Information Security Threats to be Aware of in 2021


3 Information Security Threats to Be Aware of in 2021

By 2021, the business environment will become considerably digitized and connected. These developments will make competing in the digital marketplace increasingly challenging.

Over time, information security analysts will face progressively sophisticated threats. Whereas some will be new, others will be familiar—but ever-evolving.

Most firms will react by designing new cybersecurity strategies, and in so doing, may pose challenges to existing policies, standards and procedures, and meeting regulatory requirements.

These IoT and digital transformations will expose cybersecurity vulnerabilities, enabling the growth of information security threats, both in speed and precision.

What’s more, these data proliferation weaknesses in software and applications will be more prevalent, and yet, data security experts will have an ever-decreasing time to fix them.

Business Vulnerability to Cyberattack

Besides the current COVID-19 situation, organizations will face another threat, and just like the virus, it’s invincible, and it leaves your firm, your personnel, and your customers susceptible.

As organizations rush to implement ambitious digital transformation with the goal of remaining relevant, this may leave them less resilient and equally more vulnerable to information security threats than ever.

Does your organization have an elaborate information security risk management plan? Owing to a lack of a detailed information security strategy, information security threats—including ransomware—can precipitate irreparable damage to your enterprise and have an impact on your brand’s reputation and ability to generate revenue.

In today’s intricately connected business world, organizations must leverage on cyber risk assessments and vulnerability assessments to safeguard their ventures and keep information security threats in check.

Assessments should focus on the possible business impacts of when, and not if, your organization will experience cyberattack breaches or incidents.

Information Security Threats

Today’s data value makes it an incentive—an enticing target for both fraudulent activities and sabotage. Cybercriminals are constantly devising new strategies to outsmart and bypass your organization’s security tools and defenses.

Loss of information can lead to a setback for your firm. Conversely, developers of information security threat solutions must work even harder to stay ahead by designing smarter solutions.

Even so, by taking optimal precautions, following well laid out security policies and procedures, which could involve compliance with a framework such as CIS CSC or NIST 800-53, and using the appropriate tools, you can considerably minimize your risks.

Let’s now look at three cybersecurity threats on the horizon that savvy business leaders should be aware of and what they could mean for your organization.

Digital Connectivity Pitfalls

The emergence of intelligent devices, coupled with enhanced speeds, automation, and digitalization, will avail businesses’ and consumers’ possibilities that were previously beyond their reach.

Additionally, IoT will continue to grow at a staggering rate, with cameras and sensors lodged into a myriad of devices across core infrastructure.

These digital connectivity advancements will create weaknesses, more so as the present world becomes more dependent on connected technologies. These concerns will magnify existing threats while also creating new ones.

Fifth Generation (5G) Technologies Widening Nexus Points of Cyberattack

The advent of 5G mobile networks and technologies will bring about transformative platforms for organizations and consumers in equal measure.

Aside from formidable speeds, minimal latency alongside a broad array of emergent radio frequencies will link existing unconnected devices, facilitate processes, and alter entire operating models.

Regardless, these transformations will amplify the attack surface since numerous telecommunication masts have varying levels of security.

In short, as Government/Public Sector migrate their services to 5G technology; new attack mediums will attempt to capitalize on shortcomings of these emerging technologies.

Automated Machine Learning Presents an Avenue for Confusion

Machine learning, and to be specific, neural networks, will bolster processes including image recognition, pricing analysis, plus logistics planning.

As organizations increasingly become overly reliant on machine learning and human intervention is taken out of the loop, the former will become a primary target for cybercriminals.

Confusion, obfuscation, and deception may become a tool for attackers to exploit these systems, either for financial benefits or to bring about considerable damage or maximum disruptions.

Parasitic Malware Harms Critical Infrastructure

Parasitic malware is a malicious software program precisely designed to seize processing power, generally from computers and mobile devices.

