With the financial industry predicted to be among the business sectors most impacted by cybersecurity threats in 2021, here are five trends you need to know.
1. Shoring up vulnerabilities in legacy IT infrastructures
In 2021, remote work is expected to gain traction as a viable workplace alternative. A survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers found more than half of respondents (54%) plan to make it a permanent option for roles that allow it. Now is the time for CPA firms to prepare their technology infrastructures for the challenges that lie ahead; adapting their network architectures to support hybrid workplaces and protect against and emerging vulnerabilities.
2. The growing threat of ransomware attacks
Statistics gathered by Forbes reveal the magnitude of the threat. Almost 200 million ransomware attacks occurred in the first nine months of 2020, representing a significant increase over the previous year. Ransomware payments also rose sharply in Q3 2020, averaging $233,817; a startling 468% increase over Q3 2019.
Going forward, half of surveyed information security professionals do not believe their organizations are prepared to repel a ransomware attack, according to online media outlet Help Net Security. Adding to this, 75% of companies infected with ransomware were running up-to-date endpoint protection. Which leads to the third trend you need to know.
3. Security awareness education and training
A reported 90% of data breaches are the result of human error, often caused by a hack known as social engineering that manipulates people into performing an action or divulging confidential information for the purpose of fraud or system access. Phishing attacks are one example.
It’s never been more important to create a cyber-secure workplace culture. The process begins by making cybersecurity awareness and education part of the onboarding process. It continues with regular, ongoing training to keep employees on their toes with cybersecurity top of mind.
4. The evolution of multi-factor authentication
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is considered the gold standard for security enhancements by IT and security professionals. Today, it is seeing a growing role in supporting enterprise mobility by allowing remote employees to easily and securely access the resources they need without being tied to the office.
5. Ensuring a secure cloud infrastructure
The best the solution to protect your firm from the new vulnerabilities of 2021 is a fully hosted and managed cloud solution that provides a secure, reliable and remote alternative to legacy on-site data centers and IT infrastructures. Hosted by a third-party or external provider, other advantages can include compliancy, scalability and ease of implementation.
Christophe Réglat is president and CEO of Coaxis, an endorsed program for the FICPA. Coaxis provides CPA firms with a fully-hosted and managed network solution designed to remove the complexities of federal and industry compliances, curb the demands of maintaining an IT infrastructure, and greatly minimize the threat of cybercrime. For more information, call (850) 391-1022 or email email@example.com.