The upheavals of 2020, and the mass global shift to remote work, opened to hackers a new world of opportunity. Naturally, most organizations have worked to shore up their defences and fast-track any lingering digital transformation plans. But cyber threats continue to evolve. The following are a few to watch for in 2021.
Attacks focused on sys admin tools
With IT systems becoming increasingly interconnected, more and more hackers are focusing on exploiting system administration and penetration tools (e.g., Bloodhound, Cobalt Strike). These tools, already installed on target computers, can be used by hackers to run malicious software directly to memory, making detection more difficult.
Social engineering attacks
Attacks based around human interaction, generally involving tricking people into breaching company security protocols, are increasing considerably. Phishing attacks in particular are on the rise, with Google registering almost 20 per cent more phishing websites in 2020 compared to the year before. Experts believe that continued success will allow cyber-criminals to further refine their already quite sophisticated techniques.
Cybersecurity skills shortage
The idea of a skills shortage in cybersecurity sounds ominous enough on its own, but in the context of a going concern among organizations like the insufficient monitoring of critical systems, this lack becomes more tangible and immediate. The link can be made between a lack of monitoring of critical systems and poor automation and alert fatigue and overload. The root of this problem, however, lies in a cybersecurity skills shortage.
Remote workers who use a Remote Desktop Protocol, VPN, or other access tools can be at risk, particularly as companies increase their net presence through expanded operations and the use of interconnected systems. More hackers are employing tactics focused on compromising net-facing infrastructure. Many companies have no vulnerability management program in place, and hold to an inconsistent scan-and-patch protocol.
Before & after
Tackling the above issues can be very challenging – and this is only a quick list of what companies need to be looking at in 2021. In order to gain a true competitive edge, you need to be doing not just “enough” but everything you can.
That boils down to looking at what you should be doing before and after a cyberattack.
On March 24, noted cybersecurity author Brennen Schmidt and Andrew Loschmann, Field Effect COO, will join other experts to explore smart, cost-effective moves SMB companies can make pre-incident, and five things they must do following a breach. A camera-on Q&A will follow, during which you will have the opportunity to ask the experts any questions you may have.