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Top Cybersecurity Trends in 2021: Is Your Business Prepared?

Top Cybersecurity Trends in 2021: Is Your Business Prepared?

Data privacy is a critical aspect of every organization, and the last few years have revealed an increased need for more effective security infrastructures as cybercrime continues to rise.

This is especially true as cybercriminals  grow more sophisticated when it comes to how they plan and execute their attacks. 2021 has revealed some major trends that businesses will need to be aware of in order to avoid these cyberattacks. Take a look at some recent data that illustrates the state of cybersecurity and data theft today:

  1. The total cost of a data breach in America was $8.64 million[1]  in 2020.
  2. The average cost of a ransomware attack in 2020 was $4.44 million.
  3. There has been a 24% increase in the number of data breaches caused by malicious attacks since 2014.
  4. Ransomware and destructive malware breaches cost more than the average malicious attack in 2020.
  5. The average cost of destructive malware attacks in 2020 was $4.52 million.
  6. Security system complexity increased the average cost of a data breach by $292,000 in 2020.
  7. 16% of malicious data breaches in 2020 were caused by a vulnerability in third-party software.
  8. Across all industries, it took an average of 280 days to identify and contain a data breach in 2020.
  9. In 2020, data breach costs took up 39% of an organization’s budget more than a year after the breach.
  10. Cybercriminals sell access to organizations’ key systems for an average of $3,139[2] , and systems have been sold for up to $140,000.

Clearly, the threat landscape has only continued to grow in 2021, and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. To help your organization understand what cybersecurity issues pose the most risk in 2021 and beyond, here are the top trends and what you can do to equip your business with the proper defenses.

Remote Work Threats

An increase in cyber attacks is common in times of crisis, and COVID-19 is no exception: shifting to a remote workforce has increased the cost of a data breach by $137,000. Many organizations found themselves rapidly shifting to a remote workforce as the pandemic continued to plague the globe, and for many, this involved unplanned data migrations to support new remote teams. In the frenzy to keep business running as usual, many organizations ignored typical security measures that should have been in place for such a massive shift in operations. This created new vulnerabilities for cybercriminals to take advantage of.


Ransomware attacks certainly aren’t a new phenomenon, but they’ve gained more traction in the last few years. Today, this type of attack cost more than the average data breach in 2020. Ransomware attacks threaten to steal and compromise sensitive organizational data, and the bouncing back from this type of attack is a major economic setback as companies pay the expenses of recovering compromised data.

Threats from Artificial Intelligence

AI and machine learning are increasingly growing in sophistication and capability, and are more commonly being used to support automated security systems that provide stronger defenses than human efforts alone. However, criminal networks are also taking advantage of the integration of AI and using it to automate their attacks. 2021 has revealed an increase in criminals using data-poisoning and model-stealing techniques to accomplish their cyber attacks.

These are only a few of many emerging cybersecurity threats that are compromising organizational data across all industries. To survive in 2021 and beyond, companies will need to come to terms with the fact that security is no longer an optional investment if they want to keep their business safe from cybercriminals. For deeper insights into what trends are shaping the future of cybersecurity across the globe, check out the visual below.

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