The Biggest Cybersecurity Threats to Be Aware Of

Cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated and more brazen, requiring organizations of all types to step up their cybersecurity efforts. Things have only gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic, with cyberattacks, ransomware, and phishing scams threatening businesses large and small with financial ruin.

Cybersecurity Threats Are On the Rise

With more and more people working remotely, using less-secure personal devices over equally unsecure home wireless networks, the risk of a cyberattack or data breach has increased significantly. According to CyberEdge’s Cyberthreat Defense Report, a record 86% of all organizations experienced a successful cyberattack in 2020. That same year, the FBI reported a 69% increase in cybercrime complaints over the previous year. There is a definite reason for organizations to be on high alert for cybersecurity threats going forward.

8 Biggest Cybersecurity Threats for Businesses Today

What types of cybersecurity threats should you be on guard for? Here are the eight most significant cybersecurity threats menacing organizations today.

1. Ransomware

Getting hit by a ransomware attack can take down your entire organization and leave you with the choice of paying the ransom or trying to recover all your data and systems on your own. It’s not a great choice.

According to the Mid-Year Threat Landscape Report 2020 from Bitdefender, the number of ransomware attacks increased 715% from 2019 to 2020. Sophos reports that companies hit by a ransomware attack spend over $730,000 to restore their systems if they choose not to pay the ransom. Companies that agree to pay the ransom end up spending almost double that amount, $1.45 million on average, to get things back to normal.

2. Phishing

Phishing, spear phishing, and other social engineering attacks are behind 22% of all cyberattacks today, according to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigation Report. Employees, especially those working from home, remain vulnerable to deceptive emails and text messages, which enables malicious actors to steal their credentials and access sensitive data on your systems.

3. Weak Passwords

You’d think, after all these years, that people would learn that the best protection against many forms of attack is a strong password. Still, employees often use weak passwords to log in to their corporate accounts – and those easy-to-remember passwords are also easy for hackers to crack. For this reason, many organizations are requiring longer and more complex passwords or implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) to provide an extra barrier of protection.

4. Malware Attacks

According to the Verizon report, 17% of all cyberattacks in 2020 involved malware of one form or another. Hackers implant malware on a system to help gain access and then steal or destroy valuable data. The malware typically comes from phishing or spam emails, malicious downloads from unreliable websites, or transferring files from USB drives or mobile devices.

5. DDoS Attacks

A distributed denial of service (DDos) attack can quickly take down your organization’s website and cripple your corporate network. The NETSCOUT Threat Intelligence Report notes that more than 10 million DDoS attacks were reported in 2020, 1.6 million more than in the previous year. Given that a DDoS attack can cost an average of $5,600 per minute, you can see why this is one of the most costly types of attacks today.

6. Cloud Breaches

With an increasing number of employees working from home, companies continue to move much of their data storage online, where files can be accessed by anyone from any location. This, unfortunately, creates a more attractive target for cybercriminals. According to McAfee’s Cloud Adoption and Risk Report, the number of reported threats targeting cloud services increased a whopping 630% in the first four months of 2020 alone.

7. IoT Attacks

Many cybercriminals are finding that the easiest way to break into a large organization is not through phishing or malware but rather through the company’s printers and coffee machines. Thanks to the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), more and more “smart” devices are being used in companies today. Unfortunately, these devices are often completely unprotected from malicious attack. A smart hacker can take control of one of these IoT devices and through it gain access to the entire corporate network and the data stored within.

8. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Man-in-the-middle attacks target online communications. The attacker intercepts a text, voice, or video communication between two parties and then eavesdrops on their conversation. The attacker can also modify their communications so that the receiving party gets the attacker’s message instead of the sender’s. Man-in-the-middle attacks are also used to gain unauthorized access to the computer systems of one or both of the parties involved. This type of attack can be foiled by the use of end-to-end encryption for communications.

Let Wickr Reduce the Risk of Cybersecurity Threats to Your Organization

Many organizations are turning to Wickr to reduce the cybersecurity threat risk to their employees’ communications. Wickr is a secure communication and collaboration platform that uses military-grade, end-to-end encryption and “burn on read” technology to minimize the risk of man-in-the-middle and other forms of attack. Contact us to learn more about using Wickr to secure your organization’s text, voice, and video communications.

Contact us today to learn more about Wickr’s secure communication platform.