Cybersecurity professionals faced unique challenges in 2020 resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It was impressive to see how rapidly the cybersecurity community adapted to address the new security concerns. Equally remarkable was the way that cybercriminals found new avenues to attack their victims. Cybercriminals are refining their tactics and taking advantage of how businesses operate in a post-COVID-19 world. Here are some of the biggest cybersecurity challenges for 2021.
1. Phishing Scams Continue to Be an Issue
Phishing scams are some of the most common cyber-attacks out there. This is because phishing scams make it easy for cybercriminals to access the most private parts of an organization’s systems and networks.
Humans are easier to trick than computers. A trained cybercriminal can trick an employee into giving over sensitive data, like login credentials. Because of their effectiveness, phishing scams will continue to be a problem throughout 2021 and in the future.
2. Exploiting Remote Workers
The COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to rapidly pivoted to a work-from-home environment. Within weeks, millions of people were connecting to their company’s databases from home using commercial-grade products backed by commercial-grade security.
In recent months, industries have employed updated infrastructure to protect their employees and their data better when working from home. Even though it seems like an end to the pandemic could be in sight within a few months or a year, many businesses have no intention of having their employees return to work on-site fully.
This means that the attempts by cybercriminals to exploit remote workers that started in 2020 will continue throughout 2021. Businesses will face new security threats that are only possible because of widespread telework.
For example, cybercriminals will exploit remote access solutions. A remote employee still needs to access the corporate network. To do this, they may need to use a VPN in conjunction with a remote desktop protocol. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of these things by exploiting poor password security and VPN vulnerabilities.
3. Cloud Migration Outpaces Security
Cybersecurity experts and IT professionals knew that eventually, businesses would need to migrate to the cloud if they were going to be successful and competitive. However, it was felt that migration from on-premise servers to cloud servers would be gradual. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this migration to a pace that was not foreseen.
Unfortunately, security is lagging behind this migration. Securing a cloud infrastructure is drastically different from trying to secure on-premise data. Because of this, the security challenges faced are unique. Many businesses are struggling to internalize and understand these differences. As a result, their cloud deployments are at risk.
4. Securing Commercial Properties
The economic downturn and the shift in how people work means that many commercial properties are empty or at partial capacity. Securing vacant commercial properties or at partial capacity is and will continue to be an issue moving forward.
Many businesses lack the resources to employ the same number of guards or watchmen as before the pandemic. And since their buildings are sitting empty or partially empty, they can’t justify hiring a large security force. As a result, some commercial real estate owners have installed a greater number of cameras, alarms, and anti ram barriers to increase the security posture of their properties. In addition to making these installations, commercial property owners use building closure risk assessment to ensure that their properties are as safe as possible from theft and vandals.
5. A Continued Focus on Mobile Devices
Bring your own device policies have been steadily growing in recent years. The idea is that employees are more productive when they can use the devices they are comfortable with and accustomed to using. It is unlikely that this trend is going to reverse itself in 2021.
The increased use of mobile devices for business creates new cybersecurity risks. Many companies lack the level of security on mobile devices that they traditionally would have on their laptops and desktops. Cybercriminals are targeting these devices for their attacks.
Unquestionably, 2020 and 2021 have been unique years as far as cybersecurity and general security are concerned. Cybercriminals are constantly adapting their techniques. This means that security professionals need to adapt to stay ahead of those who wish to harm.