5 cybersecurity trends that will define 2021

By Special Guest
  |  March 02, 2021

When remote working became the norm in 2020, many companies started pouring time and money into cybersecurity to protect their businesses and critical data. Those cybersecurity trends are showing no signs of slowing down, as businesses look for ways to tighten up their security even more while training their employees on best practices.

Now that we’re well into 2021, we asked ESET about their major cybersecurity predictions for the year — and how to tackle them.

#1 We’ll focus on the expansion of IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical “things” that are equipped with sensors and software so they can connect with and send and receive data to other devices on the internet. Think smart home security systems, self-driving cars and fitness monitors like the FitBit or Apple (News - Alert) Watch. In other words, the IoT makes wireless communication possible.

While the IoT has been building momentum for a few years, it’s set to be a big security trend in 2021 as 5G starts to roll out across the world (more on that in a minute). The shiny new 5G network will attach tens of billions of devices to the IoT to make it easier for our gadgets and systems to “talk” to each other. The downside? It will also give cybercriminals more opportunities to launch an attack, and if they do it right, they’ll be able to hack into several devices at the same time. The paths hackers can take open up even more for IoT devices that are placed in public places or businesses, as they may be less protected.

This struggle isn’t new. As the technology evolves, questions about how to protect IoT devices pop up, which is why it’s worth being proactive. This year, people and businesses will start seriously thinking about IoT cybersecurity how much they want to use and rely on it in their daily lives. They’ll also consider encrypting their data, hardcoding passwords, and making sure their software and firmware is up to date.

#2 We’ll find ways to work with 5G

Over the past few years, we’ve moved from 3G to 4G and now, 5G. As the fifth generation of mobile networks and technologies, 5G is set to speed up communication dramatically. In fact, it can transmit data three times faster than 4G, which is no small feat! It can also reduce site lags, and allow users to download massive amounts of data in mere seconds.

That’s not all: It also has the capacity to connect more people and devices to the point where a factory could run itself, and a surgeon could operate on a patient in a different country. As you can imagine, it’s one of the most exciting technological developments of this generation (pun intended).

But since 5G is a new system, cybersecurity hasn’t quite caught up to it. The good news is that it’s slowly being rolled out across the world, so 2021 will be all about finding flaws and vulnerabilities in 5G — and fixing them. For example, if cybercriminals can successfully hack into a high-speed data transfer, they’ll be able to infect systems much faster than before.

One thing you can do is update your 5G security software and set up full-featured endpoint protection on your IoT devices. ESET Protect secures computers, phones and file services with advanced technology, and can be deployed right from the cloud.

#3 AI will become more popular

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are no longer the exception but the rule for many businesses. Depending on their function, these systems can save time, cut out the middleman and make processes more efficient. Over time, AI algorithms learn how to respond to different situations and become more agile.

There are a few ways to use artificial intelligence in cybersecurity, like monitoring cyber threats and flagging vulnerabilities to their owners. But on the flip side, it can also make it easier for cybercriminals to hack into networks and systems without human intervention. For that reason, companies that use AI will need to turn their attention to cybersecurity, and put together a plan to mitigate risks and data loss.

#4 Businesses will invest in cybersecurity

2020 was a learning curve for many companies. The shift to remote work shone a spotlight on business’ weaknesses and encouraged them to tighten their security and train their team on best practices. A recent Canalys study predicted cybersecurity spending will increase by 10% this year, and that’s not surprising.

The first step? Investing in sophisticated antivirus software that offers a multi-layered defence against a range of cyber threats, like identity theft, phishing emails and ransomware attacks. ESET Secure Business does all that, and has a remote management feature, which makes it easier to protect any devices or employees are using while they’re working from home.

The second step is teaching employees how to secure their networks and devices, as well as how to recognise security breaches. This could include connecting to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), encrypting all data, setting up multi-factor authentication (MFA (News - Alert)) creating complex passwords, and configuring your firewall to prevent unauthorised access.

#5 We’ll migrate to the cloud

Thanks to the pandemic and shift to remote work, more companies are moving to the cloud. It’s a great way to store and manage your data, and help employees to continue working no matter where they’re located. It also cuts down overhead costs.

However, we’re seeing an uptick in cloud breaches, and many of them can be traced back to businesses essentially leaving the door open to “cloud jackers.” That’s because most cloud services don’t offer secure encryption or authentication — you have to get it from an outside source.

ESET Cloud Office Security configures cloud security so cybercriminals can’t skip past internal policies and access sensitive information. It also helps to identify cyber attacks before they happen.

Start taking steps to strengthen your cybersecurity

With cyber attacks on the rise, it’s a good idea to look at your business’ cybersecurity solutions sooner rather than later.

Get in touch with ESET to learn more about their suite of security solutions and the future of cybersecurity.

Author bio: ESET is a global internet security company, providing threat detection solutions for businesses and consumers in more than 200 countries and territories.

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