Cybercriminals may take advantage of the extensive interconnectivity and power consumption needs of Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and IoT devices.

Additionally, attackers may also tamper with other critical infrastructure offering an enabling environment to spread this malware.

These forms of malicious software pose a significant concern for organizations, draining power from systems, degrading performance, and can sometimes lead to the shutdown of critical services.

2. Digital Cold War Overwhelms Business

In the coming years, a digital cold war will emerge, thereby considerably undermining business.

As tech firms scramble to build strategic next-gen technology, the competition will drive intense state-sanctioned espionage targeting intellectual property (IP) in a struggle for economic and military supremacy.

State-Backed Intel Gathering Targeting Next-Gen Tech

Cloud-based services will be targets of these counter-surveillance activities, more so as the opponents seek to disrupt each other’s service providers and businesses.

Drones will also become weapons of choice as well as marks used for this counterintelligence as operations turn skywards.

Organizations specializing in the development of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), 5G networks, robotics, and quantum computing, will experience systemic IP attacks sponsored by state-backed operators.

Halting of Cloud Services Operations Due to Interference

By 2021, reputable cloud providers will have made considerable strides, further consolidating their market share. The government/public sector will rely extensively on these providers to deliver essential services.

Cloud services will become a target for cybercriminals focusing on disrupting critical national infrastructure (CNI), paralyzing supply chains, and infringing upon substantial amounts of data.

Organizations and distribution channels dependent on cloud services may be subjected to collateral damage owing to extensive disruptions in cloud services.

3. Chaos as Digital Competitors Bend the Rules

Businesses operating in the digital marketplace will struggle to compete as rivals develop new strategies to circumvent existing regulatory guidelines and social norms.

Resulting regulatory compliance gaps will provide an enabling environment for cybercriminals to act with speed and precision.

Digital Vigilantes Exploit Vulnerability Disclosures

Cybercriminals will weaponize creditable ethical vulnerability disclosures to drive digital vigilantism. These attackers will take advantage of declarations to undermine organizations, erode corporate reputations, and tamper with stock prices.

Many organizations will have to grapple with constrained resources due to vigilantes curtailing the timelines to mend vulnerabilities or seal loopholes—thereby severely threatening operations, and damaging reputations while exposing customers to unimaginable dangers.

Fragmentation of Big Tech Creating Cracks in Business Models

Advocacy for the fragmentation of big tech giants will continue—reaching its peak by 2021. At some point, one or a multiple of them will break up.

This disintegration will subsequently bring about considerable disruptions in the provision of services and/or availability of products the firms avail to dependent organizations.

Apart from email, search engines, advertising campaigns, logistics, and delivery plans, the entire operating setting will also change.

Subsequently, malicious operators will attempt to prey upon vulnerable organizations making the digital transition.

Hurried Digital Transformation Erodes Trust

A desire for organizations to stay relevant in a technology-dominated ecosystem will drive some organizations to implement impulsive digital transformations.

Blockchain technology, AI, and robotics are some of the deployments organizations will seek to use with the expectation these tools will integrate seamlessly with legacy systems.

Even so, many firms will face significant disruptions to services besides compromised data incidents, especially where digital transformation efforts go considerably wrong.

Contact SCA for More Information About Potential Information Security Threats in 2021

While it may seem like a daunting task to protect data from multifaceted information security threats, you can minimize the risk by taking the appropriate steps.

As the volume of critical data and information users continue to multiply, risk assessment , vulnerability assessment and penetration testing tools become instrumental in thwarting these information security threats.

Early implementation of these tools can help you reinforce your data security effort strategies.

Download our Breach Notification Guide to help you be better positioned to respond to data theft.

Are you looking to learn more about orchestrating your information security efforts, with the evolving security landscape moving into 2021 and beyond?

SCA’s team will provide insights about how you can deal with information security threats—thus helping free your data security analysts to focus on more pressing issues that urgently require their high-level skills.