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HP Corporation has issued warnings about an increase in cyber security threats in 2021. The mentioned threats include ransomware operated by humans, attacks spoofing, internal system intrusion vulnerabilities, corporate email attacks and other “whaling attacks” (phishing / cyberattacks directly targeting people in high positions in an organization such as CEOs and managing director).
Warnings are issued by HP’s cybersecurity experts, including: Ms. Julia Voo – Global Cyber Security and Technology Policy Team Leader; Ms. Joanna Burkey – Director of Information Security; Mr. Boris Balacheff – Chief Technology Officer for Security Research and Innovation at HP Labs; Dr. Ian Pratt – Global Director of Personal Systems Security; Mr. Alex Holland – Senior malware analyst, and experts from HP’s Security Advisory Board, including: Ms. Justine Bone – CEO of Medical Security Solutions Company MedSec and Mr. Robert Masse – Partner at Deloitte. Experts and analysts have come up with their predictions for the 2021 cybersecurity outlook.
Weakness in enterprise security will bring many unpredictable internal threats
“The drastic changes in working methods in 2020 and the shift towards flexible working models have been and are challenges for the security system,” said Julia Voo. “The COVID-19 pandemic has weakened the security systems of businesses. Ineffective remote access methods, VPN vulnerabilities and the lack of IT professionals capable of supporting remote working models make enterprise data increasingly insecure ”. Summarizing the first 9 months of 2020, Vietnam ranks 18th on the global website attack map. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, the country saw about 838 attacks, according to security firm CyStack. In the second quarter and third quarter, this number continued to increase by 27.3% and 7.5% respectively over the same period last year.
Boris Balacheff pointed out that the changes from the pandemic are also increasing the pressure on electronic devices at home. “Home appliances gradually became the target of attacks. The increasing intensity of working from home makes cybercriminals redirect to attack personal IoT devices, thereby penetrating enterprise devices on the same system. In addition, when hackers successfully sabotage electronic devices at home, employees will not receive immediate troubleshooting assistance from IT professionals like when working in the office. ”
Man-run ransomware attacks are still a constant threat
Ransomware is becoming the top attack tool of choice for cybercriminals, and this trend will continue to increase over the next year. Mrs. Burkey commented: “Ransomware as a service (Ransomware-as-a-Service) attack is on the rise, at the same time criminals not only hold encrypted data, but also threaten to distribute raw data. ”
According to newly released data, Vietnam recorded more than 143,000 ransomware attacks on computers of small and medium enterprises in 2020. We are also ranked eighth in the world in terms of number of hacked computers. in the second quarter of 2020. “To maximize the impact of an attack, criminals seek to access systems at risk and slowly penetrate deep into the network. Criminal groups use security attack tools to gain control of victim servers. This is often the best blind spot for spreading ransomware, “ Dr. Ian Pratt explains.
This trend is particularly worrisome for those working in the public sector. Mr. Alex Holland said: “The proliferation of ransomware aimed at stealing data before being encrypted will be especially damaging to public institutions – the organizations that store and process identity information for millions of companies. people. Even with ransom paid and all data back, there is no guarantee that criminals will stop selling and monetizing the stolen data.
Email spoofing attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated
In 2021, more sophisticated and difficult to identify phishing methods will emerge, causing users to fall in love. Commenting on this trend, Ms. Justine Bone said: “We will see more attacks on individuals working remotely. In the context of increasing online authentication methods, hackers have more opportunities to participate in digital interactions to trick employees into disclosing their personal information.
“The forms of email fraud will continue to attack the fear of internet users,” said Ms. Voo. Vietnamese enterprises are one of the leading attack targets in Southeast Asia. According to global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, in 2020, their systems prevented 834,993 frauds targeting small and medium-sized companies with 50-250 employees, an increase of 56% over the same period. 2019. “Attacks will hit users’ fear in the current context with topics such as the anti-COVID-19 vaccine, financial worries and political instability related to Translate”.
Hackers will target specific targets in verticals such as healthcare and education
Health and education will be among the verticals with the highest cybersecurity risks in 2021. According to information published at the International Conference – Exhibition “Vietnam Information Security Day 2020”, health and education is currently the two areas most at risk of cyberattacks.
Ms. Bone commented: “The medical industry is the perfect target for cybercriminals: medical organizations are often under-resourced and slow to change and adapt. Education is a similar field and is currently under the radar of criminals. Cyber security threats are also spreading beyond hospitals to attack other critical areas. “In the COVID-19 vaccine development race, pharmaceutical companies and research facilities will face safety risks and threats from criminals around the world,” Masse said.
The Zero Trust security model continues to apply, but needs to be more user-friendly
Security Model Zero Trust (roughly translated “Do not trust anyone”) is not a new concept. In short, the main principle of Zero Trust is not to trust anything inside and outside the network it is using, and at the same time dividing the system by dividing the system to protect important data.
With the proliferation of flexible working models, Zero Trust is becoming increasingly necessary and becoming the optimal solution for businesses. Sharing about this situation, Mr. Pratt said: “Traditional solutions for granting access to corporate networks, applications and internal data are now outdated and no longer suitable for the current working method. Over the past years, the workforce in Vietnam has increasingly worked outside the office and used more cloud computing technology (Software as a Service – SaaS). This means important data is being stored outside the enterprise firewall. It is time for businesses to apply a strict security model like Zero Trust, but in a way that is clearer to users ”.
The COVID-19 pandemic will be the main driving force behind the adoption of the Zero Trust model as well as new advances in this area. “Zero trust is the best security model for working remotely. However, this model needs to be developed in a user-friendly way to facilitate identity management and ensure seamless access. Good authentication methods are a key factor for the model to work properly. That is why technological solutions like biometrics are gradually being integrated into this system in the future ”Ms. Bone confirmed.
A new approach to improving security is needed
Mr. Nguyen Minh Duc, CEO of HP Vietnam shared: “With the rise of remote working methods in the post-COVID-19 world context, businesses need to consider innovating their security systems. Rapidly adopting new hardware technologies and improving security processes are the optimal solutions for businesses to easily adapt to new working models, and face increasing threats of attack ”.
“In 2021, organizations and businesses in Vietnam face major security challenges as cybercrime is expected to increase with more sophisticated methods,” said Duc. In order to deal with attack threats, businesses need a stronger security system, prioritizing building a strong defense system instead of just passively detecting intrusion threats “.
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