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Emerging Cyber Security Trends to Monitor

Cybersecurity

Cyber security is a continuing challenge for organizations and there is a growing need to remain aware and vigilant for these trends

Cybersecurity is a critical part of our day-to-day work and social lives, but it is often overlooked. Several new trends have emerged in cyberspace and keeping up with the latest trends is critical for every company that wishes to remain competitive in the market. It is important to maintain awareness of data management and cybersecurity challenges and solutions.

The Work from Home Approach

The recent increase in remote working has made it easier for hackers and other cybercriminals to gain access to the data of both individuals and companies. This is largely because securing remote devices is more complicated than those connected directly to a secure network. The most common method that hackers employ to gain access to confidential information is by impersonating authenticated users. Employees often use their personal devices for work tasks and these devices are often not as secure as dedicated work devices, which gives hackers another possible access point to networks.

Working remotely is not just a temporary measure, with an estimated 75% of the global workforce estimated to be working from home by 2025. This means that employers will need to look for new ways to keep their data secure whilst allowing employees to access the information they require.

Credential Abuse

Hackers seem to be getting better at finding ways to gain entry to confidential information. One such way is by exploiting systemic weaknesses in operating systems to gain access to networks and create false credentials that can be used to access cloud-based files. Cloud-based applications and off-site data storage servers are especially vulnerable to this type of attack and hackers have long been exploiting this vulnerability to extort money from corporations. A well-known example of this is the SolarWinds hack which involved the successful hacking of several critical U.S governmental agencies and large corporations such as Microsoft and IBM.

Cyber Insurance

The increase in the number of successful hacking attempts has led to increased demand for cyber insurance. Cyber-attacks, and especially ransomware attacks, can be costly to organizations, so, unsurprisingly, they are choosing to insure themselves against this threat. This in turn has led to an increase of up to 50% in the cost of cyber insurance. With such dramatic increases in insurance costs, companies will need to resort to increasing their revenue (and prices), which can have a negative chain effect on their business model. Antimalware and antivirus companies are working on developing better software to identify and block ransomware attacks.  However, it seems that hackers have the upper hand when it comes to this specific threat.

The trend of increasing cyber insurance premiums is set to continue well into the future as more insurers are reporting large losses due to cyber insurance claim pay-outs. Because of this, there is a clear incentive for insurance companies and antivirus/antimalware companies to invest in the development of better protection against ransomware and to increase data management education and awareness in all organizations.

Extended Detection and Response (XDR)

Extended detection and response are a concept that aims to use fewer resources while detecting threats quicker across a variety of platforms. For XDR to work, a centralized record of incidents and the capability to adjust the state of individual security products is required. XDR makes it possible for targeted networks to react quickly and avoid an intrusion attempt before any damage can be done. XDR also costs less to implement, making it accessible to medium-sized companies that cannot afford to employ in-house cybersecurity specialists.

XDR could be a useful tool in fighting cyber terrorism due to its ability to anticipate attacks more reliably than stand-alone systems. The reduced cost also means that more companies could potentially afford to employ an XDR strategy to protect their valuable digital assets without making it difficult for authorized users to access company resources.

Insider Threats

Insider threats pose a significant risk to every business that deals with confidential information. Insiders are often regarded as the biggest data leakage risk because they have access to sensitive information. In the past few years, there have been several reports of employees who have leaked sensitive information or sold data for profit. While there is no way to eliminate this risk, there are ways to reduce it.

Employees should only be granted access to data that they need, and regular access audits should be performed to ensure that the risk is kept as low as possible. It is estimated that up to 58% of data breaches can be attributed directly or indirectly to insiders.

Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the most crippling cyber-attacks and emerging as one of the most common cyberattacks. No business is immune to this type of attack and hackers are not only targeting large corporations, but small businesses and even individuals have been the victims of ransomware.

It is estimated that the cost of recovery from a ransomware attack has doubled between 2020 and 2021. This is set to continue, and cybersecurity companies are focussing on the development of better anti-ransomware technology. However, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to ransomware. Employees should be educated on safe computing practices to reduce the risk of successful ransomware attacks.

Unicorn Valuations

The increase in ransomware and other cybercrime-related activity has led to a sharp increase in the valuations of cyber-security start-ups. Some have even achieved the coveted status of unicorn valuations, meaning that their value exceeds $ 1bn. Roughly 14 companies have managed to achieve these high valuations in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

Data Destruction

Data destruction is an important component of every responsible data management plan. Laws and regulations make it clear that the responsibility of the responsible handling of data rests with the company that uses the data, even when it is no longer being used actively. Hackers can gain access to data if it is not disposed of or destroyed, and this can place companies at risk of being sued and even lead to financial ruin in some cases. The current trend of stringent data protection laws is set to continue well into the future.

Conclusion

The cyber-world is ever-evolving, with a precarious balance between good and bad actors existing. However, this balance is constantly shifting and dynamic responses to threats are required to stay ahead of cybercriminals and keep data safe. Remote working has been one of the greatest changes in the last two years and it is here to stay, which means that next generations’ cybersecurity will have to focus on securing remote connections.

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Eoin Pigott

Eoin Pigott is an experienced Business Development Officer who is skilled building and developing customer relationships for consulting firm Wisetek. Eoin has worked with companies such as Facebook, Samsung, and Fitbit to enable their data protection and cyber security capabilities.

Eoin is an expert in the importance of Data Destruction Services for businesses and regularly educates clientele on the best practices for improving cybersecurity strategies. Eoin has written extensively on these subjects for online publications.

Eoin studied at National University of Ireland, Cork, and earned an honours degree in Economics. He received extensive training in data protection, safe data disposal and cybersecurity as part of his role at Wisetek.

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