After such a tumultuous year, internet security company ESET shared a report on what we should look out for in the 2021 digital world.
ESET's new report, "Trends in Information Security 2021: Confidence in a Time of Uncertainty" reveals four main challenges expected to affect consumers and businesses in 2021.
Trend 1: Accepting a new reality at work
Coronavirus has led to remote work, which relies on technology more than ever before. Working from home has partly benefited employees, however, it has also left corporate networks and organizations more vulnerable to attack.
ESET's Security Specialist, Jake Moore, commented that "we have all learned that teleworking can benefit organizations; however, I do not think we will continue to work remotely five days a week in the future. As more and more of our work and home life goes digital, cybersecurity will remain the key to safe business and continuous work.
Trend 2: Ransom with a twist - pay or data will be leaked
Hackers behind ransomware attacks want to find more ways to force victims to pay through intimidation, so the threat for those attacked increases significantly. Extortion and threats may not be new techniques, but they are certainly growing trends.
ESET reported that “companies are becoming smarter, implementing additional technologies that thwart attacks and create flexible backup and recovery processes, so bad actors need another plan of action to be able to succeed.
Additionally, ESET anticipates that "thwarted attacks and backup and recovery processes may no longer be sufficient to repel a cyber criminal who demands ransom payment. A new threat technique offers cybercriminals a greater chance of return on investment. This is a trend that we will unfortunately see in 2021. "
Trend 3: Cyber threats are changing
In recent years, hackers have resorted to using more complex techniques to launch more targeted attacks. The information security community has started talking about "file-free malware," which uses the tools and processes of the operating system and leverages them for malicious purposes. These techniques have gained more power recently, after being used in various cyber espionage campaigns by malicious elements, mainly to reach prominent targets like government bodies.
Because fileless threats have developed rapidly, it is expected that by 2021, these methods will be used in more complex and larger-scale attacks. "Security teams will now have to develop processes that use tools and technologies that not only prevent malicious code from hacking into computer systems, but also have detection and response capabilities - even before these attacks fulfill their mission."
Trend 4: Security flaws in smart sex toys
New models of adult smart toys are entering the market all the time, and studies show that we are far from being able to use smart sex toys without exposing ourselves to online assault risks. Now these findings are more relevant than ever, as we are seeing a rapid rise in sex toy sales.
ESET reported that the age of smart sex toys has just begun. The latest advances in the industry include models with VR (virtual reality) capabilities and AI-powered sex robots that include cameras, microphones and sound analysis capabilities based on artificial intelligence techniques. As has been proven time and time again, secure developments and public awareness will be the key to ensuring the protection of sensitive data.
ESET hopes that users will become savvy consumers who are able to demand products with good information security practices in order to maintain digital harmony in the years to come.