6 Information security predictions for 2021

December 9, 2020  |  Devin Partida

This blog was written by an independent guest blogger.

Maintaining appropriate information security measures will remain a priority for the foreseeable future, especially with people’s lives becoming increasingly digitized. Here are six trends to expect in the year ahead.

1.  An increase in the Zero-Trust approach

Taking a zero-trust approach to data and infrastructure security means that an organization never automatically grants access to an employee based on their role in the company or any other characteristic. Instead, authentication and validation occur continuously as a person attempts to access various resources.

The zero-trust option is becoming more widely utilized as company IT leaders come to terms with the rising costs of breaches and the fact that cybersecurity issues are happening more frequently.

Government agencies traditionally used perimeter-based cybersecurity measures, but even those entities are slowly changing in favor of zero trust. In a recent example, the U.S. Navy used it during the COVID-19 pandemic to deal with the additional security risks of working from home.

2. Company leaders will look for simplicity and convergence in Cybersecurity solutions

IT spending decreased in 2020, and analysts expect it to stay on the same track for 2021. That reality means that information security decision-makers will remain mindful of budget constraints as they choose what to buy in the coming year.

For example, they will prioritize simplicity and convergence when evaluating possible solutions. The ability to integrate many products into a single platform would be even better from a cost-savings perspective.

Secure access service edge (SASE) products are one category that experts anticipate will see growth this year, for example. If information security practitioners integrate as planned, they’ll save time as well as money.

3. Network security will more often include mobile device considerations

Research shows that cybercriminals steal more than 24,000 records during each attack, at an average cost of $141 each. It’s easy to see how data breaches become so costly for businesses and why people at those entities must maintain a thorough data security approach.

Part of their efforts should include tightening mobile security.

Organizations will more often have mobile device security protocols in 2021. Those will stipulate which devices can use the network and which apps employees can access while connected to it.

They must also have updated software to avail of the infrastructure. These requirements are crucial, especially considering how many people bring their devices from home to access content at work.

4. More verifications on people trying to access resources

People looking at what’s to come in the information security realm also expect a rise in identity-centric security. They believe that a verified identity will be necessary for accessing resources. However, they also say that attacks on the systems that maintain and secure verified identities will rise.

Company leaders that choose to implement identity-based security must shift into reactive mindsets. They must also realize that identity represents only one element of the security equation.

Other factors include what resource that individual wants to see and whether they have ever accessed it before. Even if a company does not use the zero-trust model, more organizations will carry out rigorous checks before giving people access to content on networks in 2021.

5. Companies will need to continue helping employees spot phishing campaigns

Although 2021 will include some information security changes, other things will stay the same. One of them is that phishing attempts will continue centering on attacks related to COVID-19. This means company representatives must educate employees about how to recognize phishing and tell them how criminals might try to appeal to them.

For example, members of the public may get emails claiming to provide new information about local lockdowns or vaccine developments.

The companies associated with vaccine creation must stay on guard for phishing attempts, too. Cybercriminals thrive on wreaking havoc, and targeting a vaccine provider is one way to do it.

6. Company leaders will go beyond data classification to prevent breaches

A recent study found that 82% of companies classify their data as public, internal and confidential. However, the research publishers also advised that putting data into categories as an access control measure is not enough to stop breaches.

For example, the resort showed that 62% of companies allow employees to access data they do not need. It also confirmed that enterprises with that approach to access are 2.5 times more likely to experience breaches.

In 2021, more decision-makers will conclude that they need to expand their efforts beyond classifying information to protect it and will likely use some of the methods explored earlier here.

Proactiveness aids prevention

Many of the six trends mentioned here focus on information security experts becoming more proactive in their fights against issues that could compromise their networks and result in data loss.

If they follow methods that center on awareness before catastrophes happen, they’ll naturally stop more breaches and become better equipped to mitigate those that occur.

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