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Top 5 biggest cyber security threats

The threat of cyber attacks and hacking is always evolving. Hackers are scandalously active; they are constantly working on improving their strategies to bypass the security measures taken by an organization.

Organizations that are looking to minimize their exposure to managed cybersecurity threats need to keep their security measures up to date; they need to be well-informed about the happenings in the world of cybersecurity.

There are a wide range of cyber security threats and there is no single solution available which can help protect from any form of data breach or cyber attack. The organization needs to implement a comprehensive strategy which has multiple layers of protection and detection.

Attackers and hackers are on a constant look out for new ways to defraud and harm companies. There are some old strategies which attackers have been using since years which till today remain the biggest cyber security threat to a business.

So which are the top cybersecurity threats of 2021 which will continue to linger?

The 5 Biggest cyber security threats to look out for in 2021 are:

  • Phishing Attacks

Phishing has been a cyber security threat which companies have been facing for many years.

It is very difficult to avert a phishing attack. Statistics say that every 1 email in 99 emails received is a phishing email. This amounts to around 4.8 emails per employee every week (5 day work week).

Studies show that almost 30% of the phishing emails make past through the security, thereby increasing the chances of risk.

Phishing attacks are generated by sending across fake emails, texts, or website links to trick the receiver in passing on sensitive information like login credentials and passwords for work or bank accounts.

Phishing attacks are considered one of the biggest cyber security threats as they can trick an employee into passing on their private access credentials. The attackers can use these credentials to abuse the employee’s privileges and create havoc in the business’ systems.

With more and more work being done online through emails and chats, it becomes easier for phishing attackers to target employees.

Phishing strategies are effective and require a minimum investment, hence attackers use them to trick people and gain access to the company’s restricted content and software.

  • IoT – Based Attacks

With growing digitalization, there has been a significant increase in the number of devices connected to the internet at homes and in organizations.

The major issue is that all these internet-connected smart devices do not have strong security measures, this gives an opportunity to attackers and hackers to attack and gain control over the networks and devices.

An  IoT attack is a cyber security attack which takes advantage of the victim using internet-connected smart devices like Wi-Fi enabled speakers, appliances etc. Attackers send malware into the network through the devices.

The IoT (Internet of things) devices are targeted by the attackers, as most of the times these devices are overlooked when it comes to applying security patches. This lack of security makes it easy to compromise or infiltrate.

  • Ransomware

Ransomware attacks involve the attacker infecting or infiltrating the victim’s systems with malware which can encrypt all the users’ data.

The victim is then issued an ultimatum to either pay up a ransom amount or lose their data.

Businesses have a lot of money and they have a lot of information and data which is confidential and crucial for its operations. Hence Ransomware attackers prefer to attack businesses as compared to individuals.  

With the increased dependence on the internet and smart devices by businesses and individuals during the coronavirus pandemic, Ransomware can become one of the top cyber security threats in 2021.

  • Security Gaps

As per the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, hacking amounted for 52% of the cyber attacks.

Hacking can be termed as the direct intrusion attempts made by people to bypass your perimeter network security and get into your systems. Most of the hacking attempts involve leveraging on the security gaps present in a company’s network security and bypassing them.

Hackers try to typically attack the business network’s weakest defenses. An uneven security layer or security gap in the network can allow the attackers to gain an entry point into the company’s system.

They can infiltrate even the toughest defenses if your network lacks key security measure required for protecting the entire network and company system.  

  • Unpatched Security Vulnerabilities

Most of the business software programs which can become a target of cyber security attack have readily available fixes if they get compromised or are attacked.

However, there are still some software which do not have fixes available or are exposed to attack and compromise.

Security vulnerability can be defined as an accidental fault or programming flaw in computer software or operating system. Attackers use this flaw to illicitly access the systems and cause harm.

These flaws can arise not only from a single software or operating system but they can come into existence due to interactions between two different programs, making it difficult to determine when a bug will appear.

Final words

There are a number of cyber security threats being faced by businesses currently. The best way protect themselves against these threats is by first understanding what threats are they facing and how can they be averted.

Investing in professional cyber security services and training the employees on how to avert any form of cyber attack is the first step to handle top cyber security threats.

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