.
2. Rise in Investments in Cybersecurity
Organizations and corporates will understand the need for a skilled security workforce due to the increase in breaches by hackers. Skilled cybersecurity professionals will help in identifying weak points and vulnerabilities of the software and other devices that are prone to be attacked and securing sensitive content wherever it arises. According to a study, funding to cybersecurity-focused companies will increase by 20% which do not have their headquarters in the US. Not only more people will be employed and trained in this sector, but organizations will observe their tech stack, replace present devices with more secure ones and more acquisitions will take place.
3. Deprecation of Passwords Based Authentication
Passwords play a significant role in authorizing people to log in to a website or application in today’s scenario. But sometimes it is extremely difficult to remember different and complex passwords for different websites that you visit and saving them or noting them down makes it less secure. Passwords make the security less usable and therefore there was a need for something which could be used with ease. Many companies like Microsoft, Google, etc. are now switching to passwordless authorization like multi-factor authentication, security keys, User Analytics, PINs, and biometrics. These authorization mechanisms will make the process less time consuming and simpler.
4. Financial, Health, and Educational Institutions Will be the Main Target
The biggest cyber threat posing on financial institutions will be ransomware which in turn will lead to huge monetary losses. Reports suggest that healthcare institutions can be the primary target of hackers in 2021, therefore, many of these institutes will have to actively monitor their network and will have to deploy mechanisms to protect patient’s sensitive data. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all the educational institutions are closed and will remain shut for a while thereby promoting online classes as there are no other means to provide education to students. If these institutions do not scale up their security, hackers might break in and cause huge financial and reputational losses.
5. Increase in Cyber Terrorism
Cyber terrorism is unethical computer-based attacks carried over the Internet on specific websites and information stored by distributed DoS attacks or vandalizing and defacing these websites in order to create panic, achieve political motives, spoil reputation, or in some cases even blackmail and threaten which can cause loss of life. Cyber terrorism incidents are on the rise and are carried out on a huge scale by seasoned hackers. These cases are expected to increase in the coming year causing disbalance in governments and the power they hold.
6. Wide use of AI and ML in Security
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will get started to get widely used in threat intelligence and security orchestration, automation, detection, and response tools which will, in turn, reduce the workload on the security operation centers. These technologies will assist to predict different threat levels, generating open tickets on their own, and raising an alert when something of advanced level intrudes and requires human intervention. Some other examples can be examining attachments for malicious files or executables and automatically sandboxing and quarantining them.
7. Demand for Cloud Security will Expand
More and more organizations are switching to working remotely with their data stored in the cloud, with others offering their services through the cloud, security in the cloud has become an area of major concern. Almost all organizations are expected to increase their spending and expenditure on improving their cloud security and analyzing and researching what can be upgraded to protect against data breaches by outside attackers.
These were the top 7 predictions which are said to take place in the year 2021 after being analyzed by some leading firms. So hold tight and keep an eye out for these since 2021 will see an uprise in security incidents.