Cyber Threats & Predictions for 2021 & Beyond

2020 saw many abrupt changes throughout the IT infrastructures across the world. Organizations from coast to coast were thrust into survival mode, trying to adapt to a new normal caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid this change, there were significant developments seen in the cybersecurity landscape, particularly with cyber threats.

Going into the new year, clients face another major shift with the rise of new intelligent tools and resources. From remote work to healthcare data protection to the spread of 5G technology, 2021 and beyond bring more promise to the world through technology. However, with technological expansion comes increased cyber risk, further demonstrating the need for Cyber Liability Insurance.

Here’s a list of cyber threat predictions for 2021 and beyond.

Remote Workers

When workers moved from the office to the home office, their use of technology and devices changed. Cybercriminals took advantage of this shift to launch vishing, ransomware, phishing, and a whole cargo of other attacks that focused on gaps in companies’ security structures, as many were not prepared to support such a massive shift to a remote workforce.

So far, a failure to solve the implementation of remote work without exposing sensitive information has led to nearly a quarter of organizations paying unexpected costs to pay for cyber breaches and malware attacks. Suppose companies don’t adapt to this change in the new year, as remote work will stay in place moving forward, at least in a hybrid capacity. In that case, cybercrime will continue to develop, and exploit workers stationed at home.

5G Can Attract Large-Scale Swarm Attacks

Compromising new 5G-enabled devices may open the door to opportunities for more advanced cyberattacks. Cybercriminals are making progress in developing and deploying swarm-based attacks due to the advancement of 5G technology, leveraging hijacked devices into subgroups with specialized skills.

These attacks target devices and networks as an integrated system and share intelligence in real-time to adapt and update their attack as it is occurring. Swarm technologies require massive amounts of processing power to efficiently enable individual cybercriminals and their bots to share information in a swarm. This then allows cybercriminals to rapidly detect, share, and link weaknesses in IT infrastructure systems before refocusing their attention on exploiting what they discover.

Social Engineering

Smart devices and home-based systems that interact with users, such as Ring doorbells, Amazon Echo, and Google Home, are expected to be targets for social engineering attacks as well as conduits for deeper breaches. Leveraging important information about users and how they live their lives, including daily routines and schedules, habits, and financial information could make social engineering attacks more successful.

Cybercriminals use social engineering tactics because it is easier to exploit users’ natural inclinations to trust than to try to find ways to hack software. For example, it is easier to fool someone into giving away their password than for criminals to try hacking it.

More intricate attacks could lead to more than shutting off home security systems, disabling security cameras, or taking over intelligent devices. It could lead to the ransoming and extortion of supplementary data like health, finances, and more.

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