Top Cybersecurity Challenges of 2021 - Check Point Software (2023)

Top Cyber ​​Threats of 2021

2020 was a unique year that forced many companies to adapt quickly to new challenges. At the same time, cyber threat actors have refined their tactics and taken advantage of changes in the way organizations operate. As 2021 begins, many security trends are inspired by 2020's business decisions.

Phishing is still a problem

Phishing is one of the most common types of cyberattacks, mainly because it is often an effective way to gain access to an organization's network and systems. It's often easier to get an employee to give up sensitive information (like login credentials) or run malware on a company computer than to achieve those goals in other ways.

As a result, phishing will remain an issue in 2021 and beyond as long as it remains effective. However, the transformation of work following the COVID-19 pandemic is also having an impact on phishing.

For example, the increase in remote work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many organizations to embrace online collaboration such as Zoom, Slack, etc. The focus on email in phishing awareness training means that employees generally do not see email as a threat view. Platforms, and workers, often believe that only legitimate users can access those platforms, which is not always true.

As such, phishing attacks are likely to be more effective on these platforms than via email, where employees are more alert and organizations may have anti-phishing solutions in place. Cyber ​​criminals have taken note, and the use of collaborative platforms other than email for phishing has become more common and will likely continue to do so in 2021.

Exploring remote work

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to suddenly transition to a mostly or fully remote workforce. In a matter of weeks, companies that didn't have telecommuting programs had to adapt and upgrade the necessary infrastructure to allow their employees to work from home.

With the end of the pandemic in sight, many companies have no intention of returning to a fully face-to-face workforce. The benefits of remote work to the company and its employees have prompted many to allow many of their employees to telecommute at least part-time.

However, the rush to implement remote work programs has left security loopholes that cybercriminals are actively exploiting. In 2021, businesses will continue to face new security threats made possible by widespread remote working, including:

  • Exploring remote access solutions:Employees working from home need access to the corporate network. As a result, the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) has skyrocketed during the pandemic. Cyber ​​criminals took advantage of this, exploiting weak password security and VPN vulnerabilities to penetrate corporate networks, steal data and inject ransomware.
  • Thread-Hijacking-Angriffe:In a thread-hijacking attack, an attacker with access to an employee's email address or other messaging account replies to an existing conversation. These replies contain malicious attachments or links to phishing sites and are designed to extend the attacker's access to a corporate network. With the advent of remote working, the frequency and success rate of these attacks have increased as employees increasingly communicate via alternative platforms and cybercriminals are more successful in accessing email accounts.
  • Vulnerable and compromised endpoints:With remote work, employees work from computers outside the company perimeter and the cyber defense deployed there. Additionally, these devices are less likely to be patched and compliant with corporate policies. As a result, they are easy targets for cyber criminals to exploit.

As long as insecure remote work is widespread, these threats will continue to be a problem. With extended or permanent telework programs, the need to design and implement them arisesSolutions to protect the remote workforce.

(Video) The Biggest Cyber Security Challenge in 2022

Adoption of the cloud trumps security

Cloud adoption has been growing rapidly for years and has skyrocketed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a remote workforce, organizations needed the accessibility, flexibility, and scalability that cloud-based solutions provide.

However, while many companies are rapidly moving to the cloud, security is lagging behind. Cloud infrastructure is very different from an on-premises data center, and these differences present unique security challenges. Many organizations are still working to understand these differences, putting their cloud deployments at risk.

75% of companies are concerned about the security of their public cloud infrastructure. Learning how to secure systems hosted on shared servers in vendor-specific environments is challenging, especially when most organizations use services from many different vendors. In 2021, the lack of implementationeffective cloud securitywill continue to be a big problem andaccording to Gartner, 99% of cloud security incidents will be customer-related by 2025.

(Video) The Most Dangerous Cyber Threats in 2022

The Rise of Double Extortion Ransomware

Ransomware has become a growing threat in recent years. Several high-profile attacks have proven to cybercriminals that ransomware was profitable, leading to a rapid increase in cybercrime groups using this malware. Average,Ransomware claims a new victimaround the world every ten seconds, andRansomware is estimated to cost businesses $20 billion in 2020, an increase of 75% over the previous year.

