Source: Press Release Service
Cyber security refers to the practice of having systems in place to mitigate those risks. It should be a multi-layered process that evolves in line with technology and regulations.
In 2021, cyber-attacks were at an all-time high. To help you understand how these attacks work and what they look like, we have outlined the top 5 cyber security risks for businesses in 2021:
1. Phishing schemes: Phishing emails lure users to click on links that expose their computers to unauthorised access or introduce malware. These have become extremely sophisticated, with recent attacks preying on victim’s fears of COVID-19 to persuade them to share sensitive information.
In the era of “BYOD” (bring your own device) and cross-device data sharing, employees are gatekeepers of their organisation’s data, even when not at work. Awareness, training, and cultivating good IT hygiene practices are vital in protecting everyone from phishing schemes.
2. Ransomware: This is a data-encrypting program that demands payment to release the infected data. In 2020 alone, $1.4 billion was demanded in ransom, with an average cost of $1.45 million required to rectify the damage. Comprising 22% of data breaches, ransomware is a common cyber security risk – and a particularly malicious form of attack.
3. DDoS attacks: Sites or services are targeted with a flood of network traffic, resulting in crashes and inaccessibility. This is sometimes used in combination with a ransom demand – if not paid, the criminals will continue to overwhelm the organisation with traffic.
4. Unpatched third-party software: Any cyber service you or your business uses can leave your data vulnerable to threats. In January 2021, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s customer data was breached after an attack on a third-party file-sharing service. If one system is compromised, hackers can often access other linked domains.
In 2020, 36 billion records were exposed to unauthorised users, and according to Verizon, 80% of organisations experienced a cyber security breach originating from a third-party vendor. So even if internal systems are secure, other tools and services may need to be managed to protect business assets.
5. Remote workers: Even if on-site IT infrastructures are protected, remote systems may not be shielded from cyber attacks in the same way.
Last year, many employees were thrust into a remote working environment before remote networking capabilities could be established.
Many home WiFi networks are not secure and can be easily exploited, especially when linked to personal phones and other devices. There are further risks here than just attacks by hackers or cyber criminals; kids or family members using work equipment could inadvertently access private company data or mishandle it on shared devices.
In 2021- it’s more important than ever for business to be proactive about their cyber risk
From leaked data and loss of consumer trust to total site shutdown, the consequences of unprotected IT systems are substantial and could therefore become a financial cost as well.
With more sophisticated scams, increased remote working, and more data than ever at risk, cyber security must be an ongoing and proactive process that involves the continuous evaluation of systems and people.
A managed IT service can offer support and solutions to protect your company, data, and personnel from major cyber risks.
Think Concepts are leaders in IT solutions, innovation, and global technology trends
Think Concepts provides people-focused IT support and cloud and managed IT services for small to medium-sized businesses throughout New Zealand. With over 15 years of experience in business IT support services, we work proactively to ensure the performance, stability, and security of all our customers’ IT systems.
Media Release – June 2021
Courtney McCullough, Think Concepts
Phone: 0800 4 84465