X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2021

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The year 2020 was without a doubt one of the most consequential and transformational in recent memory: A global pandemic, economic turmoil impacting millions of people’s lives, and social and political unrest. The reverberations from these events affected businesses in profound ways, with many making a major shift to distributed workforces.


In the cyber realm, the extraordinary circumstances in 2020 handed cyber adversaries opportunities to exploit the necessities of communication networks and provided rich targets in supply chains and critical infrastructure. The year ended as it began, with the discovery of a globally consequential threat that required rapid response and remediation. An attack which has largely been attributed to a nation state actor, which leveraged a backdoor in network monitoring software to attack government and private sector organizations, demonstrated how third-party risk should be anticipated, but can’t be predicted.


To help meet the challenges of these times, IBM Security X-Force assesses the cyber threat landscape and assists organizations in understanding the evolving threats, their associated risk, and how to prioritize cybersecurity efforts. In addition to the premium threat intelligence we provide to customers, we analyze the wealth of data we gather to produce the X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, an annual check-in on the threat landscape and how it’s changing.