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2021 Cybersecurity Trends: Bigger Budgets, Endpoint Emphasis and Cloud

After shrinking in 2020, cybersecurity budgets in 2021 climb higher than pre-pandemic limits. Authentication, cloud data protection and application monitoring will top the list of CISO budget and cybersecurity priorities. According to experts, these are just a few of the themes to dominate the year ahead.

Here is round-robin of expert opinions illuminating the year ahead.

Home is Where the Attacks Will Happen in 2021

There is no question IT staffs are still reeling from the massive work-from-home shift that forced them to rethink cybersecurity and placed new dependencies on technologies such as cloud services and digital collaborative tools such as Zoom, Skype and Slack. Those 2020 trends will have a lasting impact.

Nearly 70 organizations surveyed by Skybox said over a third of their workforce would remain remote for at least the next 18 months. That will trigger an uptick on endpoint protection in the year ahead, according to Adaptiva CEO Deepak Kumar. He told Toolbox Security that endpoint protection will impact 55 percent of IT team, as companies look to protect assets purchased and deployed to remote workforces.

Bitdefender researchers agree and say securing remote workers will become a major focus for organizations. In fact, it will be an imperative, since remote workers will continue to present a unique set of opportunities for the bad guys.

“As more and more people adhere to the work-from-home schedule imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, employees will take cybersecurity shortcuts for convenience,” according to researchers at Bitdefender. “Insufficiently secured personal devices and home routers, transfer of sensitive information over unsecured or unsanctioned channels (such as instant messaging apps, personal e-mail addresses and cloud-based document processors) will play a key role in data breaches and leaks.”

Insider Threats

Upheaval in staffing needs and continued dependence on a remote workforce will create fertile attack vector for criminals looking to exploit insider threats. Forrester researchers believe the remote-workforce trend will drive uptick in insider threats. They explain, already 25 percent of data breaches are tied to insider threats and in 2021that percentage is expected to jump to 33 percent.

Forcepoint warns in 2021 the growth of an “insider-as-a-service” model. This, they describe as organized recruitment infiltrators, who offer up highly-targeted means for bad actors to become trusted employees in orderto gather sensitive IP.

“These ‘bad actors,’ literally, will become deep undercover agents who fly through the interview process and pass all the hurdles your HR and security teams have in place to stop them,” said Myrna Soto, chief strategy and trust officer for Forcepoint.

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