What cyber security trends will emerge in 2021?
Last year, data hacking and cyber attacks continued to rise across the globe. The UK government reported that 46% of businesses fell victim to a data security breach. That was an increase of 26% compared to previous years.
This article examines some vital cyber security statistics and trends to watch over the next twelve months.
From personal data hacking attacks to ransomware, discover what risks will emerge. Learn about phishing scams and how threat assessments will become a necessity.
Read on to get a glimpse into the future of cyber attacks and how they will affect your business.
1. Data Breaches Set to Rise
The worrying trend in the rise of personal and business data security breaches is set to continue this year.
A recent report states that 2020 was the worst year on record for the total number of exposed records. Within a nine-month period, 36 billion pieces of data became divulged due to a cyber attack.
The main reasons behind this worrying trend include:
- An influx of malicious data hackers selling their services
- Misconfigured databases
- Poorly managed user logins
As more businesses move to cloud computing, expect to see a marked increase in data breaches this year.
2. Increase in Average Costs of Cyber Attacks
IBM’s annual Cost of a Data Breach Report highlights some alarming figures.
In the US, the average total cost of data breaches amongst 524 organizations was $3.86 million. Healthcare was the most targeted industry and it took an average of 280 days to identify a breach.
COVID-19 impacted this increase in cyber attacks.
Seventy-six percent of the surveyed companies saw remote workers add to their security issues. This was especially prevalent amongst companies with a low IT budget.
As the pandemic spreads into 2021, this trend will no doubt continue.
3. Worldwide Jump in Data Hacking Attacks
The IT governance blog reported a huge global data breach over the past month.
February 2021 saw 2.3 billion records being breached after an attack on cloud provider Accellion. The team at the Oxford University COVID-19 laboratory was successfully hacked. Israeli firm Raychat saw its entire database of records leaked and destroyed.
The Brazilian power firm Copel was hit by a cyber attack at the start of February. Australia’s code learning platform SitePoint saw its users’ names and emails stolen due to a breach. Bitcoin exchange market KeepChange had its customer database seized including trade counts.
Expect these cyber security statistics to increase around the world over the next few years.
4. Average Ransomware Payments Will Rise
Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts the victim’s data until they pay a ransom to unlock it.
It’s estimated that a ransomware intrusion will occur every 11 seconds by the end of the year. The majority of ransomware targets Windows devices. Half of IT professionals say their organization isn’t ready for this cyber attack.
Some of the top ransomware software include:
- REvil Ransomware – ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS)
- Sodinokibi – a variant of REvil that spreads through software installers
- Nephilim – publishes sensitive data unless the victim pays
- Netwalker/Mailto – encrypts all Windows devices on a network
New variants will emerge so expect to see an influx of ransomware threats in 2021.
5. Phishing Scams Will Re-emerge
Ransomware gets distributed through attachments and phishing scams. But what exactly is phishing?
Phishing is a type of cyber attack that uses email to trick the recipient into following a link or downloading a file.
The malicious hacker employs a form of social engineering to make the victim believe they’re legitimate. They do this by using similar email and web addresses and mimic the real organization’s color schemes and logos.
Current cyber security statistics prove that this form of attack works.
Last year, £800,00 was lost by UK businesses due to phishing scams. They all related to COVID-19 and played on people’s fears. This trend will no doubt re-emerge as information on vaccines etc. gets distributed online.
6. Data Security Spending Set to Skyrocket
Cyber security spending is set to hit $170 billion by the end of the year. Compare that with $3.5 billion in 2004 and $120 billion in 2017.
Experts anticipate a 12-15% rise in the cybersecurity market throughout 2021.
The reasons for this continual increase include:
- Refocussing of malware to smartphones
- Ransomware epidemic
- Unprotected IoT devices
Fortune 500 companies have the deepest pockets and are set to increase their IT security spend.
J.P. Morgan Chase and Co. allocate approximately $600 million each year on cybersecurity. This is an increment of $100 million over the past five years. They also employ around 3,000 IT security specialists to keep their systems safe.
In Europe, GDPR legislation has driven the demand for cyber insurance.
Ensuring user data is kept safe is now a top priority. Otherwise, they face suffering large fines for a successful breach.
7. Global Jump in DDoS Attacks
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks strike a website or network to take them offline.
Malicious users take advantage of compromised devices by connecting them to one service at the same time. The result sees that service being overcome by the influx of connections and shutting down.
Last year, DDoS attacks jumped by 542% compared to 2019 in the first quarter.
The figure correlates with the introduction of remote working due to the pandemic. Employees operating from home don’t have the same security safeguards in place and are more open to attack. Infected computers then join a ‘zombie botnet’ which is used in DDoS cyber attacks.
The form DDoS takes is evolving too.
Attacks from one device are now typically shorter than 15 minutes and create up to 200 events each day. This helps reduce the chance of security software scanning them as threats. Flying under the radar keeps them alive for longer.
More Cyber Security Statistics at AllTopStartups
These cyber security statistics show a worrying trend in cyber attacks set to hit businesses in 2021. Thankfully, companies aren’t taking the threats lightly and increase their IT budget on security as a result.
Ensure your business conducts a data security threat assessment. And hire an expert cyber security firm to keep your data and systems safe.
Read more cyber security trends in our Guides and Insights archives.
We discuss small business data security and privacy to help keep you safe this year. Remember to join us on Twitter to have your say.