cybersecurity

Introduction

Cybersecurity is the hottest buzzword in the business world. Every business, big or small, is trying to ramp up its security infrastructure. 

With cybercriminals engineering data breaches in organizations as big as Twitter and government departments, no one is safe from one. 

The growing importance of cybersecurity is complemented by our increasing dependence on technologies, digital platforms, and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

The more internet-dependent our lives, businesses, and relationships become, the higher are the risks and vulnerabilities. 

In this article, we speak to leading cybersecurity experts and ask them about the five biggest trends that are going to define 2021. However, before we proceed to the list of trends, let us look at how the pandemic has affected cybersecurity. 

Why the COVID-19 Pandemic has Increased Cyberattacks?

At a time when digital use was at its highest, hackers found the pandemic as an opportune moment to engineer some of the world’s biggest attacks in terms of data. 

Statistics suggest that in July 2020, the number of active internet users in the world was- 4.6 Billion. That is more than 60% of the world’s entire population. 

  • As most businesses shifted to a Work-From-Home model, official communications were compromised by home devices, insecure network connections, and private use. Employees were not trained in following cybersecurity protocols. 
  • The fear fuelled by the pandemic was making people click on anything with the words- COVID-19, Coronavirus, COVID, Pandemic, etc. Thousands of spurious websites came up, that attacked users, their emails and indulged in large-scale phishing attacks. 
  • With lockdowns in place, people started doing the internet a lot more. Spending time on fraudulent sites, social media platforms, fake E-commerce, and so on, saw people losing a lot of money through financial frauds. 

List of the Top 5 Cybersecurity Trends to watch out for in 2021

  1. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Adoption in Big Businesses- 

Almost all big businesses have realized the importance of PKI as a form for upping their cybersecurity measures. PKI helps in the cryptographic protection of data and communication within and outside organizations. It helps in allotting digital signatures, certifications and uses public and private encrypted keys to prove ownership and authenticity. 

Smart Connected Technology and Vulnerabilities- 

You might be ensuring that your laptop and smartphone are secure using antivirus solutions and firewalls. However, can you do the same with your home’s voice assistant or your car? The answer is probably not. This means that all smart devices that are embedded with sensors that can collect data and transmit them over the internet are sources to be carefully dealt with. 

Artificial Intelligence Learnings and Adoption- 

The last few years have seen cybersecurity experts take help from AI to create systems and identify breaches. For example, a number of websites are now taking help from AI-powered two-stage authentications to understand whether the person trying to asses files is a real human being or a code being engineered to steal data. AI use in cybersecurity is going to increase. 

Cyber Hygiene is going to see a steady rise- 

Most organizations that are looking to keep the WFH system going have already put in place certain security protocols for their employees. This includes password protection software, single-use systems, secure network, and digital signatures. Training employees for identifying cybersecurity threats and engaging in the best practices are going to see more adoption. 

Data Laws and Privacy Issues Awareness- 

Consumers are becoming much more aware of data privacy issues in the backdrop of the huge cybersecurity attacks on organizations. This makes it necessary for businesses to become transparent and forthcoming when it comes to storing customer information. Regulators too are paying strict attention to the same and increasing business scrutiny. 

The Bottom Line

Numbers suggest that cybersecurity breaches are going to cost the entire world somewhere in the range of $5 Trillion USD in 2021! This roughly translates to a staggering $190,000 USD per minute. It is important to be on your guard at all times when it comes to cybersecurity issues and concerns. 

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