5 Cybersecurity Trends Emerging in 2021

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, cybersecurity continues to be a primary concern for businesses and organizations in 2021. 2020 saw an increase in overall cybercrimes and a broader range of organizations being targeted. Hackers are remaining active in 2021 and finding new ways to breach IT infrastructures every day. The speed with which data is being generated is increasing each day. At the same time, cybersecurity professionals are working hard to keep up with the latest developments in the industry while also dealing with the many messes that 2020 has left for them.

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It is early in the year, but we have already seen some trends beginning to emerge in the cybersecurity sector. These are the current trends in cybersecurity that we are sure will have an impact on the rest of the year.

  1. An Increase in Social Engineering Attacks

In June 2020, Microsoft reported a massive increase in the number of social engineering attacks occurring in the US. That trend is continuing in 2021, due in no small part to the fact that social engineering attacks do not require advanced technical knowledge.

Social engineering relies on human interactions. Criminals trick individuals into giving them access to confidential information. These attacks can take place in the form of phishing scams, wherein criminals will disguise their communications as coming from a legitimate organization (ex. An email claiming to be from Amazon that requests your account name and password), or the more precise spear phishing, wherein specific individuals are targeted, and personal information is included in the fraudulent communications in order to gain the victim’s trust. Pretexting is another common social engineering attack that involves the criminal concocting an urgent scenario where their victim must give them sensitive info quickly (ex. Calling a bank and pretending to be a client in order to gain access to that person’s banking info).

Also read: The Importance of Excellence in a Telecommunications Provider

Preventing social engineering attacks can be difficult given the fact that an organization’s cybersecurity team is usually not the primary target. The most effective method for preventing attacks of this kind is to ensure that all employees within an organization are educated on cybersecurity best practices. TechnoEdge Learning offers an efficient method for providing staff with cybersecurity training with their 5-day, boot-camp style cybersecurity courses. TechnoEdge is partnered with CompTIA, and their courses serve as exam prep for CompTIA certifications, including Security+ certification, CompTIA CySA+ certification, and CompTIA Network+ certification.

  • Rise in Ransomware

According to Kaspersky, ransomware is one of the most common attacks, with 24% of cyberattacks happening through ransomware. Ransomware crimes are financially motivated, and because email phishing and social media phishing are two of the primary methods for enacting ransomware attacks, this type of cybercrime is growing at a similar rate to social engineering attacks.

Ransomware criminals invest a lot of time into researching their target and planning their attack. A phishing email from a skilled criminal will have an authentic looking email address, logo, and the tone of the message will mirror that of the company or person they are impersonating.

Defending against ransomware attacks will require diligence, as the best methods of defense are ensuring that software is up-to-date, continuously scanning for vulnerabilities, and keeping an eye out for suspicious links.

  • Internet of Things (IoT) is a Target

IoT devices are becoming a huge security risk for businesses and individuals alike. Whether it’s a smart TV, voice assistant, smartwatch, or even a baby monitor, if it connects to the internet, then it can be targeted by hackers.

Cybercriminals are targeting IoT devices as a means of accessing their real targets: home and corporate networks. IoT devices are an easy target because their software is rarely updated, and they do not come with security tools. As hackers expand their methodologies for breaching networks, cybersecurity professionals will need to find ways to counteract these vulnerabilities.

  • Patching Vulnerabilities from the Remote Work Shift

The move to remote work in 2020 was done hastily and as corporate networks expanded rapidly to accommodate remote workers, the number of vulnerabilities in those networks increased as well. Now that remote working systems are running smoothly, corporations will be taking this time to have cybersecurity teams work backwards and patch up vulnerabilities in their network.

Hackers are continually probing for weaknesses in corporate networks and if there are any easily exploitable loopholes in a network’s security then they will be sure to find it. Cybersecurity teams will need to go over even the most basic security settings with a fine-tooth comb to ensure that everything is up to standard and in line with industry best practices.

  • An Increase in Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals

With cybercrimes increasing in frequency and advancing in methodologies, the cybersecurity sector is more necessary now than ever before. There are expected to be more than 3.5 million vacant cybersecurity positions this year and that demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to continue growing.

Accessing these cybersecurity positions will be easier for professionals with cybersecurity certifications. 91% of employers believe that IT certifications play a key role in the hiring process and are a reliable predictor of a successful employee. You can become a versatile cybersecurity professional by earning vendor-neutral certifications, such as the widely-recognized certifications offered by CompTIA.

You can also look for HIPAA compliant application development providers, who have the expertise in building HIPAA compliant software for you.

TechnoEdge Learning can help you earn your cybersecurity certifications and prepare for the challenges that 2021 holds. Register now for their upcoming course and future-proof your career.