Cybersecurity in 2021: threats and trends to take note of
February 25, 2021
In partnership with Lenovo
It's not an option anymore—it's a necessity! Investing in cybersecurity is no longer just for large organizations. Since the onset of Covid-19, we've seen a 238% increase in cyber attacks (FinTech News), which means that SMEs, too, are incredibly vulnerable.
If you're among the 80% of companies worldwide that plan to strengthen digital security infrastructure in 2021 (Lenovo study), you'll want to consider the following trends and threats…
Cyber threats to keep an eye out for
Constantly faced with invisible attacks, your IT infrastructure is quite delicate. Fortunately, with minimal risk management, it can be easy to eradicate most of these threats. This year ushers in some significant changes in cybersecurity. Here are a few that will undoubtedly impact the business world.
Vulnerable remote workers
Telecommuters have become a weak link in the data security chain. According to a Bitglass 2020 Personal Device Report, 82% of companies permit workers to use personal devices—and this was before the pandemic even hit! Unfortunately, 72% of these devices didn't have sufficient protection against Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) malware. Cybercriminals successfully targeted these users in 2020, and there's no indication that they plan on stopping in 2021.
Scaled back security budgets
The past year's economic upheaval forced companies to cut back on their IT spending. Security Magazine notes that businesses may embrace more centralized IT services to account for inevitable budget cuts. It's a reality that may prove problematic during a cyber attack. Storing your data in one place makes life easier for bad actors.
Ever-popular phishing attacks
A recent CSO Online article reports that phishing attacks account for more than 80% of security breaches. This type of attack will undoubtedly remain the central threat to address in 2021. Moreover, around 71% of organizations note that financial damage is the dominant outcome of these attacks—yet another trend likely to continue this year.
impact of these trends, and how can I protect my business?
Train, train, and train some more!
To avoid being held a financial hostage with your company's sensitive data at stake, develop a strict protocol for how staff should handle unverified emails and suspicious downloads. Provide training to all members and take special care to ensure that your marketing department knows how to identify suspicious links (according to a Lenovo study, these colleagues are 38% more likely to click on something they shouldn't).
More location-independent services available
Nowadays, more and more work happens outside of the office, and things will likely continue this way. To stay secure, Security Boulevard argues that organizations should consider adopting password-free, multi-factor authentication along with zero-trust security, a secure access service edge (SASE) model, and a new security perimeter for identification. Passwords have become increasingly challenging to manage. And in many cases, people use the same login info for multiple portals, increasing their risk of being compromised. There are several ways to adopt password-free authentication—we'll be covering them in an upcoming article!
A move toward better AI
Artificial intelligence has unlimited potential in cybersecurity. This year, industries will focus more on responsible AI to address biased algorithms, monitor automated decisions, and prioritize privacy. Consider implementing AI support to improve your organization's cybersecurity.
Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is an email authentication protocol that verifies the sender's domain, thus helping users differentiate safe emails from spam and phishing scams. It's a technology that's gaining momentum. Your business should take notice.
While IT security can sometimes seem like a complex and non-essential expense, keep in mind that nearly 40% of small businesses are forced to close after a major data loss (source: Nationwide). This figure is unsurprising when you consider that, according to the same survey, 52% of SMBs anticipate at least a least three-month recovery period after a data-loss disaster.
Need help with your IT security? Our cybersecurity experts are here to guide you through the best possible solutions for your business while factoring in your budgetary realities.
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