Industry Leaders Share Their Thoughts on IT Security Trends in 2021

2021 has been an overwhelming and difficult year for many security teams across the globe due to the rising increase in cyber threats and cyberattacks. Cyberattacks and cyber threats accelerated at an alarming rate during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cybercriminals continue to attack individuals, but they are also targeting small businesses, well-known corporations, critical infrastructures, and government agencies.

With people isolating themselves in their homes for a significant portion of 2020 and 2021, internet usage increased significantly. The surge in ransomware was also contributed to businesses across the globe transitioning to remote systems and networks to make the transition for remote work a little easier for employees.

Thus, cybercriminals took advantage of the vulnerabilities in many remote structures to steal confidential information and seek ransom payments for personal gain In return, this wreaked havoc on economies and business operations tremendously. There is no doubt that businesses and organizations across the globe learned valuable lessons from each experience, regardless if the lessons learned were good or bad.

A wave of new threats, technologies, and business structures have appeared in the cybersecurity landscape as the world continues to embrace remote work and hybrid models where there’s no established network perimeter and more applications and data are being stored in the cloud instead of on-premise systems. IT security leaders and experts have spent a significant amount of time researching and analyzing the rising threat landscape in 2021. As a result of this research, IT security leaders and experts were able to determine what cybersecurity trends we need to watch out for this year and the years to come.

Withstanding Disruption

As we dive into the future of cybersecurity, we anticipate changes that will need to be made by businesses and organizations, especially pertaining to the way they adapt as threats and technologies apply their influence. It is important for businesses, organizations, and decision-makers to be empowered enough to develop a proper response that will allow them to withstand disruption in any form.

”The future of cybersecurity can be summed up in one phrase “The Quick and the Dead”. The main trend in cybersecurity is that it will become the most important aspect of running a successful business. Companies that can adjust quickly to the ever-changing landscape of protecting a business against cyber-attacks will survive and the ones that don’t can be quickly be put out of business.  Cybercrime is extremely profitable and is not going away anytime soon and the types of attacks are getting more often and more sophisticated”, said Anthony Buonaspina, BSEE, BSCS, CPACC, CEO and Founder of LI Tech Advisors.

”Companies will need to adapt their technology, processes, and policies to this ever-changing landscape; those that don’t, will die. Cybersecurity will become the cornerstone of every operating system, application, process, and policy and will encompass every aspect of running a business and will become the standard by which companies either survive or crash and burn.

Companies need to look for MSPs that are proactive and offer holistic solutions along with their standard services that will offer this type of protection. They should also be giving you advice as to the benefits and cyber insurance and how to make sure you are getting the coverage you need and to make sure your network infrastructure meet and exceed the requirements of that type of coverage. Companies need to quickly make these types of adjustments or die a nasty cyber death”, added Buonaspina.

Network Security

As the world moves towards cloud computing and remote and hybrid workforces, cybercriminals will continue to go after sensitive data, personal privacy, and supply chain security. As e-commerce sales across the globe reach over $5 trillion by the end of the year, cybercriminals will take advantage of any vulnerability to launch attacks on supply chains.  One of the cybersecurity trends that is on the horizon is the implementation of real-time security updates across a network.

Malicious actors can take advantage of systemic weaknesses in a business or organization’s operating system authentication architecture, allowing them to easily move within the network. Cybercriminals also have the advanced and sophisticated tools that are needed to bypass MFA( mult-factor authentication), allowing them to move laterally between a network and the cloud by using false credentials, ultimately leaving many users to believe the false credentials are being used by a legitimate user.

”We are seeing reimagined approaches to network security. Services such as endpoint security and email filtering is a basic minimum these days, but it’s obvious more is needed. We are seeing companies like Threatlocker innovating in the space providing proprietary approaches such as ring-fencing to help keep systems safe from ransomware”, said Joe Cannata of Techsperts, LLC.

Zero Trust Security Models

The interest in zero trust appeared before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the severity of the global pandemic and its domino effect led to additional interest in this approach to security. Interest in zero trust continues to be spearheaded by a need to streamline information security.

Businesses, organizations, agencies, etc. across the globe realized that there was a need for a more enhanced security model because the current security model was proving to no longer be compatible with the way businesses are operating today. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many entities to want to learn more about zero trust because so many of their employees were working from home, and this meant that many networks were no longer the ultimate source of trust they once were.

”I expect more companies to begin adopting zero-trust security policies in the upcoming year. An easy way to implement this is with Application Whitelisting. Instead of trusting everything and attempting to filter it as it executes, Application Whitelisting takes the opposite approach and denies everything unless it has been previously approved. It sounds cumbersome to manage, but it’s a small price to pay and there are several affordable Application Whitelisting solutions available to help businesses implement their zero-trust policies”, said Craig Beam of MicroXpress.

Cybercriminals will continue to exploit the vulnerabilities they find in security infrastructure. Businesses and organizations need to adopt proper security practices and increase their knowledge of the recent cybersecurity trends to secure data against the rising cybersecurity threats.



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