The year 2020 has been a rough one for businesses in and outside Orlando, especially in terms of cybersecurity. Even as the coronavirus pandemic surged and disrupted business operations worldwide, cybercriminals showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, COVID-19-themed cyberthreats became commonplace, feeding off the fear and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.
If the past 12 months have taught us anything, it’s the importance of being resilient and ready. With that said, 2021 promises quite a number of cybersecurity trends you need to watch out and prepare for.
Ransomware has been a problem for several years now — a fact that won’t likely change anytime soon. Ransomware gangs have been very active during the pandemic, with 41% of cyber insurance claims in the first half of 2020 resulting from a ransomware attack. What’s more, gangs have reportedly enhanced their encryption schemes, making it harder to regain access to encrypted data without paying the ransom.
Considering the need to recover from 2020’s disruptions, every business will have a difficult time recovering from an attack. Ransoms now average at $1.1 million, but even if you choose to not pay, you’d still have to deal with downtime. This is why you should invest in anti-malware and advanced threat protection systems, as well as implement data backups and other best practices against ransomware and other types of malware. Training your staff on how to identify phishing emails that may contain ransomware attachments would also help bolster your defenses.
Greater risks for the healthcare and finance sectors
Healthcare providers and personnel were this year’s MVPs, bearing both the brunt of the pandemic and countless cyberthreats. It’s unfortunate that even with coronavirus vaccines on the horizon, the healthcare sector will likely remain just as busy next year as the cybercriminals attacking it. And these attacks can have deadly consequences: in Germany, a patient died after hackers used ransomware to disable computer systems at Dusseldorf University Hospital.
Cyberattacks may not target finance institutions as often as healthcare providers, but when they do succeed, the damage can be astronomical. To illustrate, banks can lose an annual average of $100 billion because of a cyberattack and up to $350 billion following severe incidents. With new technologies like 5G, as well as the increasing sophistication of cyberattacks, cyberthreats will only likely become more potent and destructive next year.
To combat these threats, both healthcare and finance organizations must take a proactive approach to cybersecurity. This involves steps like bolstering their cyber defenses with the right tools, partnering with security experts like managed services providers (MSPs), and bolstering their resilience with data backups.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) may no longer be enough
As remote work became the norm during the pandemic, businesses depended on VPNs to mitigate the risks of data breaches and cyberattacks. But VPNs may no longer be as feasible as they were perceived to be, what with their tendency to heighten latency and increasing vulnerability to evolving cyberthreats.
Many businesses are turning to a zero trust policy as an alternative defensive measure. In fact, research firm Gartner predicts that up to 60% of enterprises will be phasing out VPNs in favor of zero trust by 2023.
High demand for security talent
You’ll need the right people to oversee the implementation of your security measures and strategies. Unfortunately, finding top-tier security talent in 2021 may not be so easy. After all, with other businesses ramping up their security investments, you’re likely to face tough competition.
Cyberseek, which supplies data on the cybersecurity job market, reveals that there are more than 521,000 security job openings as of December 2020. However, research suggests that the United States only has less than half of the number of qualified cybersecurity personnel it needs.
As an alternative to recruiting your own team, you can partner with an MSP like Cutting Edge Network Technologies instead. We provide all the benefits of an in-house IT department, including tech maintenance and cybersecurity, but for a flat monthly fee and without occupying space in your office. Moreover, our team is composed of IT specialists, so you are assured of expert and high-end service.
Discover how Cutting Edge can improve your cybersecurity and do much more for your business by downloading this free eBook today.