KnowBe4’s Global Cybersecurity Experts Make Predictions For 2021 Cyber Trends

Experts cover topics such as phishing, IoT, security culture, mobile banking and more

KnowBe4, the provider of the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, today announced its team of global cybersecurity experts have released their predictions for cyber trends to expect in 2021.

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The organizations’ cybersecurity experts from around the world collectively predict many new trends regarding phishing attacks, ransomware, password security threats, security culture and more.

An overarching theme from their predictions includes new trends in response to societal conditions. With so much turbulence surrounding COVID-19, for example, users can expect hackers to continue to take advantage of their conditional vulnerabilities and stresses. The experts also draw attention to technological advancements that will inevitably open more doors for malicious activity. This will come in response to an increasing use of cloud services, QR code recognition, mobile banking, etc.

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Some of KnowBe4’s international prediction highlights include:

  • Remote working security — “We’ve already seen how coronavirus has forced organizations to move their workforce remotely,” said Javvad Malik, security awareness advocate, KnowBe4 (UK). “Next year, we’ll see a larger investment in remote workers’ security. This will probably be a bigger task than most anticipate, with a bottom-up review of which security controls are working, and which are not. We’ll likely see better communication channels settled on, better training and security tools that are less obtrusive to productivity.” “Cleverly designed supply chain attacks will target employees working at home,” said Kevin Mitnick, chief hacking officer, KnowBe4. “For example, the ‘cable company’ sending the target a ‘new, faster router’ that has been covertly backdoored.”
  • Mobile banking attacks — “In Africa specifically,” said Anna Collard, SVP content strategy and evangelist, KnowBe4 (Africa), “We need to find solutions to protect mobile banking and users performing financial transactions on their mobile devices. There has been an increase in mobile banking trojans and malicious apps in general, which is concerning when coupled with the lack of awareness amongst African mobile users.”
  • Culture –– “There is a continuing and growing conversation about cybersecurity culture,” said Jacqueline Jayne, security awareness advocate, KnowBe4 (APAC). “Last year’s prediction on this focus area was premature. We haven’t seen the uptake for company-wide KPIs related to cybersecurity expectations for training, behavior and reporting. However, after the release of The Australian Cybersecurity Strategy 2020, I am more confident that the conversation is becoming louder and the need for security awareness training is front of mind.”
  • “Ransomware will continue to get worse, leveraging data exfiltration and stolen employee passwords to force victim organizations to pay,” said Roger Grimes, data-driven defense evangelist, KnowBe4 (U.S.). “A good backup and tested restore will no longer be enough to prevent the ransom from being paid.”
  • MFA exploitation — “As the world turns to MFA more and more, people will learn that it doesn’t really stop hackers,” said Grimes. “It never has. Once a hacker learns that you’re using a certain type of MFA, then they will use your reliance on it to bypass the protection you thought was guaranteed.”

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