With the rise of remote work starting from early 2020, cybersecurity is more at risk than ever before with the increasing dependence on digital services and platforms. There have been many instances of COVID-related scams and cybersecurity attacks through the internet. Here are the five major cybersecurity threats to be on the lookout for going into 2021 and how to prevent them from occurring:
- Phishing Emails
- Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS)
- Third-Party Software
- Cloud Computing Vulnerabilities
Phishing uses emails and text messages that appear to come from a legitimate or trustworthy organization. The attackers construct messages that cause feelings of urgency or fear, tricking their targets into opening suspicious links or files that contain malware. By doing so, individuals are convinced to reveal important personal information, such as passwords or bank account information.
Some ways to avoid phishing scams are to be cautious of the emails you receive and to refrain from clicking on any links from emails you find suspicious. Also, make sure you are on a secure website before you are taking any action, such as checking that the URL address starts with “https://”. For more information, feel free to check out our information systems advisory on what preventive actions to take.
Ransomware is when a cyberattacker steals access to someone’s data and threatens to release personal information unless the targeted individual makes a payment. A few methods of protecting against ransomware include avoiding clicking on suspicious or unknown links from emails, scanning emails for malware, and using firewalls and endpoint protection to prevent unauthorized communication attempts from outside the company.
3. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS)
According to Cloudflare, a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) is a “malicious attempt to disturb the usual traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming them with a huge amount of internet traffic.” DDoS attacks use several targeted computer systems as sources of the attack traffic. When this happens, a website will start moving much slower or even become unavailable. Prevention methods include having a clear and concise response plan to DDoS attacks, ensuring security systems are up-to-date, and having complex passwords that are changed on a regular basis.
4. Third-Party Software
Although third-party software itself is not dangerous, hackers can still use it as a way to launch cybersecurity attacks. The cybercriminals do this by hacking the third-party vendors you work with and using their cybersecurity weaknesses to indirectly attack. Ways to manage the risk of this happening are keeping an inventory of all third-party vendors and service providers, setting clear cybersecurity policies with third-party vendors, and performing evaluations of the third-party vendors to identify potential weaknesses in cyber safety.
5. Cloud Computing Vulnerabilities
According to Identity Management Institute, examples of cloud computing vulnerabilities are “cloud servers without any strong passwords, storing information without encryption, or failure to install multi-factor authentication to gain access to platforms”. It is a good idea for companies to have secure cloud storage configuration and require multi-factor authentication to log in to websites and services. IT departments must carefully consider the security risks of using cloud software. With that in mind, they can create straightforward solutions that securely store and manage employee and client information.
Ensuring Security in Your Workplace
Finding the right security software that suits your business is essential, and we are here to help! Level 2 Designs makes cybersecurity easy by assisting you with your IT needs and protecting you from cybersecurity attacks. With remote work becoming more common, it is important that you prioritize safety for your company’s and employees’ confidential information. Visit our website for more information or call us at (877) 353-8352.