No, not the fearsome predatory marine fish, but the cybersecurity solutions firm! Here are their four predictions…

We only hope that as we move into the new year, there will be more stability and exciting opportunities for businesses to embrace their digital journeys without too many hiccups.

To help, I have put together a four key trends that we at Barracuda expect to see looming large.

  1. Increased focus on Zero Trust
    Remote-work habits and hybrid-work environments will continue to place corporate endpoints predominately outside the network perimeter in 2021. This will provide increased attack surfaces into organizations. To reduce the security risk, a zero-trust approach will be the big focus to tighten security from any device and location. This ensures that only the right person, with the right device, and the right permissions, has access to company resources, and will be continually monitored.
  2. Cloud adoption will continue at full speed, but security may take a back seat
    Two key Cloud trends will continue in 2021. First, new applications will be delivered as SaaS instead of on-premises implementations. Second, and more importantly, existing on-premises applications are migrating faster to cloud.

    While riding this wave of cloud adoption, there will be organizations that let security take a back seat due to budget and resource constraints. Many do not fully understand the responsibilities of both their organization and public cloud provider, which could leave gaps.

    Threat protection must get the attention it deserves to avoid causing reputational and financial damage at a time when most companies can least afford it.
  3. Increase in attacks will continue
    Distracted workers; global pandemic; cost pressures from recessions; remote-access, accelerated adoption of cloud services. Each of these alone would be cause for concern for cybersecurity professionals. All these macro trends happening simultaneously requires organizations to have the highest level of vigilance against those who would take advantage of these situations.

    Threats in 2021 will continue to target the weakest link in the chain: the human element. Three areas for potential concern include:
  • Contact tracing apps – In countries like Singapore and Australia consumers have become accustomed to using smartphone cameras to scan QR codes for contactless signing in when visiting COVID safe businesses, such as restaurants, cafes or gyms. This is a breach waiting to happen. Many of the apps are not well built, yet we are putting all our personal details into them.
  • Contact tracing scams – There will be an increase in scams targeting contact tracing in countries relying on these apps, with opportunistic cybercriminals acting as contact tracers to get personal details out of unsuspecting victims. Most likely there will be some critical information sought after, such as credit card details, passport numbers or other details. How do victims really know who is calling them?
  • Vaccine scams – With the huge demand for vaccines across the region, malicious campaigns are likely to surface that take advantage of the heightened awareness (and hope!). Victims may be asked to sign up to secure their spot to receive a vaccine whenever it is released, with the aim to phish personal details out of people.

All of these malicious campaigns really highlight the need for a greater focus to be placed on cybersecurity awareness, education and training.

  1. Shortage of key mitigation resources

Security executives will need to achieve the same level of security or more with tighter budgets in 2021. There will also be a continued shortage of cybersecurity talent in the region despite the recession and pandemic-related job losses.