The ransomware industry has also seen many innovations in recent years. Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) operators develop and sell ransomware, expanding their reach and giving less-experienced threat actors access to high-quality malware.

Another recent trend is the Double Extortion ransomware campaign. Instead of simply encrypting files and demanding a ransom to recover them, ransomware groups are now also stealing sensitive and valuable data from their victims. If the affected organization does not pay the ransom, this data is published online or sold to the highest bidder.

In 2021, ransomware attacks are becoming more popular and more groups are moving to the “double ransom” model. For example, the relatively new group DarkSide uses this technique and has carried out attacks such as the Colonial Pipeline attack, which was considered a national emergency in the US.

An epidemic of healthcare cyberattacks

During the COVID-19 crisis, the healthcare industry has become more important than ever. Hospitals and other medical professionals around the world are overwhelmed with patients as a result of the pandemic.

In many cases, the focus on patient care has pushed cybersecurity focus and resources away from these organizations. As a result, an industry already struggling with cybersecurity became even more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

(Video) Healthcare Cyber Security: Best Practices

In 2020, cyber criminals noticed and took advantage of it. In the fourth quarter of 2020,Check Point Research Reportthat cyberattacks on hospitals worldwide have increased by 45%. While the advent of COVID-19 vaccines has reduced COVID-related hospitalizations and pressures on these organizations in some areas, the exploitation of these organizations by cybercriminals and nation-state attackers is likely to continue and will be a major concern in 2021.

A new approach to mobile devices

The popularity of enterprise mobile devices and BYOD (bring your own device) policies has steadily increased in recent years. Employees can be more productive when they can use the devices they are most comfortable with.

With the increase in remote work, this trend is unlikely to reverse. Employees who work from home or on the go are more likely to use mobile devices than those who work in the office. With the increasing use of mobile devices for business purposes, new cybersecurity risks are emerging. Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting these devices for their attacks, and many organizations lack the same level of security on their mobile devices as they do on traditional desktops.

Additionally, corporate cybersecurity awareness for mobile devices is also lagging behind. For example,46% of companies reportthat at least one employee has installed a malicious mobile application. As these mobile devices are increasingly used to store corporate data and access business applications, mobile malware poses a growing threat to corporate cybersecurity.

A more sophisticated cyber threat landscape

Cyber ​​security is a game of cat and mouse between cyber attackers and defenders. As cyber attackers develop new tools and techniques, cyber defenders develop solutions to identify and block them. This inspires cyber criminals to innovate to evade or circumvent these defense mechanisms and so on.

As cyber threat actors have become more professional and organized, the sophistication of their attacks has also increased. Companies stand out todayFifth Generation Cyber ​​Threats, including large-scale, multi-vector attacks across an organization or industry. These attacks are triggered by leaks from advanced hacking tools such as B. the ShadowBrokers leak that allowed the creation of WannaCry, or the theft of the FireEye penetration testing toolset.

(Video) How Will You Secure Your Remote Workforce in 2021 and Beyond? - Cyber Security Insights

Many organizations have security architectures consisting of many point security products designed to protect against previous generations of cyber threats. These solutions are difficult to use and are lackingUnification of security and threat intelligencerequired to protect against large-scale automated attacks.

Growing number of zero-day attacks

AZero-Day-Angriffis one in which a vulnerability is exploited before a patch is available or widely distributed. These attacks can be particularly damaging as traditional cyber defense strategies are ineffective to protect against them. Many of these strategies rely on signature-based detection, which only works if the malware's signature is publicly available.

For a variety of reasons, large-scale and extremely damaging zero-day attacks are becoming more common. The number of publicly reported vulnerabilities is growing rapidlyover 23,000 discoveries per year. This far exceeds the ability of many organizations to apply updates and patches, meaning more vulnerabilities remain open longer.

