Although 2021 is going to have its fair share of challenges it’s unlikely that these will be on the same scale as those we saw in 2020. Cyber security remains a key focus for every organisation and these are some of the major trends that are going to make an impact as the year progresses.
1. Attack - not if, but when
Over the past year we have begun to move towards the idea of Zero Trust, which is essentially that the only safe response when it comes to security is to trust nothing on your network. Assume that compromise is coming at some point and be prepared for the moment when it does. In practice, this means verifying and authenticating access with consistency and ensuring there is monitoring in place so that alerts can be raised at any suspicious actions.
2. The evolution of Ransomware
Unfortunately, even as security experts have designed new protections for threats like Ransomware, those who benefit from them have continued to ensure they evolve. Ransomware encrypted at code level (which means that the code can only be studied once it has already run) and Ransomware that can lodge perpetually - undetected - in a victim environment are just two of the new trends in cyber crime we are seeing this year.
3. Working from home
Remote working suddenly became the norm in 2020, as governments across the world sent people home from offices to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While we are likely to see some return to office working there is a new approach to flexibility that is ensuring working from home models remain permanent, in whole or in part. This means rethinking how staff can work securely from remote locations, including minimising access to corporate data for workers at home, increasing authentication standards and investing in new technology, such as remote terminals, which can limit exposure as no data is actually transmitted to a home device.
4. 5G computing challenges
Yes, 5G introduces great speed in terms of connections and more reliability but it also comes with challenges. 5G networks need to be carefully secured - this is going to become a big theme this year. It’s also important to remember the problems that it could create for legacy infrastructure, including that most endpoint devices are not designed to handle a high volume network, which could create some serious cyber security issues as 5G continues to roll out.
5. Increasing use of cyber analytics
Data is now widely recognised as being key to making well-informed business decisions. The increasing use of operational data in security is a burgeoning trend for this year. Combining cyber analytics with technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) could provide new ways to predict where a security attack is likely to be directed and when it might take place. For example, an AI could identify a trend of attack several days before financial results are announced and protection can be increased during that time to prevent vulnerability in the future.
Cyber security is changing quickly in 2021, from the trends that focus on Zero Trust to the increased use of analytics and AI in designing fast-paced solutions to issues as they continue to evolve.