The events of 2020 hastened the adoption of the work-from-home model and will continue to impact business operations and working environments for at least the foreseeable future. This new way of working would not be possible without technology. In addition to increasing our reliance on technological systems and digital transactions, the shift away from the traditional office model also has increased the prevalence of digital threats against systems, organizations and employees. Moving entire workforces and systems to a virtual space has produced many challenges and vulnerabilities, resulting in a significant rise in the number and frequency of cyberattacks. To limit exposure and minimize the potential of future attacks, it is valuable to recognize the top cyberthreat trends and gain a better understanding of the importance of securing systems and adopting best practices.


  1. Growing Prevalence of Attacks Due to Weak Systems and Untrained Individuals 

Remote working has drastically changed the way that businesses and individuals behave. With organizations shifting to the work-from-home model, threat actors have taken advantage of vulnerable networks. Changing circumstances have resulted in the exploitation of those that are most susceptible. As a result, cybercrime continues to drastically increase because organizations and individuals lack the training and knowledge of the best practices to protect against potential cyberattacks. Basic cybersecurity is becoming increasingly vital because, if successful, cybercriminals can steal funds as well as valuable intellectual property. Cyberthreats have gained prevalence due to an increased number of access points readily available to intruders as well as the fact that many individuals and organizations lack the required security measures and knowledge necessary to protect against exposure.


  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 

Developments in artificial intelligence (AI) help under-resourced security teams gain an advantage against potential cyberthreats. The analysis of massive quantities of associated risk data from both structured and unstructured resources provides advantages in threat intelligence that can reduce the time that a security team needs to make decisions in response to potential threats. Therefore, artificial intelligence and machine learning are quickly maturing and becoming technological systems with limitless applications that serve as advantageous resources to organizations. The hyper-automation of businesses through the use of machine learning and AI systems helps human security analysts separate urgent alerts from a large set of data. With correct application, sophisticated AI systems can help mitigate against potential cyberattacks and threats. However, there are concerns that arise because the same systems that can identify and stop cyberattacks also can be used by hackers to launch very sophisticated attacks in the form of malicious software.


  1. IoT Risks 

IoT, or Internet of Things, is the term that is used to explain the interconnectivity of multiple objects and devices through the internet. The prevalence of IoT continues to expand as devices and systems that rely on the internet are now integrated into almost all aspects of everyday life and business transactions. As more IoT devices are adopted, critical infrastructures such as health care, automotive and shipping have transformed, which has boosted productivity and innovation. However, IoT presents several risks that are coupled with a lack of visibility and secure surveillance. As a result, cyberthreats have increased among individuals and organizations. Designs that are not secure are making the wide adoption of IoT an advantageous opportunity for cyberattackers. A single threat or hack could disrupt an entire network or a cyberattacker could gain valuable or secure information because the IoT houses sensitive information. An adaptation of interconnectivity is advantageous in increasing efficiency and productivity; however, it comes with associated risks and increases exposure to potential cyberthreats.


  1. Vulnerabilities Along the Supply Chain 

Cyberthreats along the supply chain occur when a third-party attacker enters your system through an outside access point and then gains entry into a system. Because the supply chain within an organization is multidimensional, there are several points of entry where an outsider can access a system’s data. Securing networks along the supply chain requires that people and processes are effectively managed and regulated in order to secure the structure of an organization. Creating an environment that is adaptive and adequate protects all points of entry and will prove advantageous in protecting against cyberthreats. An organization is only as strong as its weakest link (or supplier). Thus, to protect an entire system, each distributor must be assessed to limit vulnerabilities.


  1. Value of Effective Educational Programs 

Basic cybersecurity literacy is becoming increasingly vital in both the private and public sector. There has been a growing call from the White House, Congress and industry groups to put in place cybersecurity best practices to curtail the growing number of cyberthreats facing organizations and businesses. Therefore, enrolling in specific cybersecurity programs that cover topics such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and supply chain security will be advantageous in mitigating cyberthreats. Understanding the risks of emerging technologies will help both individuals and organizations better understand the multifaceted cyberthreats facing organizations. Additionally, there are many benefits to enrolling in educational programs that will allow you to apply innovative thinking to your work and provide you with a toolbox to tackle cyberthreats.


IDB Cybersecurity Offerings 

Interested in learning more about preventing and mitigating cyberthreats? IU-IDB Cyber Risk Management in a National Security Context is a specific program offered through the Institute for Defense and Business that allows participants to better understand the cyberthreat facing the public and private sectors so they can learn best practices for managing risk exposure.


About IDB

The Institute for Defense and Business (IDB) delivers educational programs and research to teach, challenge and inspire leaders who work with and within the defense enterprise to achieve next-level results for their organization. IDB features curriculum in Logistics, Supply Chain and Life Cycle Management, Complex Industrial Leadership, Strategic Studies, Global Business and Defense Studies, Continuous Process Improvement, and Stabilization and Economic Reconstruction. Visit or contact us on our website for more information.