Remote risks. Top cyber threats of 2021

A 2021 forecast for safety and cybercriminal attack vectors has been published by Trend Micro.
A major change to remote jobs and the use of home appliances for business activities will be correlated with cybersecurity challenges in 2021. Medical infrastructure and cloud services assaults can also become a significant concern. Trend Micro introduced this prediction.

Why places should be secured against hackers?
According to an analysis by antivirus vendor McAfee and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, hacker attacks led the world economy to be worth a trillion dollars or one percent of global GDP in 2020, 50 percent more than two years ago (CSIS).

The most popular cyber attacks are applications that before the ransom is paid, block access to data on computers.

Phishing programs that allow criminals to access target emails, spyware that capture sensitive data, and viruses in which hackers gain access to cryptography are other forms of viruses that have become increasingly common in recent years.

On December 8, the Japanese cybersecurity firm Trend Micro published a Turning the Tide study claiming that teleworking will be a significant cause of the rise of cybercrime in 2021.

The truth is that classified business information and in general, corporate networks, which are typically secured by intrusion prevention systems and firewalls, connect with workers’ home computers while operating outside the workplace, which do not have such security.

The very combination of job and personal data on one computer is often considered a concern by experts. This condition becomes a barrier to identifying and combating infection.

Hackers will obtain access to their subordinates’ computers and the business network as a whole, having broken into one of the company’s employees’ PCs.

image source: shutterstock

Stealing confidential corporate data from the user’s home computer will also become easier in such conditions. Among other things, the risks are increased by using the services of home Internet providers with insufficiently secured routers and other devices.

All users in such systems will have limited access to corporate information. Users will have to constantly confirm their access data, and their activity will be analyzed all the time.

All users in such systems will have limited access to corporate information. Users will have to constantly confirm their access data, and their activity will be analyzed all the time.

Also among the main cyber threats of 2021, Trend Micro names phishing emails that mention COVID-19, using users’ fear of disease.

Medicine has become another trend in cybercrime. We are talking about attacks related to the spread of telemedicine, and the exploitation of possible weaknesses in IT systems of medical institutions, and medical espionage, especially attempts to obtain data on developments related to the fight against the pandemic.

According to the authors of the report, in 2021, new vulnerabilities in software and cloud services for remote work will be discovered.

This is due to the widespread use of such tools, and therefore both researchers and attackers will actively look for weak points in them. According to experts, it is cloud services that store confidential information, including corporate information, that will be at the center of modern attacks by criminals.

Late last month, Trend Micro teamed up with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and Europol to release a report on the Malicious Use and Abuse of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

It explores how fraudsters use AI and how they can be dealt with.

Deepfake technology has become popular, when fake photographs and videos based on real images are used as compromising material for extortion. Also, this tool is used to forge documents, spread disinformation and manipulate public opinion.

Besides, with the help of AI, according to analysts, the efficiency of password guessing increases. Hacking CAPTCHAs using AI is used to bypass the protection during an automated attack on a particular system.

Another potential application for artificial intelligence is analyzing large amounts of information in order to get hold of phone or credit card numbers.

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Moreover, the systems can analyze not only plain text, but also images containing text or video. As a result, criminals will have a powerful tool to search for documents and, for example, personal data of employees on the company’s server.

AI systems will also be used for financial fraud. This includes manipulations in the stock market – for example, algorithmic trading systems can be hacked with the help of AI.

With the proliferation of the Internet of Things and an increasing number of gadgets connected to the Internet, attackers using AI systems will hack into devices and use them to collect data or send them certain commands. It can also be about tricking voice assistants using AI to carry out the commands of the scammers.