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Healthcare, research and e-commerce to face heightened security risk in 2021

Remote and cloud-based systems will be targeted next year, according to report


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Trend Micro Incorporated predicts that home networks, remote working software and cloud systems will be at the center of a new wave of attacks in 2021.

Trend Micro’s predictions report, Turning the Tide, forecasts that cybercriminals in 2021 will particularly look to home networks as a critical launch pad to compromising corporate IT and IoT networks.

“As we begin to enter a post-pandemic world, the trend for remote working is likely going to stick for many organizations. We predict more aggressive attacks to target corporate data and networks,” said Jon Clay, director of global threat communications for Trend Micro, in a prepared statement. “Security teams will need to double down on user training, extended detection and response and adaptive access controls. This past year was all about surviving: now it’s time for businesses to thrive, with comprehensive cloud security as their foundation.”

The report warns that end users who regularly access sensitive data (e.g. HR professionals accessing employee data, sales managers working with sensitive customer information, or senior executives managing confidential company numbers) will be at greatest risk.

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Access-as-a-service business models of cybercrime will grow, targeting the home networks of high-value employees, corporate IT and IoT networks. IT security teams will need to overhaul work from home policies and protections to tackle the complexity of hybrid environments — where work and personal data comingle in a single machine.

As third-party integrations reign, Trend Micro also warned that exposed APIs will become a new preferred attack vector for cybercriminals, providing access to sensitive customer data, source code and back-end services.

Trend Micro recommends the following steps to mitigate threats in 2021:

  • Foster user education and training to extend corporate security best practices to the home, including advice against the use of personal devices
  • Maintain strict access controls for both corporate networks and the home office, including zero trust
  • Double down on best practice security and patch management programs
  • Augment threat detection with security expertise to protect cloud workloads, emails, endpoints, networks, and servers round-the-clock

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