While remote working was originally seen as a temporary response to the Covid-19 pandemic, this has now transformed into a much more permanent arrangement for many people and is now a large part of the business environment. Organisations have had to react in real-time to alter their cybersecurity strategies and keep up with an expanding IT infrastructure, the explosion of IoT devices, and a new wave of threats from more sophisticated attackers. Here are the top cybersecurity trends from 2021 that organisations have had to adopt in order to stay ahead of the cybersecurity threats faced by all.
Shifting organisational behaviour
The events of 2021 have shown us that even amidst the seeming anomalies of the year 2020, drastic changes are still sweeping the globe. From COVID-19’s continued dominance to the social justice movements spreading across communities, over the last year, organisations have faced many new challenges.
With these powerful factors driving change, it is clear that organisations, as well as the cybersecurity community in particular, must be more proactive in improving business security and flexibility. From a security perspective, vulnerability management has become more essential than ever. As a result of this new normal, organizations have had to adjust. Moreover, there are new attack vectors now threatening businesses. And in terms of connectivity, security experts face systems using unmonitored networks, with the perimeter now stretching into workers’ homes.
As for security, the new remote work model has both pros and cons. For example, home computers and systems may not have similar paths to lateral movement or to attack as they do in an office, so threat actors have had to adapt to this change. In contrast, organizations that formerly relied heavily on technology in order to stop attacks must now recognize the valuable role people and processes play in building a solid foundation for overall security. As the last year has demonstrated, companies need to embrace and adopt a defensive posture that encompasses people, processes, and technology that reduce the risk of external threats.
A shift to a new approach and type of cyber threat also occurred in the year 2021. Cyber attackers started targeting the healthcare industry at the beginning of the pandemic, which left medical facilities and hospitals open to attack. This has expanded into critical infrastructure in the last year, including oil and gas, with attacks that have become more sophisticated, more complex, and more widespread than ever before.
Organisations, especially small and medium-sized businesses, are prone to ransomware attacks because they rarely have the resources necessary for detection and response. In addition, the effectiveness of ransomware increases once an incident has occurred. When an organization has been identified as being willing to pay the ransom, it opens itself up to targeted, multi-pronged attacks.
Organizations, especially small and medium-sized businesses, are prone to ransomware attacks because they rarely have the resources necessary for detection and response. In addition, the effectiveness of ransomware increases once an incident has occurred. When an organization has been identified as being willing to pay the ransom, it opens itself up to targeted, multi-pronged attacks.
Adopting defensive strategies
In addition to evolving cybersecurity threats, defence strategies have also evolved. One approach that has increasingly gained traction is combining penetration testing with vulnerability management, as well as a massively increased use of security awareness training. These together form a very solid defensive foundation which is difficult for threat actors to crack.
There are many different defensive strategies that can be employed by organisations to mitigate the risk of phishing and ransomware, has yours tried security awareness training? Sign up for our free 14 day trial today.