Industry Experts Share Their Opinion on Website Security Trends for 2021
A look into website security trends for 2021. Here’s a quick roundup of website security trends, and predictions from professionals in the industry.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
2021 was a strange year for security teams because cyberattacks accelerated at an alarming rate during the pandemic. Cybercriminals were seen attacking not only individuals but small businesses, major corporations, governments, and even critical infrastructures. With people confined to their homes, internet usage was pushed up to 70%, besides, global businesses were forced to deploy remote systems and networks to facilitate remote work for employees.
Consequently, cybercriminals started leveraging the vulnerabilities in the remote structures to steal sensitive information, and generate profits for personal gain, which disrupted economies and business operations immensely. But undoubtedly, lessons are learned from every experience, whether they're good or bad.
Below are some of the trends that industry experts ought to carry forward in 2021.
2020 saw a big increase in the popularity of ransomware attacks, for obvious reasons. The move into an online environment for so many companies exposed various weaknesses that cybercriminals clearly took advantage of.
For these reasons, in 2021, we can expect to see a rise in the use and innovation of anti-ransomware. While the effects of the pandemic are no longer as “shocking” and people have largely adjusted to the world of remote work, ransomware attacks don’t seem to be going away.
Many companies are also putting in plans to continue with the current direction of remote work, therefore keeping their position in the scope of cybercriminals. Now, with budgets slowly creeping back to where they were before the pandemic, companies are going to start to invest more heavily in anti-ransomware and a variety of other cybersecurity tools for their websites.
- Carla Diaz, Co-founder, Broadband Search
Cloud-Based Website Protection
One of the biggest trends that we will see is cloud-based website protection in 2021. This means creating solutions that will prevent attacks and optimize website performance for a larger remote workforce. Additionally, cybersecurity is a more prominent issue in the coming year as more and more employees work from home for longer periods. This is a threat because not every employee is well-versed in dealing with cyber threats and how to deal with them.
Therefore, website security trends for 2021 will also include cybersecurity training as the main component to help companies protect virtual data and servers. Authentication is a key aspect, as website access will need to be secured at a stricter level. Moreover, security updates from CRMs also lead to vulnerabilities and must be handled accordingly.
There are also more data and compliance standards that businesses will need to meet as we go more digital, so cloud-based cybersecurity solutions will have to incorporate those for better effect.
- Veronica Miller, Cybersecurity Expert, VPN overview
Offensive Security Measures
There are two main approaches to deal with website security—defensive security and offensive security. As the name suggests, defensive approaches involve security audits, malware analysis, and network security.
On the other hand, offensive security includes website penetration testing (pen-testing). In website pen-testing, whitehat hackers try to penetrate inside a website by exploiting the vulnerabilities in the system. Offensive security has become a significant part of website security in recent years and is here to stay. I would rate offensive security as one of the top trends.
- Sidra Ijaz, Web Research Analyst, Invozone
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
One of the biggest trends of 2021 will be machine learning and artificial intelligence. It has been around for a while and has advanced decently the past few years but, with more people working from home, I think it will have much more of a push. New technology can easily be added to businesses and their processes, but implementation for those at home can be difficult if remote workers lack suitable hardware.This is why I think, paired with Machine Learning and AI, cloud-based platforms will be implemented into businesses more.
Not only can it be used to run much more demanding applications from older and less powerful hardware, but it also allows for Machine Learning algorithms to use power for website security. With it having dual functionality—being used for automation as well as working as a virtual machine, in essence—I think that cloud services will need to be used by most, if not all businesses for them to be able to keep up with their competition.
- Shayne Sherman, CEO, Techloris
Modern Detection Methods
The use of open-source testing frameworks such as Puppeteer and Selenium to conduct malicious automated attacks will become one of the biggest threats for online businesses. These DevTools have advanced a great deal over the past few years, each downloaded more than 7 million times a month, enabling businesses to ensure their websites are working properly in an automated fashion.
These testing frameworks are increasingly in the wrong hands, combined with stealth plugins, to cleverly mimic real human behavior and make it easier for attackers to successfully use bots to take takeover accounts, scrape content, launch Layer7 DDoS attacks, and commit fraud such as credit card theft. For example, Puppeteer Extra Stealth Plugin is now being downloaded more than 250,000 times a month—these evasion techniques are missed by traditional detection methods and require newer and modern techniques to stop cybercriminals from conducting malicious automation at scale.
- Sam Crowther, Founder and CEO, Kasada
Privacy-focused browsers are becoming more and more popular with the average user. Brave now offers a quick TOR connection, and Firefox comes with experiential fingerprinting protection. This is great for consumers, but it will make cybersecurity and fraud protection more challenging.
So identification of spoofed devices will become increasingly difficult. There is hope, though, as fingerprinting techniques are also becoming more sophisticated. Google’s Picasso graphical challenge, for instance, could help companies detect minor inconsistencies in how certain graphics elements are rendered on a page. There is certainly an escalation of the arms race between device fingerprinting and spoofing technology.
- Tamas Kadar, CEO, SEON fraud prevention
Smart Password Management
Website administrators will play the biggest role in securing every website this year. And the use of SAFE will become a must in safeguarding every password. With it, passwords can no longer be regarded as the highest security risk provider. It’ll not only add another layer of security but will ensure that nothing can snoop in it as well.
With the use of a password manager, any user will no longer have to worry about forgetting any password. Additionally, anyone can freely create a password that has a unique and complex set of characters that’s impossible to crack. Password creation is tied up with how it should be remembered. But with a vault, secure storage and a secure deployment will become commonplace. And using the same password over and over will now be just a thing of the past.
- Israel Gaudette, Founder, LinkTracker.Pro
Data segmentation is one of the top website security trends that companies are starting to follow as cybersecurity becomes a hot issue and insider attacks increase.
Data segmentation refers to the action of breaking up your data into multiple pieces instead of just storing it as one piece. By doing this, if one part of your website's data gets compromised, the remaining pieces stay safe. This not only helps keep it safe from external attacks but also from insider attacks.
For websites that store valuable information from customers, this process can minimize the damage done by a rogue employee or malicious hacker. This also keeps your entire data from being compromised if one of your employee's login details gets discovered by hackers. Although depending on how your website database was compromised, your other pieces might still be vulnerable, but it at least gives organizations a chance to respond faster before everything is compromised.
- Mark Soto, Cybersecurity Developer, Cybericus
Web Application Firewalls
For the small business segment, we're going to see increased adoption using Web Application Firewalls, especially on WordPress websites that offer many cost-effective options via Plugin functionality. Business owners can create custom firewall rules via their WordPress Dashboard which allows them to customize a defense plan on the fly.
Many of these plugins allow you to limit login attempts and enforce stronger passwords for users with management access. There are also security scanner plugins available that check core website files for malware and code injections.
I recommend looking into Wordfence or WebARX which provide this essential functionality, but there are a handful of other options available depending on your unique situation. Business owners should work with their web developers to ensure their website security is addressed in 2021. Every website should have some sort of security plugin installed to prevent hacks and headaches in the future.
- Cody J. Murphy, Founder, Visual Oak
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.