2020 was a year like no other. It will go down in history for many things, but all pale in the face of the upheaval caused by the worst public health crisis of the century.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought upside down in our lives, revealing how fragile we are collectively and leading many of us to lose any sense of control we had until then in our lives. As we move into the new year, the world remains steadfast at the mercy of the coronavirus, making predictions for the future more difficult than ever.
It is certain that 2021 will also reveal how much our daily life is inextricably linked to technology.
Social alienation has become a way of life, keeping us confined to our homes all day and overturning many of our plans. As a result, we are constantly connected and technology is now more than ever a part of modern life.
This includes the work sector, where some trends are now moving too fast amid the inevitable strong need for remote work. This change has created the ultimate storm of challenges in cybersecurity, as organizations and the workforce have to swim (or sink) in the largely unknown waters of remote work.
It is therefore natural that a section of this year's ESET Cybersecurity Trends 2021 report on cybersecurity trends for the new year should look at the potentially indelible mark left by the pandemic, not only on our work habits but also on the thousands of risks faced by organizations and their employees in cyberspace.
Elsewhere in ESET's Cybersecurity Trends 2021 report, another notable trend is the escalation of the ransomware threat. Certainly, this form of malware has been a strong threat for many years. However, ransomware makers continue to look for new ways to increase their "return on investment," including developing new tactics that tighten the noose around victims.
"We wonder if the latest chapters in the evolution of this type of malware could justify even changing the term 'ransomware'," says Tomáš Foltýn, ecurity writer at ESET.
Of course, there have been other notable developments in the malware scene. The so-called "live-off-the-land" techniques, which exploit the legitimate tools and processes of an operating system and exploit them for malicious purposes, are nothing new.
However, they have evolved more recently and have, as evidenced by ESET researchers, developed into advanced campaigns against various high-profile targets.
Finally, we look at another trend to look out for - the new chapters in the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution. At a time when all objects are connected to the internet, sex toys that are connected to the internet are also looking for a place in the sun. Again, this trend is not entirely new, but it does not make it any less worrying.
With IoT applications come huge challenges to privacy and security, and these take on a whole new meaning when vulnerable sex toys connected to the internet come to the fore. As ESET research has shown, there are several gaps in the security and privacy characteristics of smart adult toys, highlighting the generally dangerous situation in the IoT area.
There is a lot more information that can be drawn from this year's edition of the report on cyber security trends. The pandemic has cast a heavy shadow over society, but if there is one good thing that comes out of the crisis, it is that valuable lessons can also be learned from it.
Among them, we must remember that diligence, vigilance and knowledge are powerful tools that allow "immunity" against various types of threats.