Additionally, cybercriminals can often develop an exploit for a vulnerability faster than a patch can be developed, released, and widely deployed. Cyber ​​criminals can usually create an exploit within a week, but most companies canAverage 102 days to apply a patch.

In 2021 there have already been large-scale attacks using zero-day vulnerabilities such asLieber CryjWe stayedMalware variants that exploit vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange. This trend is expected to continue into 2021.

Managing the 2021 Cyber ​​Threat Landscape

In 2021, organizations will face a number of significant cybersecurity challenges. However, this year also presents opportunities for significant security growth. 2020 has shown how businesses must adapt to the modern world, and 2021 offers an opportunity to design and build security for the future.

(Video) CPX 360 2022 | The Most Important Cyber Security Event of the Year

Using the checkpointsecurity checkIt's a good starting point for identifying and closing gaps in your organization's cybersecurity strategy. We also invite you to consult theCybersicherheitsbericht 2021for strategies and recommendations to protect against the modern Generation V cyber threat landscape.


What are the top 5 emerging cybersecurity challenges? ›

Top 10 Challenges of Cyber Security Faced in 2022
  • Ransomware attacks.
  • IoT attacks.
  • Cloud attacks.
  • Phishing attacks.
  • Blockchain and cryptocurrency attacks.
  • Software vulnerabilities.
  • Machine learning and AI attacks.
  • BYOD policies.

What are the top cyber security challenges? ›

Top 7 enterprise cybersecurity challenges in 2023
  • Ransomware. Many called 2020 the "year of ransomware," with attacks spiking 148% during the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
  • IoT security. ...
  • AI for good and evil. ...
  • Slashed budgets. ...
  • The skills gap and staffing issues. ...
  • Phishing. ...
  • Supply chain attacks and software supply chain security.
Dec 6, 2022

What are the biggest cybersecurity threats right now 1 point? ›

1) Phishing Attacks

The biggest, most damaging and most widespread threat facing small businesses is phishing attacks.

What are 5 biggest cyber security trends in 2022? ›

According to the report, some of the leading cyber risks and cybersecurity trends in 2022 include:
  • Malware on the rise. ...
  • Rise of ransomware attacks. ...
  • Zero-day attacks. ...
  • Remote code execution. ...
  • Attack surface expansion. ...
  • Digital supply-chain risks. ...
  • Cybersecurity mesh. ...
  • Zero trust.
Dec 8, 2022

What are the 3 major threats to cyber security today? ›

Types of cyber threats your institution should be aware of include: Malware. Ransomware. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

What are the 8 main cyber security threats? ›

8 Common Cybersecurity Threats and How to Prevent Them
  • 1) Ransomware. ...
  • 2) Social Engineering/Phishing. ...
  • 3) Unpatched Systems and Misconfigurations. ...
  • 4) Credential Stuffing. ...
  • 5) Password Cracking Attacks. ...
  • 6) Man-in-the-Middle Attacks. ...
  • 7) Denial-of-Service Attacks. ...
  • 8) Drive-by Download Attacks.
Nov 10, 2022

What are the 2022 trends in cybersecurity? ›

Ultimately, Gartner nailed it when they predicted in 2022 that attack surface expansion (caused by the dispersal of enterprises), supply chain risk, and identity threat detection and response would be three of the biggest cybersecurity trends in 2022. In many ways, I think the same goes for 2023.

What are the top 10 embedded software cybersecurity vulnerabilities? ›

  • Vulnerability 10: Numeric Errors. ...
  • Vulnerability 9: Cryptographic Issues. ...
  • Vulnerability 8: Code Injection. ...
  • Vulnerability 7: Code. ...
  • Vulnerability 6: Resource Management Errors. ...
  • Vulnerability 5: Improper Access Control. ...
  • Vulnerability 4: Improper Input Validation. ...
  • Vulnerability 3: Information Exposure.
Jan 11, 2021

What are industry 4.0 cyber security challenges? ›

Industry 4.0 cybersecurity challenges

Smart factories can be subject to the same vulnerability exploitation, malware, denial of service (DoS), device hacking, and other common attack methods that other networks face.

