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Cybersecurity Threats to Grow in ‘21, Says Netwrix

If you thought this year was filled with cybersecurity threats, next year may be even worse, according to predictions from Irvine-based cybersecurity firm Netwrix.

Most new threats “arise from the digital transformation and new workflows required by the rapid transition to remote work in 2020,” the company says. Next year will be heavily impacted by more intense cyber threats, budgetary constraints and decisions made in 2020.

Ilia Sotnikov, cybersecurity expert and Netwrix vice president, has set forth seven cybersecurity predictions for 2021 and a warning about ransomware—money or virtually currency demanded by and paid to online crooks—is No. 1 on the list.

“Next-gen ransomware will be designed to do damage that is more difficult to recover from in order to force organizations into paying the ransom,” according to Sotnikov in a blog posting.

He added cybercriminals “will also be expanding to new targets, such as operational technology and IoT devices, which may have a much more visible impact on the physical world.”

Cybersecurity Ventures of Northport, N.Y. predicts that every 11 seconds a person or a new organization will get a ransomware attack.

Cloud Security

For those wary of security issues in the ever-expanding Cloud, Sotnikov says they may be right.

“Cloud misconfigurations will be one of the top causes of data breaches. A lack of clear understanding of the shared responsibility model due to the rapid transition to the cloud will backfire in 2021,” according to the Netwrix expert.

Outside IT firms will also be targeted by hackers.

“The shortage of cybersecurity experts will lead more organizations to turn to managed service providers (MSPs). In response, hackers will conduct targeted attacks on MSPs in order to get access to not just one organization but all of the MSP’s customers.” Sotnikov said.

Digital Transformation

Other notable Netwrix predictions:

• The rapid digital transformation in 2020 will have a delayed impact on cybersecurity in 2021.

In 2021, the security gaps caused by the inevitable mistakes during this rapid transition will be exploited, and we will see new data breach patterns like the recent Twitter hacks.

• Proof of value will drive business conversations.

Executives will be looking for specific metrics in order to assess the value delivered by the products and security measures the company is using. The practice of justifying the value of current investments and the necessity of new investments will become more generally accepted.

• Companies will balance cybersecurity and business needs by focusing on risk.

Expectations will shift from the unrealistic notion of ensuring 100% security to determining and meeting acceptable levels of risk and resilience.

Cyber Insurance

Sotnikov has some words of advice for companies that think they can cover everything with insurance.

He said that “those policies will come with their own security standards and requirements, such as regular risk assessment and effective detection and response capabilities.”

Netwrix says it has more than 10,000 clients globally.

The company in October announced that private equity giant TA Associates had completed a majority investment in the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Given the ongoing growth in the global data security market, we see ample new business opportunities for Netwrix,” Harry Taylor, a managing director at TA Associates, said at the time.

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Kevin Costelloe
Kevin Costelloe
Tech reporter at Orange County Business Journal
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