The new year is well on its way.  People are working remotely, shopping online and spending more time behind their computer.  This is a golden opportunity for criminals to strike.  It is therefore important for consumers to be aware of the security risks and to not fall victim to cyber-attacks.

See below the 7 cybersecurity predictions for 2021 from a recent article in Security Magazine:

  1. Remote workers will be the focus of cybercriminals.

Cybercriminals will always look for an opportunity to exploit an unexpected user.  In 2020, with the onset of COVID-19, employees suddenly became remote workers and their use of technology shifted.  Cybercriminals took advantage of this disruption to launch phishing, vishing, ransomware, and a multitude of other attacks, targeting the gaps in companies’ security protocols.  Many companies were not prepared to support a remote workforce securely.

  1. Legacy security architecture (like VPN’s) will be the weak link for many organizations.
  2. To cope with reduced budgets, CEO’s and CISO’s will seek convergence across security solutions.
  3. The impact of breaches in the healthcare sector may be deadly.
  4. Financial organisations stay vigilant, more attacks are coming.
  5. COVID-19 forced organisations to accelerate digital transformation efforts.
  6. An increase in internet users and new technology means most of the world’s population are at risk of data exposure.

When you combine all these trends along with the rapid development of technology like 5G (enabling malicious attacks and moving data more quickly), we will see an increase in the number of people around the world impacted by data breaches.

Here is a complete list of cybersecurity best practices, to prevent you and your clients fall victim to cyber-attacks.

  • Don’t install software patches immediately after vendors release them.
  • Disabling application security features to make work go faster.
  • Stop downloading unauthorised applications.
  • Using personal devices for work purposes without security precautions is a definite NO!
  • Never leave a work device in a public space without keeping it safe and secure.
  • Doing work business over a public WIFI system leaves you vulnerable to identity theft, malware instructions, or worse.
  • Never plug an unsafe USB storage disk into a work computer.
  • Activate multi-factor authentication.
  • Don’t share your work email password with colleagues or friends and family.

 

Glossary:

Phishing – the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.  The name derives from the idea of “fishing” for information.

Vishing – the fraudulent practice of making phone calls or leaving voice messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as bank details and credit card numbers.

Ransomware – is malicious software that infects your computer and displays messages demanding a fee to be paid in order for your system to work again. It has the ability to lock a computer screen or encrypt important, predetermined files with a password.

 

Sources

360 CoveragePros. (2020, October 1). 7 Tips for staying safe in the digital world.  Retrieved from https://bit.ly/3rqI82K

Security Magazine. (2020, November 10). Seven cybersecurity predictions for 2021.  Retrieved from https://bit.ly/3c7AVhR