More Ransomware and Data Breaches Expected in 2021

16 Nov

Covid-19 wasn’t the only pandemic to take the world by storm this year. As it turns out, hackers unleashed a pandemic of their own, mostly in the form of the ransomware and data breaches that swept the world. It would seem that when there’s more scope for remote work to be done, there’s more risk involved.

An employee working from home has limited security measures in place and has a tendency to behave differently when making use of devices and the internet than they would at work. In the office, security is prioritised and in most companies, advocated while at home, this is not the case. And if you thought that 2020 was a bad year for ransomware attacks and data breaches, hold your breath, because experts think that 2020 was “mickeymouse” in comparison to what2021 may hold in store for us!

high-level ransomware and data breaches expected

Cybersecurity experts are warning that the attacks and breaches they expect in 2021 will be more advanced. This means trouble for the average computer and network user.

With employees working from home while practising social distancing, they have created a “fun park” for the aspiring hacker. Ransomware attacks were already on the rise across the world and as a result of weakened security measures and increased “weak links”, they were able to turn ransomware attacks into full-on data breaches.

what’s the solution?

As a result of all the time and money lost on trying to untangle the mess left behind by hackers, companies are having to invest more capital into their remote worker’s cybersecurity measures. In fact, a recent survey of those affected by ransomware and hacks has indicated that they plan to increase their entire digital and cyber spend. 61% or respondents said they will be focusing a lot of their attention on cyber security, while 53% said they would be seeking out cloud services and solutions that will safeguard their data and business.

In short: regular data encrypted backups are now a keen focus of businesses seeking a safer “at home” working scenario.

what type of attacks are predicted for 2021?

Cybersecurity professionals believe that the following predictions are reliable:

  • increased attacks on health care and medical systems

The world is scrambling for a COVID-19 vaccine and that means hackers want to get their hands on any and all sensitive data related to this research. Data of this nature is highly valuable to a hacker and the healthcare industry. On an aside, small-time hackers may simply use the opportunity to expose the personal particulars of patients in an attempt to carry out identity theft.

  • lack of stringent permission limits will lead to cloud data breaches

Many companies making the move to the cloud and even cloud-based backups often overlook their duty to limit each employee’s access. This means that the receptionist of the business should have far less access to the system and its data files than the CEO. Companies will need to take a look at their permission limits and adjust them if they want to avoid falling victim to “human-error, one of the most common sources of data theft.

  • company “moles” may wreak havoc

We don’t often give much thought to who a hacker or weak link might be. It could be your star employee leaking sensitive information, or even a marketing assistant doing an inside job. Insider threats have been on the rise for sometime now and if your business has a “mole”, it’s best to seek them out and remove them as soon as possible. Monitoring what each staff member is doing on the system could point you in the right direction.

You should also consider storing all sensitive information in the cloud (data encrypted of course) so that no data is stored on devices, ready for a third party to get his/her hands on.

the responsibility lies with every team member

Creating a sense of individual responsibility amongst your staff is a good starting point. Employees should also take responsibility for the security of all company data. Providing pointed training, securing preventative systems and measures, and making sure that each staff member is on board whether they are working in the office or at home is essential if you hope to thwart the attempts of opportunistic hackers and ransomware agents next year. As 2021 looms, business owners need to get to work on their cybersecurity now.

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