2020 IT Security Year in Review and 2021 Predictions
Looking back at everything we’ve been through this past year 2020, it is safe to assume that most people are looking forward to a fresh start in 2021. The world continues to change as we all grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the world of IT security is evolving with it. In fact, many organizations expect massive IT security changes this coming year. Businesses that have adapted to the current crisis are about to face a new set of challenges going forward. In this article we discuss some of the biggest IT security issues from 2020 and give some predictions on technologies, and threats which will make the biggest impact on IT security in 2021.
IT Security 2020 Review
In 2018 Forbes predicted that about 83% of enterprises would have transferred their workload to the cloud by 2020, and that number skyrocketed. Whether it is due to the global pandemic or a general push towards digital transformation, this change signified a technological milestone as a growing number of businesses began to adopt cloud technology.
The integration of cloud technologies and comprehensive security systems into the existing infrastructure during 2020, represented a major shift away from the LAN era. Most teams started to collaborate and delegate tasks without having to meet in person. Operations became more streamlined, more secure, and scalable, even allowing some businesses to gain a competitive advantage.
With all these changes it became even more critical that companies augment their security with more effective measures beyond the traditional firewalls. These include access management tools, which employ automated monitoring of the people who access the cloud. Using its advanced remediation functionalities, organizations can counter any identity-related cyber threats that arise.
IT Security 2021 Predictions
As we move into 2021, one element will continue to remain a priority, and that is data privacy. It is an issue that is further complicated as more and more cutting-edge technology is rolled out. Businesses must continue to look for ways to ensure data is not compromised. Today, consumers know better, and they will not hesitate to move elsewhere to dodge a threat to their privacy.
Businesses can expect more dangerous and sophisticated cyberattacks involving malware, phishing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cryptocurrency. Experts anticipate that hackers will continue to leverage technology to jeopardize consumer data as well as business assets this year and beyond. For this reason, businesses must strengthen their IT security so that they can protect themselves from cybercriminals.
Widespread Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to affect how organizations run. They are now prevalent in every sector, including retail, finance, legal services, and more. As AI and machine learning are slowly built into the foundation of businesses, we can not only expect to see more AI-powered products, but the growing technology will shape future decisions of organizations.
With the continued adoption of AI, significant security threats to digitally transformed businesses will also grow. Opportunistic people can weaponize modern technology to find loopholes within these enterprises. This will call for an increased demand for IT security professionals in the coming years.
More Sophisticated Cyber-threats
Similar to AI, cyber threats will get even more sophisticated. The risk of malware, ransomware, and other forms of cyberattacks has grown year after year. Both companies and consumers have been directly affected by horrific cyber threats like data breaches. As these attacks become more technologically advanced, we can assume that cyber threats will increase in 2021.
Hackers and cybercriminals weaponize advancements in technology to infiltrate both personal data and company assets. As a result, organizations that pay less attention to IT security infrastructure are the most vulnerable to cyber threats. From startups to established companies with newly launched products, weak IT security can make any enterprise a victim of data breaches and compromised sensitive information.
Experts predict that businesses will experience a new set of challenges in 2021, including a whole new type of cybersecurity threats involving phishing and ransomware that can destroy a business’s foundation. Reports have revealed that the following cyber threats will be more prevalent in the coming year:
- Infrastructure Hijacking – As most organizations transition to cloud-based workloads, they are more vulnerable to fragile connectivity. Being over-reliant on digital connectivity can increase the risks for premeditated outages that jeopardize business operations. In turn, hackers can use this vulnerability as an opportunity to hijack business infrastructure.
- Misinformation – Integrating business matters with technology can increase the chances of spreading misinformation. Automated resources and a dispersed workforce both add to this threat. Attackers will no doubt take advantage.
IT Security Priorities for 2021
In 2021 business organizations can’t afford to take chances with IT security. Organizations must continuously find ways to improve their IT architecture. 2020 should be viewed as a lesson to organizations in learning to adapt and preparing for unprecedented changes.
Instead of managing a business’s security infrastructure in segments, it must be a single data flow. It is imperative to prioritize data privacy because it directly affects the organization’s liabilities as a whole. Once privacy is compromised, people view all aspects of the business as damaged. Simultaneously, the entire hierarchy of an enterprise must work together to maintain secure corporate data. Addressing these future challenges can be a breeze if managed comprehensively.
Tremendous changes occurred this year that forced us to modify work arrangements and business operations. Those same changes caused a shift in consumer behavior as well. Most customers have growing demands regarding security and data privacy. For these reasons, businesses need to make crucial decisions across their organization. This task won’t be easy, but it is a critical step towards success.
The essence of IT security is to be one step ahead when it comes to looming threats. However, with the immense advancements in the technological landscape, cyber threats are on the rise, making staying ahead more and more difficult. Cybercriminals will be smarter and more capable of weaponizing technology to hijack business assets. Therefore, IT security needs to be a top priority for enterprises in 2021.
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