2021 Predictions – The most important cyber threats

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitively accelerated the digital transformation of organizations that, in a short amount of time, had to adjust their operations to ensure business continuity.

 

Remote work has become more common for many companies, and now, more structured, it is time to ensure that they are prepared to respond to the threats of this new context.

 

We highlight 5 of the main threats that organizations will face in 2021:

 

 

1. Remote user as a gateway to business

In this context, of remote work from home, the network that serves to connect the professional user to the corporate network is typically the same network that other house members and smart devices, such as smartphones and smarTVs, are connected.

 

These more vulnerable and less monitored smart devices can be a gateway for attackers to exploit, which can jeopardize the cyber resilience of an entire organization. Since the beginning of the pandemic these types of attacks have been increasing, and this trend is expected to continue in 2021.

 

 

2. Vulnerabilities without control

The new digital context, with users and digital services spread in different locations, exposes new and old systems to accesses and threats that were previously well protected behind the corporate premises. This new level of exposure puts great pressure on correcting vulnerabilities that are constantly being discovered.

 

As the average time to fix discovered vulnerabilities is very high, a significant increase in attacks on these same vulnerabilities is expected in 2021.

 

 

3. Threats in the Cloud environment

With cloud solutions usage increasing and becoming more common, sensitive data in this model increases too. Although the cloud has natively security advantages versus the on-prem models, many cloud services are also exposed to vulnerabilities and bugs, either through their own fault or through configuration errors of those using them. In this context there are increasingly attackers looking for vulnerabilities in Cloud environments and is therefore expecting a greater number of attacks by 2021.

 

 

4. Partner ecosystem as gateway

Companies are sharing more data with their business partners than ever, significantly increasing the risk and the surface for new attack vectors. One of the fastest growing threats is the “Islands Hopping” technique – in which the attacker exploits the most vulnerable organizations in the supply chain to look for a gateway into the target company. In 2021 this growth will be accentuated by taking advantage of the slow adaptation of companies to new risk models and continuous assessment.

 

 

5. Smart devices without security

A latent and rapidly growing threat is related to smart devices that do not have or do not use security mechanisms. Many of the attacks on these devices, that aim privacy invasion, are rarely known soon enough. Once compromised, these equipments can be used as a means company resources assault. By 2021, is expected to use such equipments for large-scale attacks.

 

 

Faced these challenges, it is necessary to adopt effective and efficient measures that guarantee the security of organizations. We will soon share some recommendations on how we can address these threats.

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