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Key Cybersecurity Trends You Need To Keep An Eye On In 2021

Due to the increasing number of data breaches, the security teams are pressed to gain visibility of enterprise and customer data across networks, emails, endpoints, servers, cloud workloads, and applications.

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Cybersecurity has long been a source of concern for organizations around the world. But with the ever-changing cyber threat landscape, cybersecurity needs to constantly evolve as well. The Covid-19 pandemic has put further pressure on cybersecurity professionals.

The security teams were already challenged to keep up with changing IT landscape. The pandemic has only made the job tougher for them. It has disrupted businesses and global economies thereby stretching technologies to their limits and creating numerous vulnerabilities that can be targeted by hackers.

The massive adoption of remote work and accelerated business initiatives have further the security risks. Data is being used in more places. Applications and APIs are expanding to make businesses more accessible. Cloud makes critical applications accessible to a wide range of attackers.

As companies slowly adapt to the new normal, having knowledge about some key cybersecurity trends can help businesses navigate 2021 better. Let’s use this article to discuss the same.

Increasing Cyber Threats Cybercrime damages are expected to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. In 2020, data breaches were as difficult to stop as Covid-19. A recent report from Risk Based Security highlighted that a staggering 36 billion records were exposed to data breaches in 2020. Along with many notable data breaches, wealso witnessed a massive Twitter breach in 2020 that targeted 130 accounts, including those of many high-profile celebrities.In December, another highly-sophisticated hackhit the Pentagon, many US agencies, nuclear labs, and Fortune 500 companies. All such instances have put cybersecurity back into the daily discussion.

This alarming rise in the frequency of cyberattacks calls for improved security measures and innovation in cybersecurity.

Key Cybersecurity Trends for 2021

Here are the top cybersecurity trends that could dominate 2021.

Cybersecurity Mesh As per Gartner, cybersecurity mesh is among the top strategic technology trends for 2021.Gartner describes cybersecurity mesh as "a distributed architectural approach to scalable, flexible, and reliable cybersecurity control."

A cybersecurity mesh involves designing an IT security infrastructure that focuses on establishing smaller, individual perimeters around all nodes of an IT network instead of a single perimeter.

Using a cybersecurity mesh, one can get to any digital security asset irrespective of its location.It, therefore, allows only authorized parties to work with given materials regardless of where it’s located.

The rise of the remote workforce and cloud technology has made it necessary to secure company assets located remotely. Cybersecurity mesh can assist organizations to cover the resources beyond the company's border.

AI Integration

As per market research firm, MarketsandMarkets, the market for artificial intelligence (AI) in the cybersecurity industry is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23.3% to reach a valuation of USD 38.2 billion by the year 2026.

AI is expected to be used extensively in -

o Building automated security systems

o Identifying and prioritizing risks

o Automatically detecting threats

o Instantly spotting any malware

o Detecting intrusions before they start

AI-powered threat detection systems are capable of predicting new attacks and notifying admins of any data breach.AI allows cybersecurity teams to form powerful machine-human partnerships that drive cybersecurity growth.

Cloud-Based Security Threats

During the pandemic, cloud computing emerged as an ally for enterprises. It allowed business continuity by supporting remote work and online collaboration. As per a report, the global cloud services market was valued at USD 264.8 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow up to USD 927.5 billion by 2027!

But the rapid cloud migration during the pandemic has led to a whole new set of security threats and challenges. In 2021 and the years ahead, cloud-based threats like misconfigured cloud storage, incomplete data deletion, reduced visibility, and vulnerable cloud-apps will continue to disrupt businesses. Read: Keeping Security at The Center of Your Cloud Strategy

Extended Detection and Response (XDR)

Gartner explains extended detection and response (XDR) as "a SaaS-based, vendor-specific, security threat detection and incident response tool that natively integrates multiple security products into a cohesive security operations system that unifies all licensed components."

Due to the increasing number of data breaches, the security teams are pressed to gain visibility of enterprise and customer data across networks, emails, endpoints, servers, cloud workloads, and applications.

XDR can enable enterprises to provide a holistic and simpler view of threats across the entire technology landscape. It can deliver the following primary advantages -

o Improved detection, protection, and response capabilities

o Enhanced productivity of security personnel

o Lower cost of ownership for effective detection and response to security threats

o Consolidated view of multiple products in a cohesive, unified security incident detection and response platform

XDR is expected to gain momentum as it can automatically collect data from multiple endpoints and correlate them to allow faster threat detection and incident response.

Automation in Security Processes As per Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be a massive 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021.Due to such a lack of experienced security personnel, organizations are going to increasingly rely on security process automation.

These automation tools eliminate repetitive security operations and automate them on the basis of a few pre-established rules and procedures. This enables performing security tasks quickly, effectively, and with fewer errors.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought remote working culture to the mainstream. This has caused a shift in the network security model from a LAN-based appliance model to a cloud-native security service model. This is the reason why SASE is expected to be prominent in 2021.

The SASE technology enables organizations to secure remote-based workforce and cloud applications by routing the network traffic through a cloud-based security stack.


When it comes to cybersecurity, organizations need to be proactive rather than reactive. They need to become flexible and nimble in adopting emerging cybersecurity trends to secure their critical assets.

Considering the importance of infrastructure security, it makes sense for organizations to start putting strong cybersecurity measures in place.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Anurag Sinha

Co-founder and Managing Director at Wissen Technology

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