As many organizations fought to reconfigure their workforce to be significantly more home-based last year per the pandemic, the collective threat landscape increased dramatically as well. New research from Forrester describes how security professionals can better reduce risk and furnish a quicker exit out of “pandemic mode” by targeting the following five greatest cyberthreats in 2021:

  • State-sponsored espionage and disinformation: This year, state espionage and disinformation efforts will shift from spreading false narratives around COVID-19 treatment and vaccine research to vaccine distribution, verification, and recovery.
  • Insider threats from job security concerns and weak IAM processes: As the next normal fully takes shape in 2021, the economic uncertainty for enterprises has started to force tough decisions. Concerns over job security and financial woes are two triggers for once-trusted employees to become malicious insiders.
  • Identity theft and account takeover attacks: Forrester estimates that, exacerbated by COVID-19 and the resulting growth in digital interactions, identity theft and account takeover increased by at least 10% to 15% from 2019 to 2020. Anticipate another 8% to 10% increase in identity theft and ATO fraud in 2021.
  • Bots as a service: In 2019, bad bots accounted for 24.1% of all internet traffic, an increase of 18.1% over the previous year (2020 bot data is not currently available), according to Forrester. In 2021, the democratization of bots will provide more miscreants with access to powerful tools to abuse business processes.
  • Attacks against COVID-related mobile apps: Over 50 countries have launched contact tracing COVID apps in 2020. These apps will become extremely attractive targets for miscreants as we struggle to balance safety and privacy in the race to the next normal.

Members of the media can contact to access this research. Forrester Senior Analyst Brian Kime is also available for media interviews to discuss this topic further.