Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats to Businesses in 2021

Cybersecurity attacks become more complex each year, experimenting with new ways to try and tap into the personal data of people and businesses around the world. As remote work becomes a bigger part of that "new normal" we've all been hearing about, companies are continuing to rely more heavily on technology to keep their business up and running. More online communication and collaboration has a mountain of perks, but at a cost - there is an inherently higher level of risk of being targeted in a cyberattack. 

Fortunately, cybersecurity companies and MSPs around the world are evolving just as fast as the malicious hackers, phishers, and scammers. The first line of defense that every internet user has in their toolbelt is staying informed, knowing the latest trends to watch out for and how to combat them. 

Our team has hit the highlights of phishing, vishing, and ransomware, but here are the top 5 cybersecurity threats that are targeting small- to medium-sized businesses in 2021. 

Social Engineering - Phishing, Vishing, Smishing, and More

Social engineering is defined as "the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes." In other words, social engineering is when a bad actor pretends to be a coworker, business partner, or interested party, luring unsuspecting users through a variety of platforms. 

Phone calls, texts, social media messages, emails - if a message can be sent, there is a high probability that someone is using it to try and trick you into clicking a malicious link or sharing personal information that can leave your most personal data at risk. 

Check out our recent blog and learn how to identify and avoid potential phishing attacks. 

Password Security 

Comparitech reports that, in 2021, 42 percent of organizations continue to rely on sticky notes for password management. As if that wasn't bad enough, a 2019 Google study found that 2/3 of all people use the same passwords across multiple accounts. 

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Cybersecurity firm Norton has shared a collection of tips to help improve your password security. Here are the top five to keep in mind:

                      1. Use different passwords for each account
                      2. Create longer and more complex passwords
                      3. Change passwords on a regular basis 
                      4. Don't use easy-to-guess personal information
                      5. Always enable multi-factor authentication


Infosecurity Magazine reported that one person falls victim to a ransomware attack every 10 seconds - a figure that is set to continue rising in 2021. Google defines ransomware as "a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid." While the ransom itself can cost organizations thousands - even millions of dollars - there is also the hidden cost of downtime when your organization's IT infrastructure is inaccessible, bringing productivity to a hault. 

Read more about the true cost of ransomware for companies around the world.

PDF Scams

black asus laptop computer on brown wooden table

Between 2019 and 2020, PaloAlto Networks identified at 1,160% increase in malicious PDF files. These malicious files are often embedded in phishing emails, appearing legitimate until opened. Once you've clicked into these files, malware is installed on your machine to tap into your data and wreak its havoc. Just like phishing emails, it's best to never open PDF files - or any file type, for that matter - from an unknown sender or that is included in a potentially "phishy" message. 

Cloud Computing Vulnerabilities

The security advantages that are brought by the cloud are absolutely incredible, to put it lightly. Automatic backups and the removal of physical hardware from the equation already takes so much risk out of your IT infrastructure. If your cloud network isn't configured properly, you could be left with gaping holes in your network that are ready and waiting for malicious cybercriminals to sneak in. 

Insecure APIs, misconfigured cloud storage, and compliance violations are all risks that come with leveraging the power of the cloud. However, partnering with a trusted cloud solutions partner like SeedSpark ensures that your network is proactively monitored and taken care of, preventing issues before they happen and keeping you up to date with the best possible security measures. 

Read more about SeedSpark's proactive approach to managed IT services. 

Remember that even by partnering with leading providers and keeping up with the latest cybersecurity measures, malicious criminals online are always finding new ways to take advantage of people online. SeedSpark strives to provide the best in managed IT and cybersecurity, backing up client data, protecting their network, and monitoring for threats 365 years per year. 

SeedSpark Proactive Managed IT

Tags: Technology

Written by Samuel Adams

As a lifelong fan of technology, Sam has always had a deep interest in learning about the latest innovations and how they are revolutionizing the worlds of business, marketing, and entertainment. As Social Media and Content Specialist at SeedSpark, he spends time chasing the newest trends and breakthroughs pushing the digital transformation in our personal and professional lives.

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