Cybersecurity Trends In The Post-Pandemic Business World

August 29, 2022
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

The Post Pandemic era came with lots of relief for people across different parts of the world. For instance, people could move freely again and build relationships with others. Businesses also resumed their usual day-to-day activities. But the trend in cybersecurity shifted, as there were new concerns for businesses that would previously only rely on the pros and cons of VPN.

Because many companies implemented large-scale remote access architectures and increased cloud adoption and cloud-delivery services such as SASE, there was a high and intense attack targeted at crippling companies that relied heavily on online services. As a result, most IT teams needed to adjust practices and systems to support massive and secure remote work for businesses that could be sustained from various locations at the time.

Different companies deployed emerging SASE solutions to unify network and network security into a single cloud service offering much-needed connectivity and edge-to-edge security.

What is SASE?

A standard SASE definition is a network security architecture that combines multiple cloud-native security functions such as WAN core capabilities (SDWAN) with Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Firewall as a Service (FWaaS), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). In addition, zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) serves as secure support for the access needs of organizations.

These features and capabilities are mainly unified into a single solution and delivered as a service (aaS) based on an entity’s identity, security/compliance policies, and real-time context.

SASE is a concept first popularized by Gartner analysts in 2019 and pronounced “sassy.” It can identify sensitive data or malware and decrypt contents at line speed while ensuring constant session monitoring for trust levels and risks.

The model is a reaction to the challenges faced by most traditional network security models in meeting up to the emergence of edge-centric trends in cloud, mobility, IoT, and SD-WAN.

Cybersecurity is a fast-paced sector with security providers and hackers struggling to outwit each other. Hence, new innovative ways to fight attacks on data continue to surface. Here are cybersecurity trends in the post-pandemic business world.

1. Data Privacy as a Discipline

A leading data security trend is the growth in data privacy as a discipline in its own right. For example, the pandemic era saw a surge in high-profile attacks that led to millions of data leaks and personally identifiable information records (PII).

As a measure to control data privacy, countries around the world introduced strict data laws such as the EU’s GDPR. Companies that fall short of the rules and regulations required to uphold data security and minimize data risks are liable to face fines, bad publicity, and lose consumer trust. The issue of data privacy concerns every aspect of an organization; hence they are more courteous about recruiting data privacy officers and ensuring complete access control, network segmentation, multi-factor authentication, external assessments to reveal aspects that need improvement, and data encryption.

2. The Evolving IoT Creating More Opportunities

The steady evolving and increasing nature of the Internet of Things open more potential cyber-attack opportunities. The Internet of Things or IoT refers to physical devices with software features, sensors, processing capabilities, and other technology that interconnects and transfers data among systems and devices, usually leveraging available networks or the internet. IoT device types include smartwatches, fitness trackers, voice assistants, and smart refrigerators.

Over 25.4 billion is an estimated 2030 projection for IoT devices installed worldwide. By 2025, it is estimated that at least 152,200 IoT devices will be connecting to the internet every minute – an increase impacted by remote work.

Introducing lots of extra devices changes the size and dynamics of what is known as the ‘cyber-attack surface.’ The cyber attack surface, also attack surface, is the number of entry points accessible to hackers and cyber attackers to use sensitive data. In addition, unlike smartphones and laptops, many IoT devices cannot be safeguarded with antivirus, firewalls, and others that do not have so much storage and processing capacity. This can make it harder to utilize firewalls, antivirus, and other security applications to safeguard them.

3. Increased Threats To Cloud Security and Cloud Services

The issue of cloud vulnerability continues to be a significant cyber security trend. The quick approach to embracing remote work during the heat of the pandemic heightened the dire need for cloud-based services and infrastructure. Also, it introduced new security implications for enterprise data.

Cloud services come with a wide array of benefits, and they include cost-effectiveness, efficiency, scalability, and speed. But cyberthugs also see it as a fertile point for carrying out different forms of attacks. Misconfigured cloud settings constitute a significant avenue for the possibility of these attacks being successful. Therefore, organizations must ensure to minimize the high cost of a data breach.

Other network security trends and cloud security challenges serving as a challenge to many organizations include:

  • Receiving adequate IT support to handle the requirements of cloud computing.
  • Guaranteeing strict compliance with regulations across jurisdictions.
  • Cloud migration issues.
  • Potential insider threats may be intentional or accidental and may be caused by deploying weak passwords, mishandling personal devices, unsecured networks, and unauthorized remote access.
  • Dealing with more potential attack surfaces.

4. More Sophisticated Social Engineering Attacks

Smarter social engineering attacks are taking advantage of loopholes in remote work systems. Many attackers find it easy to target employees connecting to their employers from remote locations. In addition, there are phishing attacks targeted at employees and a rise in whaling attacks targeted at top company executives.

Whaling attacks are highly targeted phishing attacks presented as legitimate emails and developed to steal information from top executives in an organization. Having a DMARC record enables will considerably decrease the chances of falling into these types of attacks. There is also SMS phishing gaining lots of popularity nowadays. The attack leverages popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Skype, WeChat, Slack, and Signal. They use these platforms to trick users into downloading malware into their devices.

Voice phishing is also becoming a popular form of attack. It became prominent during Twitter’s 2020 attack. The hackers posed as IT staff and called a customer service representative from who they successfully got access to a vital internal tool. Many large corporations and financial institutions are primarily targeted using ‘vishing’ methods.

SIM jacking is another form of attack. An attacker using the SIM jacking approach will call a mobile operator customer representative and try to convince them that their SIM has been hacked. Once they can deceive the customer rep successfully, a procedure will be carried out to transfer the phone number to a different card, giving the attacker access to the digital contents of the target’s phone.

Despite the increasingly sophisticated cyber security strategy implemented by many companies, cybercriminals are constantly trying new ways to gain access to enterprise resources.

5. Multi-factor Authentication Enhanced

Multi-factor authentication (MFA is one of the most reliable forms of authentication. However, cyber thugs are still finding new ways to break through its walls. This security system may also be known as Two-Factor Authentication. It is an electronic authentication method in which user access to resources is granted after they have successfully passed two or more verification processes.

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