According to the latest Official Cybercrime Report published by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.
The sharp increase can be attributed to our growing reliance on digital technology, which motivates cybercriminals to find new ways to exploit businesses and the people they employ. To effectively protect themselves, businesses must keep up with cybersecurity threats and proactively implement the necessary security measures to stop them dead in their tracks.
Let’s take a look at three important cybersecurity threats that all businesses can expect to face in 2021.
1. Attacks on Remote Workers
The COVID-19 pandemic forced around 50 percent of employed and self-employed people to work from their homes, and a significant number of them will never return back to their offices.
While good news for those who enjoy the perks of remote working, such as better work-life balance, more freedom, and increased productivity, a more geographically distributed workforce creates a number of cybersecurity challenges that businesses need to address to keep sensitive information and important systems safe.
Indeed, 91 percent of all global respondents to VMWare’s Global Threat Report said they had seen an increase in cyber-attacks as a result of employees working from home. To protect them, it’s important for business to combine cybersecurity awareness training with a sound remote work policy and carefully selected cybersecurity software tools.
2. Cloud Data Breaches
Increasingly more businesses are moving sensitive data and mission-critical workloads to the cloud. The same businesses are often under the impression that “the cloud” is an impenetrable fortress capable of putting all of their security worries to rest.
While it’s true that leading providers of cloud services, such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, offer best-in-class security, their users can still experience a costly cloud data breach if they become a victim of a social engineering attack or make a mistake when configuring security measures.
Small and medium-sized businesses are especially vulnerable because they use the same cloud services as large enterprises but lack the expertise and human resources necessary to properly configure them. To level the playing field, they can partner with a reputable managed service provider (MSP) and let the provider implement and manage robust cloud solutions on their behalf.
3. Insider Threat Incidents
The comprehensive Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) revealed a worrying statistic: 34 percent of cyber-attacks in 2019 were caused—both intentionally or unintentionally—by internal employees. To reduce the risk of insider threats, businesses need to take a two-pronged approach that combines security awareness training with access control.
Why? Because not all insider-related incidents are caused by disgruntled employees who want to inflict as much damage as possible by inflecting critical systems, releasing sensitive information, or quietly opening doors for other attackers to exploit. A 2018 study reported that 64 percent of organizations found the careless employee or contractor to be the root cause of most insider threat incidents.
Security awareness training can go a long way in making employees aware of the potential consequences their actions may have on the entire company, while role-based access control (RBAC) can minimize the amount of damage a malicious employee can cause by restricting system access to authorized users.
Get Ready for 2021 Now
The year 2020 has been difficult for many businesses, and opportunistic cybercriminals certainly haven’t made it any easier. Unfortunately, businesses of all sizes can expect to face an even broader array of sophisticated cyber-attacks in 2021, so it’s paramount to take a proactive approach and mitigate cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities while there’s still time.
At Aligned Technology Solutions, we are firmly committed to helping Washington, DC businesses overcome all current and future cybersecurity challenges by offering cost-effective solutions that align with the business goals of our customers. Instead of waiting for 2021 to be better, get in touch with us, and we’ll help you make it better.