What is the biggest vulnerability in cybersecurity? ›

5 Most Common Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities
  • Misconfiguration of Firewalls / OS. ...
  • Old Malware. ...
  • Lack of Cybersecurity Awareness. ...
  • Absence of Data Sanitization or Encryption Measures. ...
  • Legacy or Unpatched Software.
Nov 9, 2022

What are the 4 main types of vulnerability in cyber security? ›

Security Vulnerability Types
  • Network Vulnerabilities. These are issues with a network's hardware or software that expose it to possible intrusion by an outside party. ...
  • Operating System Vulnerabilities. ...
  • Human Vulnerabilities. ...
  • Process Vulnerabilities.

What are the top 5 cyber attacks? ›

Below are some of the most common types of cyber-attacks:
  • Malware.
  • Phishing.
  • Man-in-the-middle attack (MITM)
  • Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack.
  • SQL injection.
  • Zero-day exploit.
  • DNS Tunnelling.
  • Business Email Compromise (BEC)
Nov 7, 2022

What are the biggest cybersecurity threats 2023? ›

Ransomware and cyber extortion will remain among the top cyber threats in 2023. As cybercriminals' tactics continue to evolve, they will increasingly favor exfiltrating data over encrypting it for cyber extortion.

What is the next big thing in cyber security? ›

Responsive and predictive technologies underpinning sector-specific, real-time defensive systems will be the next big thing in cybersecurity.

What are the 7 types of cyber security? ›

It can be divided into seven main pillars:
  • Network Security. Most attacks occur over the network, and network security solutions are designed to identify and block these attacks. ...
  • Cloud Security. ...
  • Endpoint Security. ...
  • Mobile Security. ...
  • IoT Security. ...
  • Application Security. ...
  • Zero Trust.

What are the 5 triads of cyber security? ›

Confidentiality, integrity, availability.

What are the 10 common types of cyber threats? ›

What are the 10 Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks?
  • Malware.
  • Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks.
  • Phishing.
  • Spoofing.
  • Identity-Based Attacks.
  • Code Injection Attacks.
  • Supply Chain Attacks.
  • Insider Threats.

What are the key emerging trends of 2022? ›

Here are some of the Latest Top Technology Trends for 2022 - 2023: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Edge Computing.

Which 5 technologies will trend in 2022 which it roles would be in demand? ›

This broad trend encompasses AI, the internet of things (IoT), and newly emerging super-fast networks like 5G, all of which are coming together to augment us with capabilities we didn't have just a few years ago.

What are some recent trends in cyber security? ›

Machine learning. The recent evolution of cyber threats has made the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) more proactive. Many organizations are adopting the power of technology to automate several aspects of their cybersecurity efforts, such as threat detection.

What software has the most vulnerabilities? ›

Top 50 Products By Total Number Of "Distinct" Vulnerabilities
Product NameNumber of Vulnerabilities
1Debian Linux7822
4Ubuntu Linux3856
46 more rows

What is the most common software vulnerability? ›

The most common software security vulnerabilities include:
  • Missing data encryption.
  • OS command injection.
  • SQL injection.
  • Buffer overflow.
  • Missing authentication for critical function.
  • Missing authorization.
  • Unrestricted upload of dangerous file types.
  • Reliance on untrusted inputs in a security decision.

What are the top 10 application security risks? ›

The 2021 list includes the following vulnerabilities:
  • Injection.
  • Insecure Design.
  • Security Misconfiguration.
  • Vulnerable and Outdated Components.
  • Identification and Authentication Failures.
  • Software and Data Integrity Failures.
  • Security Logging and Monitoring Failures.
  • Server-Side Request Forgery.

What is SWOT in cyber security? ›

A SWOT analysis focuses on four aspects: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, allowing you to better understanding the risks your business faces in cybersecurity and helping your business making better cybersecurity investments.

