In response to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, organizations that could let staff work from home did so, which meant that the former had to expedite migrating their apps and data to the cloud and/or setting up remote access for staff. And to maintain the ability to work and deliver projects together, teams subscribed to Software-as-a-Service apps to communicate with one another, collaborate on tasks, and manage projects.
In the urgency to adapt to the economic upheaval brought about by the pandemic, organizations compressed IT project timelines and increased their tolerance for cybersecurity risk. In this mad dash to become digital, Canadian companies became more vulnerable and will have to work hard to shore up their defenses.
Why is data security in 2021 important?
There’s no question that data security for small and large organizations is more important than ever. As far as data security trends in 2021 go, it’s important for companies to continue to supply their employees with realistic and reasonably safe working environments without putting their organizations at risk. It’s estimated that the vast majority of employees who are able to do so will continue to work remotely.
Therefore, organizations need to take potential data breach and safety risks seriously. Employing solid IT disaster recovery strategies from a reputable cybersecurity company in Toronto is a great starting point.
Below are a few examples of data security trends that are likely to continue for most of 2021.
Phishers use fake Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom links
Thanks to the massive shift to remote working, the use of video conferencing services drastically increased. Sneaky online scammers are taking advantage of this trend by sending their victims authentic-looking video call invites or notifications saying that the latter have been added to a particular online project team.
When the user clicks on an invite link, they’re led to a spoofed login page where they’re tricked into providing their access credentials. Those who click buttons with calls-to-action like “Open Microsoft Teams” are led to URLs that download malware onto their machines.
Ransomware users do not just lock away data anymore
While the primary objective of ransomware campaigns remains to be bilking money out of organizations by locking away their apps and data, attackers no longer merely stow away the data. Instead, one data security trend in 2021 is that attackers sell the stolen data on the dark web as well. This ensures that they still profit from their illicit activities, even if they aren’t paid the ransom.
In fact, some hackers will threaten to publish companies’ sensitive data to pressure their victims to pay the ransom sooner. This is an empty threat, for once hackers have gotten hold of company data, victims must assume that the hackers have done what they want with it already.
More companies are getting cyber liability insurance coverage
Given Canadian businesses’ increasing reliance on digital technology, they will always be caught in the tide of the cybersecurity war. That is, if and when cybercriminals gain the upper hand against cybersecurity companies in Toronto, Canadian companies become more susceptible to attacks. Because of the ever-present risk that firms’ cybersecurity measures may fall short—and also because of how data regulations are becoming more punishing—the cyber insurance market is continuing to grow in 2021.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) are beginning to be replaced by zero trust network access (ZTNA)
A VPN protects remote workers from man-in-the-middle attacks, but only to the degree that its level of encryption allows. Free VPNs offer substandard encryption protection. And the better the encryption, the pricier a VPN gets. Beyond security and cost concerns, VPNs also suffer latency issues, making their continued use untenable.
ZTNA, on the other hand, permits remote workers to access company apps via a secure web-based gateway. Used in conjunction with identity and access management (IAM), ZTNA applies the principle of least privilege when granting users access to company data. Furthermore, it supports device security checks and multifactor authentication to keep your data safe from cybercriminals who’ve stolen access credentials from legitimate users.
What makes zero trust a much better option for IT disaster recovery than VPNs is that it lets companies add more users more easily and more affordably. Furthermore, it works well with many popular single sign-on platforms and IAM software, too.
Threats Due to Remote Working
As office workers continue to work from home or remote locations in 2021, the imminent threat against your organization’s cybersecurity networks lingers. Ransomware is one of the most common threats against your organization’s cybersecurity, but it’s not the only one you have to look out for. Phishers and hackers are constantly conjuring up new and more innovative ways to gain access to your company’s confidential information.
Insider threats are also a very palpable issue that organizations must deal with amongst their internal staff. These are people that usually have security clearance or authorization and easy access to sensitive company and customer information. Once this data is breached and leaked online, retrieving it is nearly impossible and can do a lot of irreparable damage to your organization’s reputation.
Extended Detection and Response (XDR)
When it comes to IT disaster recovery, companies can also implement an extended detection response (XDR) platform that helps protect and preserve the identities of remote workers. This is in response to the growing trend of malicious hackers gaining access to digital personnel files and using the data therein to successfully impersonate remote working employees. The objective is to gain security clearance and access to confidential company information which can then be sold for profit to third-party entities.
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)
In 2019, the renowned analyst firm Gartner, coined the phrase “secure access service edge” in reference to the need to implement wide-area networking (WAN) cybersecurity through the cloud directly to the source of the connection, rather than the main datacenter. This approach embodies a combination of network security functions including secure web gateway (SWG), cloud access security broker (CASB), firewall as a service (FaaS), and ZTNA. This intricate network of cybersecurity platforms enhances the online safety features of your business and will likely continue to be a data security trend in 2021.
Supply Chain Attacks
Between March and June of 2020, suspected Russian government hackers allegedly were able to gain access to U.S. government agency digital security files as those belonging to approximately 100 private sector companies using a fake Orion software update.
This incident shook the entire world to its core and highlighted the supreme deficiencies of the U.S. government’s data security networks. If a covert operation of malicious hackers can break into several digital government databases, what’s to stop them from doing the same thing to small- and medium-sized organizations who also have a lot to lose? The exact source of this hack is still under investigation, but it brought to light the immense need for advanced cybersecurity measures across all digital platforms that allow access to numerous individuals in remote locations.
Trust XBASE Technologies for IT Disaster Recovery Services
No matter how much the data security landscape changes, you can always rely on XBASE Technology’s IT disaster recovery services in the GTA. As a cybersecurity company in Toronto, we provide Exponentially Better™ cybersecurity services to protect your business against data breaches. Learn more about how we can keep you safe from cyberthreats by downloading our free eBook today or contact us to learn more about the many data security trends in 2021.