• 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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OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE COMMONWEALTH

William McNamara, Comptroller of the Commonwealth

One Ashburton Place, 9th Floor, Boston MA 02108

comptroller.info@mass.gov

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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