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10 Cybersecurity Trends Every Business Should Anticipate in 2021

10 Cybersecurity Trends Every Business Should Anticipate in 2021

By noon on a single day in September 2020, headlines already identified five major security breaches. They involved United Airlines, SeaChange International, Equinix, Inova Health Systems and the European Crypto Exchange, ETERBASE — from which hackers stole $5.4 million.

In the past, IT's main focus was to secure local area networks and prevent the sharing of passwords. Today, this focus has expanded to include defending computers, servers, networks and mobile devices against cyberattacks. Businesses must protect their data as well as their customer’s data.

It can be challenging to develop security measures fast enough to stay ahead of cyberattacks, but as a starting point, IT specialists know they must stay on top of current and future cybersecurity trends. Keep reading to learn about anticipated threats every business needs to know.

Cybersecurity Trends

As individuals and businesses rely more on technology, the risks of breaches increase. Expect to see more of the following trends in cybersecurity.

1. Consumer Privacy Laws

America is enacting laws in line with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The first American law is the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which went into effect on July 1, 2020. Nevada and Maine now have consumer privacy laws as well, and 20 other states are in the process of developing similar legislation. This trend is expected to continue.

2. Government Data Security

Developing cybersecurity frameworks for military and government agencies is imperative. The National Institute of Standards and Technology Revision 5 (NIST SP 800-53) took effect in 2017. This edition removed the word “federal,” making its standards applicable to all organizations.

NIST outlines guidelines for securing information systems. This applies to systems that store, process or transfer federal information. All organizations that do business with the government must meet compliance standards, and companies must be vigilant in their threat assessment and response to developing threats.

3. Consumer Access Security

It can be hard for businesses to verify a customer’s identity before giving information or making transactions, and they must protect consumer data while creating a pleasant customer experience at the same time. This is where identity and access management (IAM) with biometrics has come into play.

Hackers can figure out most passwords and even security questions. Biometric identification, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on what someone tells you. Instead, it confirms your identity by using unique biological identifiers such as fingerprints or facial recognition. More advanced applications are beginning to use retinal scans, too.

This biometric approach protects personal data and is easy for the consumer to use.

4. Securing Consumer Identification  

Customer (or consumer) identity and access management (CIAM) provides secure consumer identity collection. It also manages and controls the user’s access to services and applications, and includes self-service registration and account, consent and preference management.

Consumers experience a seamless, secure experience via the web, mobile apps and more — helping to increase customer brand loyalty.

5. Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) protocols require users to provide multiple credentials to access the system. This type of IAM asks for more than a username and password, and often involves biometric identification or a code being sent to the user’s smartphone as part of gaining access. Increasing access requirements makes it more difficult for hackers to breach the system.

6. Single Sign-On

Single sign-on (SSO) initially establishes a set of login credentials for a user. Once the user logs into a single system, they may access different applications assigned to them, which creates a smooth user experience while controlling their access.

7. Moving to the Cloud

Over the past decade, many individuals and businesses have begun moving data to the cloud. This provides infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) with built-in security protocols and eliminates on-premise servicers, which helps reduce overhead costs. But this can open avenues for cyberattacks, as hackers search for misconfigurations in the cloud infrastructure, and human error can provide inroads for these cybercriminals.

Companies like ForgeRock® Identity Management use authentication trees for cloud and cloud-hybrid systems. Specifically, this product uses a Zero Trust security model that employs a variety of methods. Users can configure, measure and change many login paths.

8. Increased Use of IoT

The IoT (Internet of Things) refers to all connected physical and digital components. They can transfer data without human mediators, and each one has unique identifiers that make them recognizable.

Organizations were asked about their confidence in connected products, devices and other IoTs. Only 51 percent of organizations felt “somewhat confident.” This report also states that 35 billion IoT devices will be in use worldwide by 2021.

The lack of IoT standardization across industries increases cybersecurity risks. This has already been the source of cyberattacks, data breaches and business disruption. Experts suggest using a security-by-design approach embedded into IoT devices, which would involve 24/7 monitoring and threat assessment. The goal is to mitigate risk for industrial control systems and operational technology environments.

9. Mobile Device Security

Over 50 percent of company PCs are now mobile, which increases network security challenges. As a result, cybersecurity plans must now address employee use of the network via mobile devices from different locations. This involves a multilayered, unified approach. Mobile device security systems include common core components, but to optimize your security, you must find the approach that best fits your network.

10. Remote Workforce

Full-time employees have largely moved to a remote work setting, with about 44 percent of employees working from home in July 2020. Businesses expect this to level off at 17 percent, and many plan to continue this format.

As the workforce moved to a more remote format, cybersecurity risks have skyrocketed. Between February and March 2020, there was a 569 percent increase in malicious registrations, including malware and phishing. INTERPOL also reported a 788 percent rise in high-risk registrations.

Remote workers increase the risk to company networks due to unsecured internet connections, and the risk increases if employees do not routinely install updates or maintain secure firewalls. Typically, hackers only need to infiltrate one remote worker’s system to gain access to the company network.

IT departments must increase infrastructure security, provide cybersecurity training and use mandatory protocols to accommodate these remote workers and protect essential business information. Companies should develop strategies to check employee compliance.

Want to Learn More About Cybersecurity?

These 10 cybersecurity trends are expected to continue into 2021, so it’s important to follow the latest cybersecurity news to enable your business to make adjustments.

Cybersecurity training is a great place to start, and ExitCertified has the essential training you and your team needs, including cybersecurity certifications such as Certified Network Defender and Certified Chief Information Security Officer. ExitCertified also offers security training from all major cloud vendors in a wide variety of learning formats.

Contact ExitCertified today to find the training you need to keep your business safe.

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