3 cybersecurity predictions for 2021

The cybersecurity sector was turned upside down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and although we are still a long way from returning to life as normal, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

That makes it a little easier to anticipate the challenges that await us in 2021. So, what should you expect to see? We’ve gathered three predictions from cybersecurity experts in this blog.

1. Cybersecurity budgets will increase

The PwC’s Global Digital Trust Insights 2021 survey found that 55% of enterprise executives plan to increase their cybersecurity budgets this year. Meanwhile, 51% said they are adding more full-time cybersecurity staff.

The boost in budgets comes despite the fact that two thirds of respondents said that they expect revenues to decline.

This demonstrates that organizations are realizing that effective security isn’t a luxury that you invest in when you can but an essential component of business strategy.

Commenting on the report, Liberty Mutual CISO Katie Jenkins said:“The circumstances we find ourselves in with the economy are putting a lot of pressure on security organizations to make sure that the investments we’re making are efficient and high-value.”

2. Organizations will move away from passwords

The use of passwords to log in to your accounts feels synonymous with the concept of cybersecurity itself.

A strong password is the first thing we’re taught about security, and whenever a breach occurs, our first thought it whether our credentials were compromised. Yet, as simple as the rules are for creating and protecting passwords, many of us have trouble with them.

And even those who do follow best practices aren’t completely safe, given cyber criminals’ ability to trick us with phishing emails or break into organisations’ databases to steal them.

These issues have led to many speculating that the passwords might soon be replaced altogether – and Gartner believes that 2021 might be the year where we see that.

In a report published last year, it said that passwordless authentication could become one of the most influential technologies in the cybersecurity sector within the next few years, along with Cloud workload protection platforms and Cloud security posture management.

3. Criminal hackers will target intellectual property

Almost all cyber attacks focus on personal data, because it can be used in a variety of ways to make money – typically to scam the victim or to be sold.

However, Flint Brenton, the president and CEO of Centrify, predicts that 2021 will see an increase in attacks targeting intellectual property.

We’ve already seen the beginnings of this trend during the COVID-19 pandemic, with criminal hackers targeting COVID-19 research – which, before several vaccines were confirmed – would have been highly valuable to those competing to make scientific breakthroughs.

A similar trend can be seen in the rise of ransomware attacks. There were countless cases of organizations being forced to pay huge sums to cyber criminals after they failed to back up sensitive data which was then compromised.

Cyber criminals are likely to exploit similar weaknesses to gather intellectual property, although not necessarily using ransomware.

Any attack that compromises such data could be equally damaging, as the information is irreplaceable and highly valuable to someone else’s hands.

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