• Office of the Comptroller

Cyber Forecast for 2021 – What to Expect

Cyber crime will continue to be a significant concern in 2021, so this is a great time to review internal controls for security to ensure that operations are not disrupted due to a cyber incident. Here are some of the expected threats and mitigation tips for your cyber planning.

Top three cyber threats forecast for 2021

  • Ransomware entering through emails, attachments, links, and texts.

  • Network, application, website, and software vulnerabilities or compromises allowing intrusion.

  • Phishing and other imposter campaigns to trick staff into entering usernames, passwords, or other credentials to gain access to files, applications or networks.

Tips for 2021 cyber mitigation

  • Continue to offer periodic staff training and reminders about vigilance and caution regarding requests for actions or information.

  • Review and update inventory of all devices, applications, and software in use and deployed for day-to-day operations, as well as administrative and staff access.

  • Confirm routine testing of disaster recovery plans, business continuity plans, and incident response plans to be deployed in the event of a compromise or incident.

  • Review a risk assessment process to evaluate application, software and network potential vulnerabilities, and schedule timely security patches and updates. Monitor traffic or digital activity to identify malicious or suspicious activity.

  • Validate that third party vendors, applications, and software are up-to-date with security protections, and ensure that appropriate security protocols that meet or exceed the Commonwealth default security policies and standards are in place.

  • Validate configurations and connections for cloud storage and other data repositories or applications managing data to ensure that it is secured, encrypted, and backed-up in multiple locations, and that they meet or exceed the Commonwealth default security policies and standards.

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William McNamara, Comptroller of the Commonwealth

One Ashburton Place, 9th Floor, Boston MA 02108


For your protection, please do not email personal information (e.g. Social Security Number, Bank Account Number, Passwords).

For assistance, please call us at

(617) 727-5000

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