3 Cybersecurity Threats to be Aware of 2021

cybersecurity

If you haven’t heard the news, cybercrime is on the increase. This is incredibly worrisome in a time when we’re becoming more dependent on our digital devices. This isn’t only to work remotely but also do our online banking and other general tasks that are part of our modern lifestyles. 

Every time you log onto one of your devices, you run the risk of becoming the victim of one of the many cybersecurity threats currently doing the rounds. Exactly what are these threats and are some worse than others? 

Cyber Threats in 2021 – A Very Real Problem

Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and invasive. Detection is becoming more difficult and the effects can be devastating. Let’s have a look at three of the worst cyber threats to be aware of in 2021.

Ransomware

Ransomware is an invasive program that encrypts your data files. To have your data and personal information unencrypted, the hacker demands payment. When the hacker receives a payment a decryption will be provided to release the personal data back to the original owner. 

Costs can vary anywhere between a few hundred dollars to thousands. Usually, the costs are payable to cybercriminals in the form of Bitcoin. Currently, Ransomware is the third most common type of malware used in data breaches around the world.

It’s estimated that 56% of ransomware victims have paid the ransom to have their data released. So, this kind of cybercriminal clearly has a lucrative ‘business plan’.  

Phishing

Phishing takes place when cybercriminals impersonate legitimate organisations via text messages, advertisements or emails. They use these means to steal sensitive, personal information of online users. This information is then used to impersonate the user and commit fraud or steal the user’s own funds. 

While Phishing is one of the older cyberattack threats, it’s still very present and menacing in 2021. The more aware users become of Phishing scams, the more complex cybercriminals create them. It’s estimated that at least 95% of all data breaches in enterprises in the 2019/2020 period involved Phishing in one form or another. 

Third-Party Software

One of the easiest ways for hackers to illicitly obtain the information they need is to use a vulnerability in third-party vendor systems. These types of invasions can happen through your social media accounts such as Instagram and Facebook. They can also affect applications like Spotify.

Hackers gain access to your personal data by using these platforms as a gateway to other domains. Often these platforms present a vulnerability giving cybercriminals access to the information on your personal devices such as mobile phones. Third-party apps are often used on websites to generate income or provide simpler connectivity to customers. Cybercriminals see this as a way to breach your or your clients’ personal data. 

Last Words—Some Advice

So, how do you avoid this happening to you?

If you have no choice but to work remotely, or even simply spend a considerable amount of time online, the first step is to familiarise yourself with cyber threats. Know what they are and how to avoid them.

Then, perform regular, updated virus and malware scans on your devices and practice effective password protocols. Despite the threats, you CAN protect your personal information!