Top 4 cybercrime and cybersecurity trends of 2021

Due to the coronavirus crisis, we saw a sharp increase in the number of cyberattacks in 2020. Corona will also remain a dominant factor in the cybersecurity landscape in 2021. For example, working from home still poses serious risks and the number of phishing and malware attempts remains undoubtedly high. Here are some of the top cybersecurity trends of 2021:

Trend 1: More phishing through working from home

In 2021, companies will continue to be exposed to greater cyber risks due to massive teleworking. Reasons for this include the fact that the attack surface has grown, PCs and mobile devices are no longer operating on well-secured company networks, employee devices are not updated as frequently and employees are not able to quickly notify and consult colleagues suspicious events. This makes it easier for malware to reach endpoints in home offices and possibly also into the company network.

Trend 2: Ransomware remains a major problem

Ransomware operators continue to look for ways to increase their return on investment. They use new technologies and tactics, such as threatening to put the stolen data on the internet.

Ransomware attacks are generally expected to become smarter, more specific and more aggressive in 2021. Partly due to easily obtainable tools such as Ransomware-as-a-Service, both the frequency and the damage amount of attacks will increase in the coming year.

Trend 3: More exploited IoT vulnerabilities

With the rollout of 5G, the IoT will gain momentum in 2021, which will also increase the number of vulnerabilities. Firmware, SSL certificates, encryption and Wi-Fi issues are just a few of the many widespread IoT vulnerabilities. The explosive increase to 35 billion IoT devices means that many more of those vulnerabilities will be exploited in 2021.

Trend 4: Deepfakes are pretty fake

The phenomenon of the deepfake is now becoming well established. Deepfakes are fake videos or audio files of existing persons that cannot or hardly be distinguished from the real thing. As a result, they can be used effectively for cybercrime, especially to carry out the CEO fraud during which an employee thinks that he or she sees or hears the boss who instructs the employee to transfer money.

What can you do to prevent cyber attacks?

As a business owner or a company employee, do you have your basic cybersecurity protection in order? If you do, then there is little chance that you will become a victim of cybercrime. Basic protection includes the following measures:

– Endpoint Protection and Mobile Threat Defense. With Endpoint Protection – a type of antivirus – you protect ‘endpoints’ such as laptops, desktops, mobile phones and tablets against malware, among other things. Mobile Threat Defense is an antivirus for devices running Android or iOS mobile operating systems.

– Enterprise Mobility Management. Working from home has increased the danger around mobile devices. With Enterprise Mobility Management you centralize the configuration, security and management of all smartphones and tablets within your company.

– VPN. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an encrypted private connection within a larger network, usually the Internet. With a VPN, you set up a secure connection between your device and the company network, so that all the information you transfer is encrypted.

– Two-factor or multi-factor authentication. It is one of the most effective cybersecurity measures you can take as a company. With this login method, you combine two different factors, for example, something that the user knows (a password or pin code) and has (such as a telephone or token).

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    Vitaly is a principal consultant at Hackcontrol as wall as aa business and IT thought leader. He has over 15 years of experience in consulting, account management and is a specialist in cybersecurity.