Cybersecurity: what to expect in 2021


1/20/2021 4:00 PM

Industry Web

What does 2021 entail for Cybersecurity? We reveal everything you need to know based on the predictions of experts.

Well, 2020 has been a rollercoaster for everyone! Not even the world of cybersecurity was able to escape the year unscathed. At the beginning of the year, no one could predict the specific challenges that lay ahead. Cybersecurity specialists themselves have had their share of struggles including an increasing array of regulations and compliance requirements regarding personal data.

Not only that, but according to The Hacker News, since November 2020, the Healthcare industry experienced a staggering 45% spike in cyber-attacks! A pretty disconcerting fact in the midst of the pandemic.

As an ISO 27001 company, these were hurdles we were more than prepared to tackle. Even with the fickle nature of 2020, 51Degrees continued to maintain, if not innovate, top-notch security for all of the companies we support with our real-time data solutions.

But here we are in 2021, learning from the past and looking ahead with much enthusiasm for the future.

In this blog, we’ll talk about what to expect in 2021 for cybersecurity based on what the industry experts say!

Let’s get to it.

'Due Care' is Imperative

So, what is Due Care? It’s the legal responsibility of avoiding behavior or neglectful actions that could reasonably be predicted as a security threat. To put it simply, it’s the process of determining what is reasonable.

Due Care is growing more and more imperative. And with the Sedona Conference recently releasing “Test for Reasonable Security”, 2021 is the year we will have a crystal-clear definition for reasonable security, according to Chris Cronin, an ISO 27001 Auditor, and Chair of the DoCRA Council.

This will serve as a calculation for regulators, litigators, and legislators. It’s a way to rationalize the security priorities and expenses based on a cost-benefit test.

Increased Email Loads, Increased Vulnerability

This may not come as a surprise considering a large chunk of our population have been working from home, but email usage increased rapidly in 2020 according to Ronan Kavanagh, CEO of the security filtering company, TitanHQ.

Adding to that, a recent study has shown 306.4 billion emails were sent and received within a single day in 2020. It's no wonder emails can become buried in overcrowded inboxes! And that figure is expected to snowball to 361.6 billion come 2024.


Did you know that emails are still the primary delivery method of cyber-attacks, and an increased volume of emails equates to increased risk. According to Ronan Kavanagh, the future is in cloud-based email archiving solutions.

More PCs Sold, More Endpoint Protection Needed

As many folks suddenly found themselves working full time from home, they discovered they needed to upgrade their old consumer-grade PC's'. Microsoft MVP, and Founder and CTO of PolicyPak Software, Jeremy Moskowitz, said that a record-breaking number of Windows PC sales will be reached this 2021.

The challenge here is ensuring that the desktops they deploy will be secure, both physically and virtually. Malware and zero-day attacks will run rampant in 2021, and Moskowitz sees “always-on VPN” solutions as one answer here, being an area that has seen a growth in popularity.

Cybercriminals At Large

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but cybercriminals have taken advantage of the hard times the world has been hit with, with ransomware attacks rapidly increasing. It is predicted that 2021 will bring a second phase of ransomware, according to Erik Leach, CISSP and SCF along with Stephen Lawn, Senior Consultant at Hallock Security Labs.


The early versions of ransomware attacks were cast like a giant net, hoping to catch a victim or two, but now ransomware 2.0 has evolved into a smarter and stronger threat. Its approach is said to be different from the initial versions and is designed to evade conditional security controls. Once this beast gets a hold of a network and finds high-value data, it provides hackers a way to extort cash by threatening to sell data or publicly expose precious information.

Data Security

Here at 51Degrees, security is at the very heart of our company. We pride ourselves in our ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation for information security management, which helps ensure that all data we handle is protected.

Packaged Cybersecurity Education and Training

And lastly, some good news. Cybersecurity and Awareness Training has been in the conversation for a long time now, but 2021 will be the year it will be implemented. Industry expert Danny Kennedy says that the remote-work movement is here to stay.

Remote working comes with vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks as mentioned previously. Packaged Cybersecurity Education and Training will increase in popularity this year as companies seek to ensure the safety of their data and assets. It is said that this is crucial in maintaining Cybersecurity and an hour-long training workshop can make a significant difference in staff awareness in preventing attacks.

What are your thoughts on these predictions? Do you have Cybersecurity predictions of your own? Let us know!