The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has upended the way organizations operate. Employees were ordered to work from home, while IT departments were forced to refocus their strategy toward protecting not just office IT systems but also a distributed workforce’s computers and networks. Given these massive changes, what cybersecurity strategies should businesses implement?
IT departments were forced to refocus their strategy toward protecting not just office IT systems but also a distributed workforce’s computers and networks.
From cloud cybersecurity to Insider Threat-as-a-Service to the rise of artificial intelligence- (AI) assisted breach protections, these cybersecurity trends are the ones to watch in 2021.
Increased security protocols for a remote workforce
Many companies discovered that working from home works and that in most cases, employees can be as productive at home as in the office. Those that haven’t implemented security systems for their remote staff should do so immediately because remote working is here to stay. In fact, it will become permanent for many businesses, with the percentage of permanent remote workers expected to double in 2021.
Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams will become the collaboration tools of choice for many organizations shifting to permanent work from home setups. This is why securing these platforms is imperative, as they present unique opportunities to malicious actors. From a tactic called Zoombombing to fake Zoom installers to Slack-targeted ransomware, cybersecurity teams will have their hands full.
To avoid becoming a victim, employees should always follow the cardinal rules of cybersecurity: download and install applications only from official channels and avoid downloading suspicious files and clicking on malicious links.
Cloud workload protection
In 2021, cybersecurity strategies will lean into cloud workload protection platforms, particularly through a system called Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). With cloud-based programs becoming more commonplace, businesses will need to secure workers who are accessing programs and data in the cloud. Specifically, companies will see a greater need to bolster their identity and access management tools to ensure that preventing unauthorized access remains strong.
This is in line with Gartner’s prediction that there will be a substantial shift among businesses to the distributed cloud, or the distribution of cloud services to different locations, which will subsequently get more than a fair share of security incidents.
Greater protection against Insider Threat-as-a-Service attacks
A predominantly distributed workforce means many companies will hire new employees via teleconferencing using tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and the like. These employees may never even set foot in your office (for those who still have an office) and may actually be bad actors who would endanger your organization. Insider Threat-as-a-Service will, therefore, possibly become a major subcategory of cybercrime, mainly because hiring via teleconference will be more common than before.
Insider threats seem like they won’t happen to your business, but statistics show that it’s a lot more common than you think: 34% of businesses worldwide suffer from insider threats yearly. To avoid falling prey to these bad actors, companies must conduct more thorough research on potential new hires and their online activities.
Use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for breach detection
It’s no surprise that the cybercrime rate has increased since the pandemic began. In 2020, the FBI revealed that their Cyber Division was receiving at least 4,000 cyberattacks per day, or a 400% increase pre-pandemic.
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It’s safe to say that more businesses are staying vigilant and deploying the best cybersecurity tools available. But sorting through massive amounts of security-related data could be overwhelming.
To help them process all these data, businesses will have to deploy even better tools. This entails using AI- and ML-powered security automation systems that can handle vast numbers of security alerts more efficiently. This is to aid security specialists in separating urgent threats from less urgent ones and to ensure they take the right course of action to prevent these threats from causing harm. More businesses will adopt these tools to identify, investigate, and mitigate threats this year and beyond.
The shift to work from home also increased the usage of mobile devices during working hours. Inevitably, hackers took this opportunity to shift focus on mobile messaging applications and other mobile security vulnerabilities.
rucial to curbing this disturbing new trend is the deperimeterization of networks, a system of protecting multiple levels of a company’s network via authentication and encryption. While deploying such tools is important, staff must remain cognizant of the dangers associated with the use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, especially mobile devices used for work-related tasks.
Got more questions about cybersecurity trends in 2021? If you feel that your small- or mid-sized business in New Jersey needs to bolster its security, call the cybersecurity experts of Online Computers. Fill up this form and leave us a message, or call our support team at 800-985-9368.
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