The 4 main cybercrime threats in 2021

Cybercrime has been a major issue for businesses of all sizes for a number of years, but it is reported that there has been a fourfold increase in cybercrime complaints since the start of the pandemic. The switch to remote working and the confusion the increased communication between businesses and individuals has created new opportunities for cybercriminals that are using increasingly advanced tactics to attack both businesses and individuals. A successful cyber attack can destroy a company and in more ways than one, which is why it is so important to be aware of a few what the main threats are and how they can be avoided.

1. Phishing

Phishing has been one of the most common cyber attacks for a number of years and has only grown with the pandemic where so much communication is being carried out electronically. Phishing involves the sending of emails with malicious links or files (often masked as a reputable brand) that get users to reveal sensitive data. These attacks have become increasingly advanced and can be hard to spot, which is why it is so important for organisations to provide training with an anti-phishing training suite from somewhere like Proofpoint.

2. Ransomware

Ransomware involves a hacker gaining access to a computer and then holding the sensitive data or locking the device for ransom. Of course, there is no guarantee that the data will be returned even if you do pay the ransom, which is why businesses need to prevent ransomware at all costs. The best protection against ransomware is keeping all software up to date, never downloading suspicious files or clicking on unknown links, and to always back up data to an external device so that you always have spare in case an attack is successful.

3. Malware

Malware is a broad term, but essentially it is malicious software that can steal, corrupt, or delete data or even hijack core computing functions. Malware attacks can also monitor activity, which can result in the theft of sensitive data. This usually involves worms, Trojan horses, spyware, or worms and is commonly distributed through hard drives, USB devices, and internet downloads. Having high-quality antivirus protection and keeping this up to date is the best layer of defence against malware and should help to keep your computers clean at all times.

4. Social engineering

Social engineering attacks are particularly nasty because they involve tricking people and often playing on emotions. Often, an attacker will pose as another employee or friend (and may have even hacked their account) and will be asking for sensitive data or simply for cash. It can be hard to stop these attacks even with the best cybersecurity in place because they rely on human interaction, which means that the only way to prevent these attacks is with staff training on how to spot social engineering attacks and to have rules in place about sharing important data (such as only giving passwords in person).


Hopefully, this post will be useful by educating you on the biggest cybersecurity threats in 2021 and how you can protect your business during a time where cybercrime is on the rise.

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