2020 was an exciting and challenging year for cybersecurity. The rapid shift towards remote operations created many unexpected vulnerabilities and stretched the capacity of security teams. It’s time to look to the new year and all that it might bring. Here are four of the top security trends that will define cybersecurity this year.

New Ransomware Tactics

In 2021, cybercriminals will continue to refine their ransomware tactics, finding new ways to extort money from businesses and other organizations. As criminals become more ambitious, they will start targeting entire networks of companies instead of singular organizations. There will likely be more variety in how criminals can finance malware, allowing more people to participate in criminal activity related to ransomware. Overall, ransomware tactics are going to become smarter, more diverse, and more aggressive.

Platform-as-a-service Solutions

Supply chain attacks are also likely to increase in 2021. In the past, supply chain attacks mainly focused on integrated development environment, shared libraries, and software development kits. Many cybercriminals are now turning their attention to platform-as-a-service solutions, especially cloud-based development environments. Criminals can attack these environments to obscure command and control infrastructure or misdirect users and lead them to malicious infrastructure. Targeting cloud-based development environments allows cybercriminals to access a larger volume of victims.

Increasing Investments in Cybersecurity

As cybercrime becomes more sophisticated and complex, organizations will need to invest more in cybersecurity. Companies concerned about ransomware will need to spend more time developing ransomware playbooks and will need to invest in programs to detect suspicious activity. Part of this increased investment will also include higher investments in cybersecurity teams. The pandemic has created many operational changes that have affected security. Companies are looking to acquire more and better security talent. At the start of December, there were 525,000 open cybersecurity jobs, which is more than 100,000 increase compared to the number of vacancies before the pandemic began. The demand for remote cybersecurity professionals in particular will likely continue to rapidly increase in 2021.

The pandemic has pushed cybercriminals to become smarter and more creative in their tactics, while forcing businesses across the country to reassess their security strategies. From ransomware to supply chain attacks, criminal activity is becoming harder to detect and harder to prevent. Meanwhile, the demand for cybersecurity specialists is predicted to increase in 2021 as companies invest more into their security operations in attempts to stay a step ahead of criminals.


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