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Remote Work Solutions and Cloud Systems Vulnerable to Attacks in 2021

December 16, 2020

By Laura Stotler, Business VoIP Contributing Editor

Remote work software, home networks and cloud systems will be key targets for a new wave of predicted security attacks in 2021, according to Trend Micro. The cloud security company's "Turning the Tide" report forecasts cybercriminals will use home networks to launch more complex attacks on corporate IT and IoT networks.

The greatest threat will be to end users who routinely access sensitive data. This could include human resources personnel who access employee data, financial executives and sales managers who handle customer information. The attacks will most likely exploit vulnerabilities in online collaboration solutions after they are disclosed.

“As we begin to enter a post-pandemic world, the trend for remote working is likely going to stick for many organizations," said Tony Lee, head of consulting, Hong Kong and Macau, at Trend Micro. "We predict more aggressive attacks to target corporate data and networks. 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.”

Trend Micro predicts cybercrime models will continue to grow, and security teams will be required to revise home policies and protections. Hybrid environments, in which work and personal information reside on a single machine, will be especially vulnerable. The company forecasts a zero-trust approach will be required to secure increasingly distributed and remote workforces.

Other vulnerable areas include exposed APIs, which could provide access to source code, back-end services and customer data. Cloud systems will also continue to be threatened next year, due to misconfigurations as well as from cybercriminals using cloud servers to deploy malicious container images.

The best way to mitigate the new wave of threats, according to Trend Micro, will be to provide user education and training as well as expand corporate security practices to the home. That includes not using personal devices for work purposes. Businesses should also maintain strict access controls for the home office as well as corporate networks, with zero-trust policies in place.

Additional security measures include instituting best practice security and patch management programs. Organizations may also augment threat detection with additional security expertise in an effort to protect cloud workloads and servers as well as emails, endpoints and networks.

Edited by Maurice Nagle



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