Cybersecurity Outlook for 2021

Published in Member Communities on March 03, 2021

By: Jeremy Kauten, CIO and Senior VP of IT, VGM Group, Inc.

In 2021, ransomware damages are expected to be upwards of $20 billion. Previously in 2015,  ransomware was increasing at an alarming rate and was estimated at $325 million. And much of the damage due to cybersecurity breaches have been witnessed by the healthcare industry. Below, I’ve outlined some of the trends to be aware of and advice to help you protect yourself, your customers, and your business.

ransomware damages 2021

Cybercrime and Cryptocurrency

The total cybercrime damages are predicted to exceed $6 trillion annually in 2021. This represents the greatest transfer of wealth in history. Cybercrime will be more profitable than all illegal drugs combined globally.

To move that amount of wealth, many bad actors are now utilizing cryptocurrency. In fact, most cryptocurrency transactions conducted in 2021 will be for criminal activity. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are allowing criminals to transact quickly, bypassing traditional government payment systems.

cybercrime will be more profitable than all illegal drugs combined globally

FireEye Breach


In recent weeks, attacks from foreign governments have exacerbated the cybersecurity threat. Russian agents were able to breach the cyberdefense giant, FireEye. FireEye is typically used by large Fortune 100 firms, as well as government agencies such as the FBI, to protect their data. However, FireEye is also known for having the latest offensive tools used in red team attacks, which are ethical hackers using tools on organizations to identify risks. These tools that contain many vulnerability exploits are now in the hands of the bad guys.

hackers will likely try to gain access to email accounts

What to Watch For

Cyber breaches in 2021 will likely use these two elements of attack:

  1. A component of email used in the attack – Not that the email server itself will be compromised, but hackers will likely try to gain access to email accounts or use a malicious email to get a foothold in the organization.
  2. Remote workers – The pandemic sent workers home with access to the network. This will likely be part of business as usual. Securing devices outside the firewall is different and takes new resources. Hackers are also aware of this and will try to exploit this area.

Playbook: Forecasting 2021This article was originally featured in the VGM Playbook: 2021 Forecasting. To read the complete article, download your copy of the playbook.


comments powered by Disqus

From Our Experts

Understanding Enrollment Status, Assigned vs. Non-Assigned, and the ABN thumbnail Understanding Enrollment Status, Assigned vs. Non-Assigned, and the ABN A major part of business development is understanding your payer mix and which products and services should be reimbursable versus cash sale items. What could you bundle together in your offering to expand business—specifically items that can be sold for retail alongside your reimbursable items? You might not necessarily offer everything right now, but these are the areas you can look to expand into. This resource outlines how to navigate reimbursement to help grow your business. U.S. Rehab Tech Training at Heartland Addresses All Levels of Experience thumbnail U.S. Rehab Tech Training at Heartland Addresses All Levels of Experience Complex rehab providers attending VGM's 20th Heartland Conference will have the opportunity to increase their expertise in repairing and programming complex rehab wheelchairs as part of U.S. Rehab's Tech Training. VGM & Associates Releases Customer-Centric Playbook thumbnail VGM & Associates Releases Customer-Centric Playbook VGM & Associates has released the third installment of their 2021 quarterly playbook series, which contains insight and best practices for making your business customer-centric. Heartland Session Sneak Peek: Procurement, Inventory Management & Cash Flow thumbnail Heartland Session Sneak Peek: Procurement, Inventory Management & Cash Flow Get great advice and more during the Heartland Conference Panel: Procurement, Inventory Management & Cash Flow moderated by Gerry Finazzo. During this session, attendees will learn how to identify ways to improve purchasing practices, mitigate inventory liability, identify ways to increase cash flow and lower activity costs. An Inside Look with Clint, Episode 8: VGM Government thumbnail An Inside Look with Clint, Episode 8: VGM Government President of VGM & Associates, Clint Geffert, sat down with John Gallagher, vice president of VGM Government, to discuss how VGM Government helps VGM members navigate the complexities of the legislative process and the importance of grassroots advocacy in the HME industry. Member Spotlight: Shelly Hoover, President and Co-Founder, and David Hoover, CEO and Co-Owner of Vets First DME, LLC thumbnail Member Spotlight: Shelly Hoover, President and Co-Founder, and David Hoover, CEO and Co-Owner of Vets First DME, LLC Vets First DME began at the intersection of preparation and opportunity, with a dash of circumstance. Read more about the amazing Hoover family as they combined the family's knowledge and experience to start Vets First DME, LLC. CMS Announces 90-Day Extension For CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories thumbnail CMS Announces 90-Day Extension For CRT Manual Wheelchair Accessories CMS announced a 90-day extension of the suspension of the application of Medicare Competitive Bidding Program pricing to CRT manual wheelchair accessories. The current policy will stay in place through October 1 and there will not be any payment cuts or claims processing changes. Don't Allow Medicare Advantage Plans and MCOs Take Advantage of YOU! thumbnail Don't Allow Medicare Advantage Plans and MCOs Take Advantage of YOU! The HME supplier has always had challenges in getting paid timely and accurately for the items and services they provide to their customers. This is an assumed cost of doing business but the HME supplier still does this because of the reward of taking care of their customers. But nothing has challenged the supplier as much as when a customer has a Medicare Advantage Plan or an MCO.