Rethinking Cybersecurity in the New Normal

Contributing to the progress of the information security with excellent skills in penetration testing of web applications, mobile applications, thick client applications and network for four plus years as a topnotch security consultant.

Businesses are still reeling from the historic work-from-home shift that made them rethink cybersecurity and grew dependence on technologies such as cloud services and digital collaborative tools such as Zoom, Slack, and Skype. The wide-ranging cybersecurity attacks of 2020 have heightened the importance of cybersecurity for decision-makers around the world. Moreover, industries and brands are continuing to invest heavily in digital, exposing cyber vulnerabilities and unpreparedness; necessitating them to safeguard the data that is racking up every second.

With the constant change in technology, there is a parallel shift in cybersecurity trends as news of data breach, ransomware, and hacks become the norm. In the year ahead, cybersecurity will become a strategic business objective to insulate organizations from growing cyber threats.

With the number of threats increasing day by day with more sophistication, companies of all sizes should accept it as a facet of doing business and take proactive steps to protect themselves

Here are the top cybersecurity threats that businesses and people will face in 2021 and beyond:

•Ransomware– Ransomware is a type of cyberattack in which attackers demand payment to release hijacked computer systems. Ransomware attacks gained prominence in 2017 when WannaCry spread across the globe like wildfire. In the present context, with the evolution of technology, the threat of ransomware has become even more real. The pandemic has made things worse as it has led to a shortage of digital pros on-hand to back up data–currently, the single best way practiced by most organizations to protect themselves from a ransomware attack. Embracing more sophisticated technology is one way to mitigate these attacks in the current scenario. Creating multiple copies and backing up your data to prevent cybercriminals from holding it hostage could be another efficient approach to limit the effect of a serious ransomware attack.

•Phishing– As the internet user base increases, the threats of phishing attacks are also mounting. These phishing attacks can be laid out in many ways such as clicking on an advertisement, downloading a file, clicking on a file received in an email inbox. While there are antiviruses to protect the system from these attacks, defence against phishing includes everything from awareness and training to automated cybersecurity solutions. With the rise in the trend of emails being used as a medium to deliver malicious content, a multi-layered approach to phishing protection is probably the best and most effective solution. Phishing protection can be simplified by choosing an email security partner that not only includes phishing protection but protection against a variety of other advanced threats, like data leak protection, content control, secure messaging, email archiving, and email continuity solutions.

•Remote and Cloud Attacks–The digital revolution has forced most companies to implement cloud technologies or set up collaborative spaces. Due to knee-jerk reaction, the security aspect was not given enough consideration in some cases. Home setups not being as secure as corporate networks further added to the risk. Consequently, cybercriminals got the power to directly attack the cloud infrastructure by targeting the weakest point and cause a data breach. Seeking third-party solutions, maintaining a robust access control system, carrying out an enterprise-grade or virtual firewall at every node, and instituting biometrics or multi-factor authentication can be some ways to secure your data centres.

•Exploit 0-days- Having made first news in 2014, zero-day exploits have come quite a distance since. It involves identifying security loopholes or vulnerabilities in software programs and using them to infect the product. Certain organizations either forget to patch or are not able to find which system is vulnerable to the issue. This mostly happens in complex structured companies where they do not keep a record of all the assets they own. At this moment, a vigilant attacker can exploit and breach the data of an organization. Considered as one of the large attacks, they also attempt to prevent data recovery practices from recovery tools. Here are some ways to protect - Installing all security patches and updating the software or operating system frequently, ensuring that your device settings are aligned with the software settings, scanning for vulnerabilities through testing and simulation, and having a reactive plan ready.

Automation is the way forward?
Cybersecurity automation embraces technical competence and software with built-in methods to improve security alert management within an organization. Cybersecurity automation can easily work around the increasing technical complexity of an enterprise and enable it to remain competitive as well as secure. The right automation tool can provide a greater level of visibility and enhanced oversight into the entire cybersecurity process. Hence, the implementation of automation technologies, techniques, and processes improves the efficiency, reliability, and/or speed of many tasks that previously involved human intervention.

In a world where everything is connected over the internet, cybersecurity has never been more critical. It requires knowledge and expertise from multiple disciplines, including but not limited to computer science and information technology. With the number of threats increasing day by day with more sophistication, companies of all sizes should accept it as a facet of doing business and take proactive steps to protect themselves. Implanting world-class technologies to secure existing environments can empower business owners to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats.