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Cybersecurity Threats in 2021

June 30, 2021

According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report, the global average total cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86M1.

That’s the scale of the cybersecurity attack that the world is facing right now. In fact, according to TechNewsWorld, cybersecurity experts predict that there will be a cyber-attack incident every 11 seconds in 2021. This is almost 2X of 2019 statistics and 4X the rate of 20162.

Today, several digital threats are looming in the air that poses a serious risk to the data and information, especially with new advancements in technology.

  1. The COVID-19 Challenges
    As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and the businesses had to shift to working from home in a short span, it led to unplanned cloud migrations and swift procurement of systems. Many companies rushed the standard security measures, creating gaps for cybersecurity attacks. The use of personal internet connections further exposed data to hackers.
  2. Ransomware
    Ransomware, one of the most common threats to data security, continues to evolve as a top cybersecurity trend in 2021. According to Forbes, there are now 124 separate families of ransomware and the attack has increased by 435% in 2020 as compared to 20193. Ransomware attacks organizations with data theft and has a deep economic blow due to the costs of recovering from these attacks.
  3. The Cloud Attacks
    With the rapid adoption of digitization, all the work and data is shifting to clouds as more businesses adopt cloud-hosted processes. Despite all the efforts, cloud breaches are likely to increase. Cloud attacks are increasing majorly due to rampant migration to cloud storage and misconfigured cloud infrastructure. According to IBM’s report, misconfigured cloud settings were one of the leading causes of data breaches in 20201.
  4. Risk of Automation
    Automation has become a necessity in today’s world. Multiple systems need to be integrated coherently which means more web applications and data management platforms. But the more large and complex systems companies build, the more difficult it gets to safeguard the information. Attackers are leveraging AI to automate their attacks by turning to data-poisoning and model-stealing techniques.
  5. IoT & 5G Network
    IoT with the upcoming 5G networks is the beginning of a new era of inter-connectivity. But it opens up vulnerabilities from outside influence, attacks, or unknown sources. The more the world shifts to the internet, the more exposed data gets to hackers. Forbes mentions that currently there’s an estimated 50 billion connected devices and trillions of sensors, which offers vast options for data exfiltration3.

How to tackle cybersecurity?
While cybersecurity is a pressing concern, its risk can still be mitigated. Businesses need to be proactive to take care of all the possible vulnerabilities for any security breach.

  • Awareness - Awareness is key when it comes to strengthening cybersecurity. Businesses need to be mindful of their actions while handling valuable data and should be prepared with solutions like anti-malware programs, secure passwords, updating patches, secure routers, VPNs, etc.
  • Automation - Organizations should start leveraging automation to detect any data breach by using horizon scanning technologies, analytics, incident alert tools, diagnostics, etc. to accelerate the incident response time. Infosys predicts AI and ML will have more impactful applications in enhancing cybersecurity risk management systems4.
  • Cybersecurity Team - One of the reasons for data attacks is also the lack of cybersecurity professionals in most companies to look into the matter and establish a strong cybersecurity workforce.

Businesses need to navigate security risks with well-structured security strategies. With remote work taking the front seat recently, it becomes more important to be equipped with the necessary tools to reduce the risk of cybersecurity.


  1. IBM Cost of Data Breach Report 2020
  2. The Future of Cybersecurity in 2021 and Beyond
  3. 3 Key Cybersecurity Trends To Know For 2021 (and On ...)
  4. AI and ML in Cybersecurity Risk Management

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