Earlier this month, a US State Department spokeswoman announced that the US had identified three online publications that were attempting to discredit the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, all of which were directed by Russian intelligence. In Forrester’s annual report on top security threats, we explore the top security threats that security professionals must monitor, including how espionage and disinformation campaigns (such as this one) will lengthen the COVID-19 recovery timeline. Many surveys have shown double-digit drops in the share of a country’s population willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. False narratives around vaccine safety and efficacy appear to be reducing trust in vaccine science.

Forrester’s security and risk team publishes this report annually, so in addition to publishing the top threats for 2021, we also wanted to look back at our predictions for 2020 cyberthreats. No one could have predicted how the year 2020 would have changed the world and cybersecurity specifically, but some of the threats identified in our 2020 report had a huge impact on the industry. For instance, one of our 2020 top cyberthreats was ransomware. This prediction proved true, as ransomware continued to cause havoc among organizations in the public and private sectors in 2020. What is noteworthy is that in 2020, we also saw a shift from hackers merely holding data hostage to leaking sensitive information when the victim refuses to pay.

One of the biggest and most significant cybersecurity events in 2020 was the SolarWinds breach. While we did not predict this type of supply chain threat in our 2020 report, the scope and sophistication of this attack highlights the continued unpredictability of cyberthreats.

In addition to our prediction around state-sponsored disinformation, this year’s top cybersecurity threats include insider theft, account takeover, and bot-related attacks as the top cyberthreats to watch out for in 2021.

To use our guidance on the 2021 threat landscape to help your organization prepare for the next 12 months, check out our new report, “Top Cybersecurity Threats In 2021.”