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All the conditions are right to make cybersecurity a growth industry

Cyber criminals are finding more targets than ever for their nefarious purposes, and they have the global pandemic to thank for it. According to Accenture’s 2020 Cyber Threatscape Report, waves of employees working from home have been easy pickings for hackers aiming to either infect businesses with ransomware or to steal company data. Worse, this activity is expected to continue long before it subsides.“Threat actor profits [are] likely to increase as a result of tar- gets’ weakened security and remote working, enabling threat ac- tors [to] innovate and invest in even more advanced ransomware [in 2021],” the report reads.

The situation is having a direct impact on companies’ immediate cybersecurity strategies. Global research entity Gartner noted that 61 percent of nearly 2000 CIOs surveyed in October said they plan to spend more in cyber/IT security in the coming year. In fact, companies will spend more to defend themselves than they will to generate new revenue via business intelligence, data analytics, or Cloud services.

Here are some specific threats that experts say to expect in 2021:

More attacks on healthcare systems: With countries around the world hunting for a COVID vaccine, expect more nation-state attacks leveraging ransomware, as well as an increase in Cloud-based ransomware attacks exploiting more work-at-home people.

Over-permissioned identities causing more attacks in the Cloud: Cloud infrastructure and applications will remain plum targets for criminals in 2021, as attackers leverage remote workers who’ve been granted more access than their specific job responsibilities call for.

Growth of insider threats and accidents: Experts predict accidents and internal bad actors will inevitably increase due to companies’ playing fast and loose with access-level protocols, giving employees more reach into systems than they actually need.

Rampant ransomware: If 2020 is any indication, ransomware will continue to be a profitable technique of choice for hackers. According to Accenture, the average ransom payment grew 60 percent between the first and second quarters of 2020; it’s now in excess of $178,000.


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