GUEST ESSAY: Remote workforce exposures exacerbate cybersecurity challenges in 2021

By Nick Campbell

The start of 2021 brings forth a cyber security crossroads. Many people are in the process of shifting back into office operations while balancing the potential risks and benefits of remote work.

Related: Breaches spike during pandemic

For some malicious hackers and IT experts, this could represent an opening. From the known compromise vectors to the most recent threats, hackers are constantly on the lookout for new strategies to bypass IT notice, out maneuver defense setups, and take advantage of new weaknesses.

Targeting remote workers

One of the most concerning cybersecurity trends this year is closely connected to 2020. Many IT experts are warning that it won’t be long before hackers compromise several unprotected home networks simultaneously to manufacture a forceful and large-scale breach of vital services and systems.

Many employees don’t have a wide range of security protections. They’ll most likely use broadband connections for their work and for personal reasons. This increases the corporate attack surface to dangerous levels.

To minimize the chances of attack, enterprises need to double down on IAM with devices that can effectively monitor user activities, corporate connective behaviors, and resource requests in a bid to streamline sign-in. Additional authentication is also needed in case potential complications are indicated.

Ransomware and fileless malware breaches will rapidly continue to destabilize businesses in 2021. These kinds of attacks are configured to evade most detection control measures and compromise critical systems by taking advantage of the approved software and platform tools found within the corporate network.

Campbell

This method enables attackers to bypass the popular detection strategies that can potentially scan and spot harmful attachments. Additionally, taking advantage of the already present system tools means that attackers don’t necessarily need a framework design of their own. This also means that attackers can save a lot of time needed for malware generation, thus making unwanted access relatively easy to accomplish.

This year, there is a high chance that attackers will utilize fileless malware to infiltrate service providers as opposed to particular organizations. Thereafter, they will utilize their established infrastructure to go after downstream clients.

Businesses can use a Q1 cybersecurity hygiene house cleaning to defend against fileless attacks. It serves to constantly keep systems and software up to date, maintain proper working conditions of all security tools, and deploys intelligent access management – like multifactor authentication (MFA) – to minimize potential threats

All too many vectors

Attackers often like targeting entities that are relatively easy to infiltrate and have deep pockets. Attackers can now bypass complex security measures and gain access to larger enterprises by first breaching into their supplier.

A report from VMware states that 50% of cybersecurity trends today only concentrate on a network, but more so, those connected through a supply chain. This type of attack doesn’t take into account how complex your business’s program is if one of your vendors has been breached. One proven way to overcome these kinds of attacks is by implementing zero trust architecture.

The upcoming 5G network will give rise to a huge number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The massive upsurge of interconnected devices increases the chances of cyber-attacks as a result of lack or limited security infrastructure and device visibility.

There are many options for hosting services with varying levels of security. When comparing shared hosting vs cloud hosting, businesses can compare the level of security and protection afforded in each. Having a cloud dedicated hosting service in place is an essential performance and security requirement for small or medium-sized enterprises, freelancers, and bloggers. An unbelievable number of online businesses are attacked every year. This could mean the loss of critical information, and not to mention financial or personal data belonging to customers or companies. Dedicated hosting is a vital step in developing and sustaining a site.

The transition to working from home has seen most companies choosing to store their information in the cloud. As a result, cybersecurity trends have developed innovative ways to exploit these changes. Cloud security is progressively becoming troublesome for many organizations. Experts in cybersecurity will have to advance their cyber security software and systems to overcome cloud attacks.

Investments in cyber security will become a major priority for most businesses this year. Looking into the future, security will certainly become a normal expense of conducting business.

About the essayist: Nick Campbell is Senior Director of Security & Architecture at Liquid Web. He has over 16 years of experience in technology and brings a wealth of knowledge and a strong understanding of data security to help safeguard IT systems.

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