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Cybersecurity Threats to Look out for in 2021

Cybercrime has been steadily on the increase for the last couple of decades: as our reliance on Internet technologies grows, so do the opportunities for unscrupulous individuals to get income utilizing weaknesses of our systems. However, in 2020 it broke all records: with the majority of the world’s population under lockdown and heavily using network tech for everything from everyday work to food delivery, hackers got more potential targets than they had ever before. According to Comparitech’s survey of 300 companies, more than 80 percent of them were affected by at last one successful cyberattack in the course of the previous year. So what should we expect from the current year? Let’s find out.

1.    Cyber-attacks involving SAP systems

With SAP being one of the leading providers of large-scale business solutions of all kinds, it is no wonder that its products often become a target of hacker attacks. According to the latest research, 77 percent of the world’s transactional revenue uses an SAP system at some stage, including several organizations working in such essential sectors as defense, critical infrastructure, pharmaceutics, and so on. A successful attack can allow cybercriminals to get complete control over a compromised SAP application, leading to data theft, financial fraud and disruption of business processes. The best preventive measure is always to apply the latest patches to your applications and use unique, strong passwords on all web-facing accounts.

2.    Scam websites

With the number of people using online shopping, delivery and other services at all-time high due to the Covid-19 pandemic, cybercriminals are among the first to react to this rise in demand. They are not satisfied with using phishing emails to lure unsuspecting victims to the lookalikes of the websites they use. These days, they often use seemingly legitimate websites offering popular services like door-to-door delivery, academic assistance, or online courses, with the sole purpose of tricking their visitors into willingly providing their personal and financial information. There is no easy way to address this threat except by avoiding using unfamiliar websites or getting reliable information about them before dealing with them – for example, by reading the best essay writing service reviews before hiring one.

3.    Work-from-home attacks

The year 2020 forced a vast portion of the workforce to use their home broadband connections for their personal use and jobs, leading to a manifold increase in corporate attack surface. With people habitually neglecting security requirements even on their work networks, it is hardly surprising that they tend to be even laxer when they do not have the company’s cybersecurity specialist looking over their collective shoulder. While teaching employees to be more security-conscious can help some, it is not a panacea. One has to take a more proactive approach – for example, via more stringent identity access management.

4.    Fileless malware attacks

These threats are hazardous because they bypass the usual detection methods that recognize malicious file attachments or notice the creation of suspicious files. Instead, they use the platforms and software tools that have already been approved for use within a corporate network. As always, the primary way of dealing with the threat is constantly being on guard. By regularly updating software and systems, using multifactor authentication and checking the effectiveness of security tools, one can significantly decrease the danger.

5.    Human-operated ransomware

Initially, criminals using ransomware tended to use the spray-and-pray strategy – simply trying to infect as many computers as possible and hoping that some portion of their users will surrender to their demands. However, recently we saw the rise of targeted attacks specifically aiming at larger companies that may yield greater payoffs.

Cybercrime is going to be an even more significant problem this year – the question is not if, but when you are going to be attacked.


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