IT News - Security

From ransomware schemes to supply chain attacks, this year melded classic hacks with extraordinary circumstances

"WHAT A WAY to kick off a new decade," writes Lily Hay Newman in Wired.

"2020 showcased all of the digital risks and cybersecurity woes you've come to expect in the modern era, but this year was unique in the ways COVID-19 radically and tragically transformed life around the world. The pandemic also created unprecedented conditions in cyberspace, reshaping networks by pushing people to work from home en masse, creating a scramble to access vaccine research by any means, generating new fodder for criminals to launch extortion attempts and scams, and producing novel opportunities for nation-state espionage.

Here's WIRED's look back at this strange year and the breaches, data exposures, ransomware attacks, state-sponsored campaigns, and digital madness that shaped it. Stay safe out there in 2021..."

To prevail in the battle against cybercrime, companies must understand how they are being attacked. Here are the six most damaging types of cyber attacks and how to prevent them

Michael Cobb writes in SearchSecurity, "Cybercrime is a clear and present risk to governments, businesses and individuals; according to the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2020, cyber attacks rank first among global human-caused risks.

The motivation behind cyber attacks has become more varied over the past few years, with disinformation and disruption joining the regular drivers of data theft, extortion and vandalism, and the challenges they present have many security teams on the back foot..."

Security Pros Reflect On 2020
Dark Reading, December 29th, 2020
Eight cybersecurity leaders go deep on their most valuable (and very human) takeaways from a year like no other we've known

"What was it like working cybersecurity this year?" asks Joan Goodchild in Dark Reading. "We know all the obvious answers: The pandemic forced just about everyone to work from home, security teams had to scramble to protect disparate networks and home setups, and cybercriminals made life miserable by taking advantage of the chaos.

But with 2020 a few days shy of being behind us, what are some of the takeaways and relevant experiences security professionals think about on a deeper level? Eight security leaders shared with The Edge what stands out for them the most..."

What You Need To Know About Security Challenges In 2021
Network Computing, December 28th, 2020
Businesses must adapt their security practices, so they can take advantage of the benefits of work-from-home models without creating extra risks

"Let's face it, 2020 was a rough year for predictions," writes John Nellen in Network Computing. "But as we near a new year, I'm emboldened to take a stab at what 2021 holds for us in the cyber security world. I see two main drivers: The emergence of 5G and the continued impact COVID-19 is having on businesses. From these drivers, I see many important developments we'll need to watch in the coming months.

5G achieves lift-off, and that changes things

We've all been talking about 5G for years now, but the inclusion of 5G support in the latest Apple iPhones show that 2021 will be the year that 5G finally lifts off. Gartner forecasted 5G infrastructure spending to top $4.2B in 2020. And while speeds of early networks are not expected to reach 5G's eventual capability, they are impressive nonetheless. Verizon customers are experiencing nearly 800 Mbits/second on average, which represents a roughly 5X improvement over the typical fixed broadband speeds in the US. That means 5G often represents a more viable transport for enterprise networks than traditional fixed broadband..."

A shift towards remote working in the year 2020 expanded the already fragile threat landscape. Invariably, the number of breaches supporting this work culture went up drastically. At the end of this eventful year, let us sit back and look at the top nine data breaches that grabbed headlines and taught us a lesson or two

"At the beginning of the year, people celebrated the turn of the decade and readied themselves to strike off the 'Things-to-Do' from their bucket list. The year looked promising in the first two months, but little did anyone anticipate they would spend the rest of the year confined within their homes and end up extending their list furthermore. The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 rather bleak," opines Mihir Bagwe in CISOMAG.

"The forced lockdown saw a greater shift towards remote working and the uptake of technologies that facilitated this framework. Adoption of cloud and collaboration platforms skyrocketed and gave impetus to rapid digital transformation. However, every coin has two sides, and the flip side was worse. The expanded threat landscape made the already fragile cybersecurity aspect of several businesses cave-in, resulting in greater hacks and data breaches. In fact, a recent report from Risk Based Security revealed that 36 billion records were exposed in data breaches in 2020..."

Key Cyber Security Trends To Look Out For In 2021
Information Age, December 31st, 2020
Greg Day, vice-president and chief security officer, EMEA at Palo Alto Networks, discusses the key cyber security trends that are set to emerge in 2021

Greg Day writes in Information Age, "Looking back on a year of unprecedented uncertainty, countless lessons have been learned across the board for everyone, including cyber security leaders and experts. The overnight change in working patterns meant millions of employees suddenly had to work from home, putting huge strain on access to IT systems.

Threat actors weren't resting on their laurels in spotting how these and other changes created vulnerabilities to target and exploit either; we saw a veritable 'gold rush' in cyber threat activity. By the end of March we had already identified more than 40,000 newly registered websites with coronavirus-related names, which we classified as 'high-risk' sites due to the scams and malware being pushed onto unsuspecting consumers..."

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