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Top Cyber Security Threats To Look Out For In 2021

As we start a new year we’ve had a chat with our Cyber Security expert Umesh, to find out what cyber security threats have been following along from last year, and what actions businesses should consider now.
Have a read her for the top cyber security threats to look out for in 2021. 

More than ever our world lives, works and plays on the internet. The internet is probably the only thing that has made many businesses succeed through Covid-19 and numerous lockdowns. It is what has allowed us to keep productivity and efficiency high. While the internet has helped us stay connected in the last year, it also brings us many threats. Like every other industry, cyber criminals keep evolving and finding new strategies and methods to scam their targets.  The new world of lockdowns have only made this worse. In this post of ‘Top Cyber Security Threats To Look Out For In 2021’, our cyber security expert Umesh gives his advise on how to stay aware and communicate the risk to employees. We cannot allow the internet that keep businesses alive to be the same thing that takes it down. 

What do you see as the biggest change in cyber security threats for businesses since last year ?

“Covid-19 has definitely changed the way that we work, and that means we are seeing a spike in new security risks.”

CREDENTIAL STUFFING

One of the biggest new risks we should be aware of this year is ‘credential stuffing’. While so many of us are working from home and accessing web based systems- the amount of passwords we have to remember have increased significantly. Unfortunately, many users make the mistake of using the same password to protect everything. This makes the job too easy for the cyber criminals, as by exposing one they can expose them all. To avoid this risk, read our post of how to create a strong password that is easy to remember. 

ACCIDENTAL SHARING

Another new threat we see is accidental sharing. Where we used to just walk a few meters and have a chat with a co-worker, we are now using remote working collaboration tools. While working in a new environment, with new working tools, and fighting a new everyday life, the mistake of forwarding an email or message to the wrong person can end in you sharing a trail of confidential information.

PDF SCAMS
How many PDF’s have you received today? I bet it’s a lot. A knowledge the cyber criminals also hold.
As most of our working day now exists online, the amount of online files we receive have increased. PDF scams that want you to open a file have increased and they can be very hard to spot. This leaves employees with a malware threat every time they receive a new email or message.
MALWARE & RANSOMWARE

2020 was the year of ransomware, a trend we will see continue into 2021. Cyber criminals are weaponising sensitive data to increase the pressure on ransomware victims. Way too often the victims end up having to pay substantial amounts to hope getting their data back. Attacks happen every second of the day and many of them are successful. 33% of businesses report they have lost customers after an attack,  that end up costing businesses millions of pounds every year.

PHISHING, SMISHING & VISHING

Attacks on both email, text and phonecalls continue to be the biggets risk for every single business. Millions of attacks happen daily and we keep getting reports of more employees falling for the trap. For many businesses this ends in financial breach, malware or data breaches for the business. Educating employees in how to safely navigate online is one of the best tools businesses have, and the benefits are priceless. 

How has Covid-19 changed the threat landscape ?

“The cyber security threat landscape have been evolving at a frightening pace for years. The last year of Covid-19 has only been speeding the process up further. Criminals are taking full advantage of people working from home and the uncertainty we all experience at the moment. Fake news, new concerns and poor communications are just some of the themes that the criminals take advantage of. Therefore we have seen an increase in medical emails, health information and vaccine booking scams going into employee inboxes.”

What do businesses need to be especially aware of ?

“Endpoint security is one of the only things that allow employees to work safely while remote. Remote working have given many a setup they were not usually working from. This means legacy permissions might still be present and it is important that employers check that the systems as well as devices are up to date and all patched. Endpoint security allows for remote monitoring as well as patching of the devices. Together with an adequate antivirus protection, employees can work safely while remote.”

Is there something that every business could do now to secure their assets ?

“Until employees are fully aware about cyber security threats and have it in the back of their mind every time they are online, it can be beneficial for business to provide regular comms to the employees. This will help create awareness on cyber security and key threats. This should always be followed with advice on what to actually do in case they feel they have been exposed.” We wrote a guide on what to do if you have clicked on a malicious link here.

How affective do you see Awareness Training being for businesses? 

“The biggest defence that businesses have are their users, and the majority of leaks also happens at this level. Awareness training creates a tailored programme to the nature of the business so it is easier for the employees to relate to. As the users are the biggest defence that businesses have, it is so important that they are well equipped with the knowledge on what to do with the threats they face every single day.”

What's next? 

“Only one thing is sure, and that is that cyber criminals will continue to take advantage of the distraction that the uncertain circumstances cause. Both global and local organisations have a lot to deal with this year, covering both business continuity, employee health & safety and often decreased revenue as well. But exactly because of all these reasons, businesses must make cyber security one of their top priorities. 
Luckily we see that more and more businesses are planning to increase their spending on cyber security, to keep the business safe and continuity stable. There are many resources we can use to keep you safe, and because cybercriminals are not taking a break- neither are we.”

If you would like to discuss how we can make your business safe, or find out the risk level among your employees, contact us here or give us a call on 020 8166 4540.

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