Cybersecurity experts predict that cybercrime will cost the world more than $6 trillion by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. Cybersecurity threats include theft of intellectual property, money and financial information, data destruction, lost productivity, business disruption and more.
To address mounting cybersecurity concerns, it’s critical to review what prevention steps are paramount to protect your business. Let’s look at some cybersecurity predictions for 2021 and see how you can safely get your business through the year.
Cybersecurity Threats to Watch for in 2021
1. Remote Workers Continue to be Vulnerable
The transition to remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted network security. As hackers learn to identify company-owned equipment used in home environments, they will create attacks that specifically target remote workers’ devices to infiltrate corporate networks.
If you don’t have strict remote security policies and protocols in place, expect to see an increase in cyberattacks originated from remote devices.
Security protection step: Learn more about transitioning to a remote workforce safely.
2. COVID-19 Phishing Remains a Lure
Fear and insecurity, wrapped in technology, are effective weapons in any hacker’s toolbox. Information about the COVID-19 pandemic is an effective way of enticing people to click links in texts and emails, enabling dangerous malware to be installed on a user’s device.
Downloading malware jeopardizes both system security and business data by creating unauthorized pathways into computer networks. Malware attacks have included network monitoring, keystroke recording, spear phishing and banking credential theft.
If you don’t think your employees could fall prey to coronavirus scams, think again. Between January and April of 2020, one of INTERPOL’s private sector partners found 48,000 malicious URLs, 737 malware incidents and 907,000 spam messages related to COVID-19. According to Experian experts, cybercriminals will continue to leverage the pandemic to wreak havoc in 2021.
Security protection step: Learn more about coronavirus scams your business should watch out for.
3. The Shift to Remote Technology Creates Security Breaches
The quick pivot to remote technology due to COVID-19 resulted in poor to non-existent security measures in many companies. Businesses caught off-guard by the abrupt shift found themselves struggling to implement unfamiliar technologies while also dealing with employee fears and resistance.
The unplanned adoption of new technologies has created security breaches that have put much of the world at risk of data exposure. Unfortunately, knowing how to protect your business from these vulnerabilities isn’t something all companies — especially small businesses — are prepared to do.
Partnering with a managed services provider is often the most effective course of action. Taking proactive steps to secure your systems and sensitive data could be business lifesavers.
Security protection step: Outsource your cybersecurity for maximum safety.
4. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Becomes Standardized
With hacking and identity theft a continuing concern, it was only a matter of time before “username and password” started becoming passe. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) will finally become the new norm for ensuring system security.
MFA uses two or more factors to establish a user’s identity. Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is more manageable for users. However, the increasing sophistication of cyberattacks has necessitated that additional authentication measures be implemented for maximum security and protection.
Security protection step: Invest in multi-factor authentication technology.
5. Ransomware Attacks Will Increase
Ransomware attacks will worsen as hackers utilize more sophisticated intrusion methods. Stealing data before encryption and targeting specific people and organizations are just two ways cybercriminals could use to achieve their goals.
So how do you protect yourself from ransomware attacks? Hackers often take advantage of network architecture weaknesses and unpatched software. If you don’t have an effective patch management system, you’re not taking advantage of simple protection methods that software manufacturers make available to everyone.
Security protection step: Practice a regular patch management process.
6. Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) Will Escalate
An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a secret state-sponsored group, nation-state or other sponsored group that gains unauthorized access to a computer network to achieve specific goals. These intrusions often remain undetected for extended periods.
Criminal networks often perpetrate APT attacks. Criminals purchase access into corporate, government or other sensitive networks via the dark web. The dark web is a layer of the internet hidden from search engines and is only accessible through special software. It allows users to remain anonymous, making it easy to buy and sell illegal services and items.
According to Experian, there’s been a 652% increase in stolen data found on the dark web since 2019.
Dark web scanning uses human and artificial intelligence to help businesses detect cyber threats that expose stolen business accounts, email addresses and other sensitive information on the dark web. It scans blogs, forums, private networks and criminal chat rooms, blogs, forums, and private networks and operates 24/7.
Security protection step: Invest in dark web scanning.
7. Mobile Devices Pose New Risks
Mobile devices are being used for business in ways unexpected just a few years ago. Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time before hackers realized how they could also use mobile devices to infiltrate personal and business accounts.
Experts predict that mobile devices will be compromised in new ways — even through app stores. If your company maintains a BYOD (bring your own device) policy, make sure it is up to date and that employees comply with the security standards you set forth.
Security protection step: Invest in a mobile device management solution.
Predict Success in 2021 With SugarShot
With so many cyberthreats on the horizon, there’s a lot to be concerned about right now. We get it.
At SugarShot, our cybersecurity experts love getting their hands dirty with all things cybersecurity. By taking advantage of our managed IT services, you can rest assured that all your security needs will be handled — while you sleep!
To learn more about SugarShot’s cybersecurity services, contact us today!