2020 was a challenging year with a lot of lessons to learn. Health safety and data protection are only some of them, however, most companies are quite aware of both of the necessities. In 2021, health safety and cybersecurity will still be the top priorities that are directly interconnected, and that’s why the companies will take more strategic steps in response to the emerging data security trends.

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Below are some of the data protection practices that will form the cybersecurity landscape this year. 

1. Business Data Protection in a Work-From-Home Era

The dramatic switch to remote working instantly caught the attention of scammers and hackers around the world. The pandemic has impacted not only public health but also the security of business data.

Most remote employees use personal devices to work from home, which means that protecting business data is becoming one of the new and extremely important cybersecurity trends of 2021. In response to growing threats, companies are starting to use technologies for data encryption, Internet connection, and remote access protection, two-factor authentication, plus various applications to prevent virus infections and stealing passwords. A lot of companies also decide to build a secure chat app to protect internal communication. 

2. Insider Threats vs Employees’ Loyalty

However, the use of the technologies above is not enough to prevent the threat of insider data leakage. Unfortunately, many companies have lost the loyalty of their employees in the era of the pandemic, as they were forced to fire people in order to save money and re-assign work tasks to those who remained in a team. Therefore, it is not surprising that insider attacks are the second most important trends in cybersecurity.

What’s more, the only way to deal with this threat is beyond the capabilities of technology, as it lies in the realm of human relations. Loyal employees will always protect business data and its sensitive information in return for being treated with dignity.

3. A More Strategic Approach for Dealing With Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks are not new cybersecurity issues. However, they are on the particular rise during a pandemic because of the unemployment surge and other financial problems. 71% of data breaches in 2020 were financially motivated, and ransomware attack is the easiest way to get money from a company that’s afraid to lose all its data in one click. 

Thus, in 2021, companies will approach ransomware attack protection more strategically. According to a more advanced security strategy, they will combine educating their employees with artificial intelligence-powered tools for data protection, as well as pay more attention to email security, immune data backups, and competent incident response planning. 

However, there is one more latest cybersecurity trend. According to cybersecurity experts, in 2021 ransomware payouts will go underground since the Treasury Department threatened to fine companies that would agree to hackers’ terms. However, experts believe that the value of the blocked data will exceed the potential losses due to the fine, so companies will continue to pay cybercriminals and will remain silent about it.

4. Systematic Usage of AI-Powered Fraud Prevention and Detection Tools

The data theft threat has affected many business sectors this year. Much of the scammers’ attention was directed to:

  • the sphere of online trading, since most of the merchants moved online, and physical stores were closed for a long time,
  • fintech sphere – for the above reason, plus the use of cash has become an unsafe practice
  • the medical field, which barely survived the global surge of coronavirus, but has been enriched with both valuable practices and valuable personal data of patients.

The number of fraudulent attempts has increased in response to the increased volume of transactions and generated data, but fortunately, artificial intelligence is able to cope with huge amounts of information. Therefore, the use of AI solutions aimed at the deep analysis of data, identifying fraudulent patterns of behavior, and other anomalies, as well as preventing illegal attempts to take over data will become almost ubiquitous across the industries above.

5. Automated Vehicles Anti-Hacking Protection

2021 is the year of self-driving vehicles, according to Forbes. The development of such innovations was largely triggered by the recent pandemic and the need for contactless delivery provoked by it. Also, Tesla is going to sell the subscription to a self-driving system already this year. 

However, new technologies rarely come without information security gaps, so the issue of protecting such vehicles becomes relevant. For example, the US authorities are working on a new law that will regulate self-driving cars and keep the issue of their cybersecurity in focus. 

6. Well-Known Smartphones Protection Tools Will Still Be Relevant

In response to the growing volume of online deals and financial transactions made with smartphones, hackers begin to perceive mobile devices as a lucrative target for infecting and hacking. 

Fortunately, the main advice of security professionals on the ways users may protect themselves doesn’t change – one should download apps from official stores only, use anti-virus tools for mobiles, use two-factor authentication when making financial transactions, don’t use the insecure internet connection, and have different passwords for different apps and accounts. 

7. New Data Security Regulations for  IoT within 5G

The Internet of Things will develop quite rapidly under the influence of 5G infrastructure deployment, gradually turning into the Internet of Everything, and thereby opening up even more holes for fraudsters to intercept control and management, and to steal data.

Right now, data security in the Internet of Things remains one of the top cybersecurity trends, and the cat and mouse game is getting more intense every year. In response to widespread concerns about the safety of IoT devices, ex-President D.Trump signed the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020. It sets out the basic security standards in this area that will be implemented in IoT devices released in  2021.

8. Private Data Security

Most users have already come to terms with the fact that their data is collected, analyzed, and stored, mainly for marketing purposes. In 2021, user focus will shift to how companies use this data, and ethical use will become a priority. For example, the recent incident with Whatsapp that kindly shared their users’ data with Facebook, became an anti-ethical data usage example. 

In contrast, users expect fair practices and transparency because they understand that data collection is inevitable, but ethical use is still possible. In response to this user expectation, ethical companies will revise their policies and clarify these issues in 2021.


There is no digital transformation without cybersecurity challenges, and the most issues companies and private users will face in 2021, are pandemic-related. Companies that can not only protect their data and the data of their users but also manage this information ethically have the best chances of living through the current economic and social crisis.

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