What Are Typical Cybersecurity Threats In 2021?

As remote work, learning and teaching continues to grow, many companies who did not need to consider cybersecurity threats, are now are faced with new challenges. Global cybercrime is growing. It is expected to increase over the next few years. Companies that got by without major cybersecurity support may need to reconsider. Cyberattacks can be devastating for a company’s reputation, not to mention the threat of lost data or compromised information. There is nothing more damaging to a company’s reputation than becoming the victim of a cyberattack. Trust is hard to win back, and customers will take their business elsewhere to protect their personal information.

malware infected laptop with black pirate flag on red background

If your business is starting the process of working out what kind of cybersecurity needs to be put in place to prevent attacks from increasingly sophisticated threats, never fear. There are various types of cybersecurity threats. But if you know what they are, you can plan to protect yourself and your business. Below are some of the latest from 2021.

Top Cybersecurity Threats For 2021

1. Cloud Threats
Perhaps the most common, and the most dangerous security threat to any company is a cloud-based attack. The cloud has become the place to store all kinds of information that is sensitive and intended to stay private. While this helps with efficiency and cutting costs, it can open any size company up to cyberattack. The major issues that expose business up to a cloud attack are cloud app vulnerabilities, incomplete data deletion, and incorrect configurations. It is wise to spend a little more on your cloud app support to protect your data. This makes sure that access is controlled carefully. All it takes is one password that goes astray to become the victim of this kind of attack.

cloud computing service types including IoT

2. Insider Attacks Growing 
This threat is all too common and harder to prevent than you might think. 30% of security breaches occur due to internal actors. This can come in the form of malicious attacks as well as negligence on the part of these employees. In either case, the trouble with insider attacks is that you have to trust your employees with a certain amount of security freedom, so that they can do their jobs. This can lead to issues related to unauthorized logins, installing of applications that are not approved by the company, users who are incorrectly given admin access to a device or application, or even the addition of new devices that are not approved to be on the network.

3. Phishing Attacks
An old classic that is enjoying new life lately, phishing continues to be one of the primary ways that bad actors gain access to your data. Emails that are designed carefully and worded just right can trick even the most loyal and educated employees. Sadly, these phishing attacks grow ever more sophisticated and it has become more difficult to use protection software to grab them before they get to users. The best defense for this type of attack is an educated workforce and really good email protection software.

4. Remote Access Attacks
As work from home becomes more common due to COVID-19, it has highlighted the need for better and truly secure remote access options for your company. Hackers are increasingly skilled at gaining access to remote access points that are not well-protected. There is really no excuse anymore for not using a top-of-the-line remote access VPN structure to protect off-network access. Remote endpoint management tools can help with security in these situations and it never hurts to educate your employees about the threat that their off-site access can pose to company data.

5. Deep Fakes
Machine learning and AI intelligence are growing areas of research and they have birthed a means to manipulate videos or images to show activity that did not actually happen. This means that fraud activity might be disguised through this method of security attack. This kind of malicious intent is not as common as other items on this list, but it is likely to become a daily part of cybersecurity risk in the not-to-distant future.

6. Malvertising
This new malicious threat uses ads to spread malware. The slight lull in malware as a cyber threat has gone away with this new and unfortunate means to deposit malware onto devices. These threats are a new form of the old browser-locking webpages and fake alerts about computer virus infections that have worked for years. This is another threat that can be remedied by a correctly educated workforce. While more sophisticated, these ads are still quite easy to detect if you make sure that your workforce knows what to look for.

7. Ransomware
Last, but certainly not least, ransomware is likely never going to go away. This sophisticated process utilizes hackers who gain access to company data through Dark Web ransomware kits. These kinds of attacks are successful annually against major companies as well as smaller entities.
This is an expensive attack to resolve as you will almost certainly have to pay the ransom to get your data back. There are few other solutions to this kind of attack at this time. The true means to protect yourself against this threat is to have a back-up plan in place that prevents the hacker from forcing you to pay for your data.

cybersecurity - key with computer chip attached

Protect Yourself Before You Become a Victim

Never assume your business or company will not be the victim of a cyberattack. If you have employees working from home, or you do not have security processes or measures in place, this can be exploited by ‘bad actors’. Investing for cybersecurity protection or at a minimum, following best practice, is likely a small price to pay than being the victim of a malicious attack. Educate your employees and protect your company with the best cyberattack prevention tactics from the beginning. In cybersecurity, the best defense is a good offense.

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