Top Cyber Security Trends In 2021

The pandemic has forced businesses to step up their cybersecurity efforts to protect their systems and networks. With more and more companies warming up to the idea of remote work on a permanent or semi-permanent basis, the field is expected to grow further.

Here, we list down a few trends that may shape the cybersecurity landscape in 2021.

AI In Cyber Security

Artificial intelligence can help the understaffed and under-resourced security teams to stay on top of cyber threats and attacks. According to a recent research report, the market cap of ‘AI-in cyber security’ is expected to hit $14.18 billion by 2025. 


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But, what makes AI a big deal in cybersecurity? There are three significant reasons:

  • AI provides proactive threat mitigation capabilities required for constant supervision and adaption to security vulnerabilities
  • With AI, users receive security alerts in real-time to activate quick threat mitigation. 
  • Along with machine learning, AI can be hands-on in preventing threats rather than detection.

Security Automation

Security automation refers to the machine-based execution of security actions to programmatically detect, investigate, and thwart cyber threats. The automation may or may not require human intervention. The process identifies incoming threats and prioritises alerts as they emerge and also respond to them in time.

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Like the application of automation in other fields, in security too, it frees the workforce to concentrate on more skill-based tasks. As per research, due to the sheer volume of tasks associated with cybersecurity, IT teams miss out on 74% of events/alerts that sometimes blow out of proportion. With automation in place, such detection and lower-level problem resolution can be taken care of by the machines. 

Cyber Security-As-A-Service Providers

Many organisations do not have resources to deal with the growing cybersecurity tasks. The workload has escalated through the last year as many companies opted for remote work. Now, companies are looking at outsourcing information security tasks to maintain a robust mechanism in place.

Referred to as cyber security-as-a-service (CSaaS) providers, these companies offer services such as security operations center (SOC) and security information and event management (SIEM) systems. 

SOC refers to a location where security monitoring, analysis, and threat response takes place. The team working at a SOC consists of security analysts and engineers. Meanwhile, SIEM technology helps in aggregating alerts and documenting responses for future reference.

CSaaS offers benefits such as cost-effectiveness, scalability, and digital transformation.

Zero Trust 

The zero trust model was developed by Palo Alto Networks’ John Kindervag. A strategic security initiative hinged on the principle of ‘never trust, always verify’, the model help eliminate data breach by removing the component of trust from an organisation’s network architecture. 

Unlike traditional systems that believe data needs protection from only the players outside of the organisation, zero trust model treats all users as potential threats and sets authentication and access restrictions accordingly. 

It uses a positive security enforcement model where set conditions must be met before being granted access to resources. Though the concept of zero trust has been around for some time, it gained currency in 2020 due to the perimeter-less approach useful for offices working from different locations.

Extended Detection and Response

Defined as SaaS-based threat detection and incident response tool, specific to a vendor, Extended Detection and Response (XDR) integrates multiple security products into a single security operation system. XDR provides a holistic view of the threats across the technology landscape and helps organisations go beyond the typical detective controls.

The advantages of XDR include:

  • Real-time delivery of information needed to thwart attacks leading to faster and better outcomes
  • Delivering improved protection, detection and response capabilities
  • Increased productivity of the operational security personnel
  • Effective detection and response against lower costs.

Secure Access Service Edge

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a security framework for enabling secure and fast cloud adoption. It ensures users and devices have secure cloud access to data and services, from anywhere and anytime.

With growing cloud adoption, dynamic edge capabilities delivered when needed is the necessity of the hour. SASE combines networking and network security in a single cloud-delivering offering. The framework caters to the needs of digital business transformation, edge computing, and workplace mobility.

Cyber Security Training

The year 2020 saw a rise in data breaches and theft. With such threats becoming more common (partly because of the decentralised working culture), companies are increasingly looking at building strong cybersecurity teams. The demand for roles such as security engineer, cybersecurity analyst, cybersecurity engineer etc is on the rise. In fact, job portal Indeed reported a 98% spike in cybersecurity job postings compared to the last three years.

However, there seems to be a huge ‘demand-supply gap’ in cybersecurity experts. As companies continue to emphasise on cybersecurity and employees’ heightened awareness, many may opt to undergo short and long time training on the same.

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Shraddha Goled
I am a technology journalist with AIM. I write stories focused on the AI landscape in India and around the world with a special interest in analysing its long term impact on individuals and societies. Reach out to me at

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