What is the most difficult challenge to cyber security? ›

The most difficult challenge to cyber security is adapting to a remote workforce. With more and more companies around the world turning to remote work, there are new risks in cybersecurity that have emerged. Companies must now invest in solutions that protect their systems from attacks outside their networks.

What are the four 4 main purposes and features of cyber security principles? ›

The cyber security principles
  • Govern: Identifying and managing security risks.
  • Protect: Implementing controls to reduce security risks.
  • Detect: Detecting and understanding cyber security events to identify cyber security incidents.
  • Respond: Responding to and recovering from cyber security incidents.
Jun 16, 2022

What are the 7 P's of information security management? ›

In this paper, we identify the 7Ps as product, price, promotion, place, physical evidence, process and people.

What are the three 3 major areas of security? ›

There are three primary areas or classifications of security controls. These include management security, operational security, and physical security controls.

What are the three 3 categories of threats to security? ›

The three most general categories are natural threats (such as earthquakes), physical security threats (such as power outages damaging equipment), and human threats (blackhat attackers who can be internal or external.)

What is the# 1 Cybersecurity threat today? ›

1. Inadequate Training for Employees. The biggest cybersecurity threat to organizations comes from within them. According to a recent study by Stanford University, employee errors, whether intentional or accidental, are to blame for 88% of data breach occurrences.

What are 5th generation cyber attacks? ›

5th generation attacks are an escalated threat over prior generations because they are multi-vector and mega because they can infiltrate and quickly and silently proliferate from and to any vector of an IT infrastructure including networks, cloud instances, remote offices, endpoints, mobile devices, 3rd parties and ...

What are the top 3 most common reasons for cyberattacks? ›

Most often, cyber attacks happen because criminals want your: business' financial details. customers' financial details (eg credit card data) sensitive personal data.

What are the most common cyber attacks in 2021? ›

What are the 10 Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks?
  • Malware.
  • Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks.
  • Phishing.
  • Spoofing.
  • Identity-Based Attacks.
  • Code Injection Attacks.
  • Supply Chain Attacks.
  • Insider Threats.

What are the Top 5 cyber attacks? ›

Below are some of the most common types of cyber-attacks:
  • Malware.
  • Phishing.
  • Man-in-the-middle attack (MITM)
  • Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack.
  • SQL injection.
  • Zero-day exploit.
  • DNS Tunnelling.
  • Business Email Compromise (BEC)
Nov 7, 2022

What are the top 5 biggest cyber threats to organization? ›

Top 5 most common cyber threats to watch out for today
  1. Social engineering attacks (or phishing) ...
  2. Ransomware. ...
  3. Mobile security attacks. ...
  4. Remote working risks. ...
  5. Identity-based cloud security threats.
Jul 5, 2022

What are the top 3 computer security trends of 2021? ›

Three trends to focus on include 1) the expanding cyber-attack surface (remote work, IoT supply chain), 2) Ransomware as a cyber weapon of choice, 3) threats to critical infrastructure via ICS, OT/IT cyber-threat convergence.

What is the biggest cyber security threat in 2021? ›

  • Top Cyber Threats of 2021. ...
  • Phishing Continues to Be a Problem. ...
  • Exploitation of Remote Work. ...
  • Cloud Adoption Outpaces Security. ...
  • The Rise of Double-Extortion Ransomware. ...
  • An Epidemic of Healthcare Cyberattacks. ...
  • A New Focus on Mobile Devices. ...
  • A More Sophisticated Cyber Threat Landscape.

What are the top 3 biggest data breaches so far in 2021? ›

The biggest data breaches of 2021
  • Comcast (1.5 billion)
  • Brazilian resident data leak (660 million)
  • Facebook (533 million)
  • LinkedIn (500 million)
  • Bykea (400 million)
Jan 20, 2022

What are cybersecurity Trends 2021? ›

In 2021, as more applications move to the cloud, the number of remote users will only increase. Companies are expected to opt for a more reliable solution called zero trust network access (ZTNA), also known as software defined perimeter (SDP). By 2023, 60% of companies will replace VPNs with ZTNA, according to Gartner.


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