The 2021 cyber threats predictions released by Kaspersky indicate that healthcare and education will be the most hit in the year by cyber criminals.

Kaspersky attributed the increase to the digitalisation of education, which it believes has widen the threat landscape and the lockdown measures driven by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has also changed education systems around the world.

According to Kaspersky, digitalisation, which is the main driver of these changes, will maintain momentum in 2021. The integration of social media, video services and games in the educational process have proved to be effective and more of such content is set to be created in 2021. While the number of online students rises, so do related privacy threats.

The global cybersecurity company also advised both students and educators to pay more attention to the security of their personal data, stressing that if the correct security settings are not in place, students’ and teachers’ personal information can be compromised ­– or individuals could even fall victim to attacks propagated via educational platforms. Additionally, distanced learning also brings new risks of cyberbullying.

Meanwhile, Kaspersky believes the Covid-19 vaccine presents a new opportunity to exploit the pandemic, warning that using medical and healthcare topics as bait will continue this year and will remain relevant, at least until the end of the pandemic.

Recently, the main reason for attackers’ growing interest in medical research was the development of a vaccine against COVID-19. In 2021, the efforts to steal Coronavirus research data will continue. As long as the global healthcare community continues to fight the disease, any company that claims significant success in the development of a vaccine will become a potential victim of targeted attacks.

However, the focus on digital security in hospitals offers hope that in 2021 there will be more collaboration between cybersecurity experts, organisations and healthcare systems. Experience has shown that big crises, like the pandemic, push organisations to pay more attention to protecting their infrastructure.


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