Top 7 Cybersecurity Threats in 2021 and
How to Protect Your Business From Them
Cyberattacks are increasing where criminals attempt to disable systems, steal data, and breach exposed devices to launch further attacks. There are a variety of cyberattack methods employed to penetrate organizations’ and government networks. Cybersecurity is a critical business solution as well as the understanding of users on what they can do to avoid falling victim to widespread scams that can expose confidential information.
Why have cyberattacks become so common lately?
People and businesses are moving their information online for easier access, storage, and for the perceived sense of security. Everything from tax, health, and banking details, private emails, and publishing personal information on social media become attractive targets for cyber criminals whether its for terrorism, to steal money or identities, or exploit companies or individuals.
Just as we find in the physical world where lawbreakers attempt burglaries, we find the same is happening in the digital world. Cyberattacks are less riskier than physical attacks and can be difficult to detect and identify because of the anonymity advantages offered through the internet and the unconstrained limitations of geography.
Earliest cybersecurity threats that were most common
Cyberattacks have been around since the eighties and the most common were viruses spread between computers on disks and then later via email attachments. Typically, these viruses slowed down systems and eventually corrupted hardware that rendered them useless or extremely difficult to resolve.
These attacks have evolved to hacking people’s devices, company networks, and national systems to access data and destroy infrastructure for hostile motives.
What are the possible consequences of cyberattacks in general?
The damage and impact of a cyberattack on an organization can be long-lasting. Depending on the severity of a security breach determines the complexity and effects on the business.
After dealing with the initial response of a cyberattack, which costs a lot of time, money, and effort, there is a ripple effect that can last for years. Some of these cost consuming consequences are both short-term and long-term and include the following:
- Data breach results in customer notifications and additional protection post-breach
- Regulatory compliance penalties, litigation fees, and increased insurance premiums
- Managing a public relations crisis, increased spending in marketing, and loss of customer confidence and relationships
- Cost in improving cybersecurity measures and technical investigations
- Disruption or destruction of business continuity
- Losing intellectual property
What cybersecurity threats business should be aware of in 2021?
Assaults on information technology systems can reap rewards for villains who seek to take down infrastructures and wreak havoc for corporations and private users. The following cyberattacks techniques are expected to increase and so too are the sophistication of methods used to infiltrate online systems and data.
This has become the most common method of cyberattacks because of increased electronic communication. These scams pose as legitimate senders who try to get the receiver to open a phishing message and click on a bad link that will access the browser or computer’s data such as passwords, online banking details, and emails. Training is key for users to distinguish between illegitimate messages and sites from authentic ones.
Malware is malicious software such as viruses, Trojan horses, and ransomware invades, corrupts, encrypts, or takes control of a system, and/or leaks sensitive data illegally. Malware is distributed unwittingly by users through USB drives, and attachments. Updated antiviruses, limited admin access, backup solutions, and policies against third party installations are some of the steps to safeguard against malware.
Brute Force Attacks
A brute force attack is also a popular way to launch a cyberattack, which involves guessing passwords and usernames to access a system. This method has a high success rate whether performed manually or through automated scripts. A strict and complex password policy is the first line of defense for any company or personal online account.
Also known as an M-I-T-M attack, this technique is where a hacker taps into communication between two parties and either listens to gather information or actively alters the messages to ask the other party for specific details. Communication encryption through strong firewalls, VPNs, and two-factor authentication are needed to prevent MITM attacks.
This type of cyberattack hijacks an URL to target users who accidentally misspell a website in a web browser. These hackers register domains that have an URL variation such as Faacebook.com or Goggle.com and the user fails to notice that they are browsing or shopping on a fake site, which enables the theft of identity, login details, and credit card information.
DDoS attacks are intended to disrupt or bring down a computer or corporate network making it inaccessible to users. This type of attack floods the targeted system with traffic or information to instigate a crash. High-profile organizations are often victims of DDoS attacks where they stop working through exploited vulnerabilities and become destabilized. Multi-layered security strategies should be employed to secure the network infrastructure.
This approach is where cybercriminals hide their true identity online to mask themselves as a trusted individual or source to manipulate users in revealing personal information to access accounts or business networks. This has become an increasing cyber threat, which is usually the first step to a more severe cyberattack. There are many different techniques used for social engineering that exploit human weakness such as:
- Baiting by leaving an infected USB around for people to insert on their computer to view its contents.
- Honey Trap where a hacker builds up an online relationship with the purpose of gaining information.
Protecting against cybersecurity threats
While businesses can use programs and security controls to detect suspicious activity, these need to be maintained, kept up-to-date, and constantly monitored. It is also important to setup in-depth defense strategies and security protocols at all technical and non-technical levels.
Part of the business security strategy should include training users in responsible online activity, file distribution, and being able to analyze and identify suspicious email addresses and website URLs regardless of how genuine they may look. To improve your knowledge of preventing network attacks, visit https://www.clearnetwork.com.
Why cybersecurity outsourcing is a strategic value protector
Corporate risk is dynamic, and cybersecurity needs to be agile, robust, and flexible to match and beat cyberattacks, and it requires more than an IT help desk to respond to threats. Cyber threats need real-time and highly effective responses because hackers rely on delays and weaknesses.
An effective defense provided by expertly managed security services incorporates all aspects into a cybersecurity strategy that includes people, policies, and technology. It requires constant innovation and strong expertise to implement strong processes to manage an environment vulnerable to dynamic risks.