The five biggest threats to business security in 2021

In the first quarter of 2020, a worldwide pandemic forced businesses to implement remote working arrangements, consequently increasing reliance on cloud technologies. A year later, telecommuting has become part of the new normal, and it has become impossible to imagine a future where remote work isn’t an option.

Cybercriminals are expected to exploit the vulnerabilities inherent in this setup, including infrastructure weaknesses, process loopholes, and human error. Protect your business from these five threats that can jeopardize your organization:

1. Cloud breaches

The widespread switch to cloud-based solutions has resulted in a lot of benefits for businesses, but it has also brought in cybersecurity risks. Some organizations implemented cloud technologies without setting up proper cybersecurity defenses, while some simply didn’t have the IT expertise to migrate their workloads to the cloud, resulting in misconfigurations and other issues. To ensure security, partner up with cloud experts who can help you make a secure, seamless transition to the cloud.

2. Pandemic-related phishing

Phishing is a fraudulent scheme that aims to obtain personal data or inject malware into a device. For phishing scams to succeed, they must get their target to click on a malicious link — and one of the best ways to do that is by baiting them with a COVID-19-themed email. Alarmingly, there has been a spike of such phishing emails in the past year, and cybercriminals will continue to capitalize on the pandemic well into 2021.

One way to combat phishing scams is to educate your workforce on the most common tactics phishers use. A continuous cybersecurity awareness training program will equip your staff with the knowledge and skills to identify and get rid of phishing scams. It will also inculcate the best cybersecurity practices, empowering your workforce to better protect your systems.

3. Business process compromise (BPC)

If phishing scams rely on human error to succeed, business process compromise attacks count on weaknesses in systems and processes. Once hackers find a loophole in your systems or processes, they can discreetly exploit it and find a way to profit from it.

Conducting a successful BPC attack isn’t a small feat: a cybercriminal must have a deep understanding of their target’s internal systems and operations, as well as their defenses. Knowledge of these allows them to hijack processes such as procurement, payment, delivery, or account management. In the BPC attack against the Bangladesh Central Bank’s computer network, for instance, hackers were able to conduct unauthorized transactions by tracing transfers and seizing the bank’s credentials.

BPCs are silent attacks, and they are not easily noticeable until it’s too late. However, implementing advanced security measures, 24/7 monitoring, and penetration testing can help you detect BPCs early or even thwart them completely.

4. Internet of Things (IoT) attacks

IoT is a network of interrelated smart “things” such as devices and appliances that can communicate and exchange information with each other via the internet. With 5G becoming available in more areas and promising faster internet speeds, customer experience expert Forrester predicts that healthcare, location services, and smart offices will see dramatic IoT adoption in 2021.

All your IoT devices collect data in order to be smart, and this makes them prime cybercrime targets. And since a lot of IoT devices are still novel, their technology isn’t perfect yet and can easily be hacked. If you’re using or if you have plans to use IoT technology, it’s critical that you invest in IoT security solutions. Setting strong, unique passwords, installing the latest device updates, and restricting permissions also help in protecting your data.

5. Remote work end-point security

While there was an unprecedented rise in the adoption of telecommuting in 2021, the majority of employees working off-site connect to networks that don’t have any perimeter security, making them one layer more vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Inevitably, cybercriminals took this opportunity to exploit remote working environments, particularly launching attacks on cloud-based services, unpatched computers, and improperly secured virtual private networks (VPNs). In 2021, it’s imperative that remote teams use end-point protection and management tools that will enable remote IT support to automate software updates and patch management, monitor networks, and manage backups — all while optimizing technology to improve productivity.

Running a business entails protecting your data from various malevolent actors that lurk on the web. Thankfully, you don’t have to ward these off by yourself. Fortify your business’s cyberdefense strategy by partnering with NetWize and signing up for our data protection services. Apart from proactively monitoring your networks, we will continually test your systems for vulnerabilities and implement necessary cybersecurity measures to ensure that your business doesn’t suffer a data breach. Schedule a FREE consultation with our experts or call us at 801-747-3200.

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