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2021 prediction: Global data breaches caused by insiders will rise to 33%

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·Head of Yahoo Finance UK
·2 min read
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Cyber crime, A hacker using a virus to attack software. Photo: Getty
Cyber crime, A hacker using a virus to attack software. Photo: Getty

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is forcing the world more online — and with that, the rise in cybersecurity threats and breaches.

But according to global research and consultancy firm Forrester, a lot of these breaches aren’t malicious in nature. In fact, a bulk come from accidental or unintentional data misuse by workers themselves.

In its new report, it predicts that 33% of data breaches will be caused by insider incidents in 2021, up from 25% as of today.

“Insider incidents may be caused by accidental or inadvertent data misuse or due to malicious intent. In 2019, Forrester security survey respondents indicated that 25% of data breaches were caused by internal incidents of this nature,” it said in the report.

“The rapid push of users to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, fear of job loss, and the ease with which data can be moved will lead to an increase of insider incidents from 25% today to 33% in 2021. As firms add capabilities for detecting insider threats, they will also be able to identify and attribute more incidents to insider activity than they were previously.

“Give specific focus to insider threat defense, emphasize employee experience to avoid turning employees into malicious insiders, and remember that trust is not a control.”

WATCH: Ransomware attacks on the rise: Should companies and organisations pay?

Even though news of Germany’s BioNTech (BNTX) and its US pharma partner Pfizer (PFE) announced on that their vaccine candidate is more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, the world is unlikely to be opened up and “back to normal” any time soon.

Companies around the world will still have to safeguard themselves from digital risk and Forrester predicts that funding for non-US headquartered cybersecurity companies will increase by 20%.

“[Venture capitalist] funding for cybersecurity firms globally reached dizzying heights before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, as firms raised $11.7bn (£8.9bn) in 2019, with only $4.3bn raised outside of the US. While funding has dipped this year due to the pandemic, Forrester expects funding for non-US cybersecurity firms to increase by 20% in 2021 over its 2019 baseline.

“Moves by the EU commission to promote its digital sovereignty and further economic protectionism especially in Asia will result in increased funding for regional cybersecurity firms.”

Forrester warns that multinational companies will need to “give up their single sourcing approach and accept the reality of point solutions based on region.”

Watch: U.S. cybersecurity risk: ‘The bad guys are more active than ever’, says Verisk CEO