For cybersecurity, each year is a difficult one. No matter how complex the strategies become, the tactics and methods of attackers tend to become more sophisticated.

Of course, 2020 was not a normal year, and different strategies for attacks have developed in a world affected by cybercrime, due to a drastic change in business operations. The crisis pressured companies to adapt rapidly to enable remote work and rapidly scale up the infrastructure to ensure that the companies could run efficiently and with the least damage.

The drawback, however, is that there has been an unforeseen increase in attacks from system failures, missed updates, and weak cybersecurity due to the less than optimal patching procedures amplified by the transition to remote work. In addition, because of these discrepancies, the healthcare sector faced numerous pressures.

The cybersecurity trends of 2020 will cast long shadows, making the next three areas important for 2021 and beyond.

The risks of working from home

IT workers are still recovering from the significant work-from-home change that pushed them to reconsider cybersecurity and created new dependencies on technology such as cloud computing and interactive digital resources such as Zoom, Skype, and Slack. Those patterns will have a lasting effect.

Employees will take cybersecurity measures for convenience, as more and more people stick to the work-from-home schedule imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The distribution of confidential information over unprotected or unauthorized networks (such as instant messaging applications, personal e-mail addresses, and cloud-based document processors) will play a crucial role in security breaches and leaks, if personal computers and home routers are inadequately protected.

Attackers are starting to weaponize new technologies such as AI, IoT, and 5G

Advances in technology such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and high-speed 5G networking promise a faster improvement of user lives. But this comes at a cost.

An increasing number of attacks will profit from the adoption of Artificial Intelligence to carry out malicious activity. Deepfakes powered by AI might fool users into disclosing their credentials. With little manual work, AI can also be used to conduct large-scale attacks, making it more convenient for hackers.

The good news is that AI is also used to speed up the identification of advanced cyber threats for defense purposes and enable the fast reaction, in order to block ongoing attacks at an early stage.

Also, IoT is becoming increasingly popular across sectors, from healthcare to retail and manufacturing. It also represents an integral part of the infrastructure of a smart city. IoT cybersecurity, nevertheless, lags behind the rest of the technology.

Attacks are already happening today on IoT devices, including smart homes, smart meters, and connected cars. IoT ransomware attacks try to gain control of the connected system through the use of malicious code, forcing it to function incorrectly, unlike a common ransomware attack.

With remote work, remote education, and remote healthcare taking off and reliance on IoT systems increasing, this is a critical attack vector for 2021.

Before precautionary systems can kick in, AI, IoT, and 5G could possibly enable hackers to scale up their initiatives, hack previously secure devices, and transfer data at incredible speed.

In 2021 is critical to broaden your cybersecurity portfolio.  The first step to developing new security systems that can handle even the most advanced threats is recognizing these emerging vectors and strategies. It could be a better option to stitch together a flexible, agile cybersecurity solution ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow, instead of a one-size-fits-all, centralized platform.

The healthcare sector is a target for hackers

This year, hackers saw an incredibly large interest in attacking healthcare institutions, and it is nearly obvious that this phenomenon will escalate.

Given the magnitude of this problem, as successful treatments reach the market, attack intensity could rise, becoming more advanced, cost-effective, and therefore more efficient over time. A big concern is the absence of budgets. Too little of the IT budgets are dedicated to cybersecurity or less by a traditional healthcare company, which is clearly not enough to address these new, unknown risks.

Preventive measures:

Upskill in-house IT talent– The implementation, setup, and acceptance of third-party solutions can be time-consuming. Current IT workers have to keep a close eye on digital transactions and discrepancies in the meantime.

Investment plan for cybersecurity– High-value data and legacy IT systems are likely to attract hackers. To remain healthy, the healthcare industry must first invest in IT transformation and then in greater cybersecurity.

To sum up

In 2021 to prevent cyber attacks from having even more devastating consequences, a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity and the involvement of private and government stakeholders is necessary.

Dedicated software solutions designed with malware protection in mind will also work in your favor. You need to work with a team of professionals in order to implement the best solutions to protect your data.

The best way to stay on top of potential threats is to keep a close eye on the latest news and trends. Do your best to practice safe data management in your company without risking your data security outside the company’s intranet. Interact with your partners and stakeholders through secure platforms and certified cloud-based solutions without unencrypted messaging or email applications.

Start delivering quality software on time.