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Top 10 IT Security Threats in 2021

Raising awareness on the Top IT Security Threats in 2021 is only one of the ways to combat the many digital threats that businesses face. Information is key, and knowledge is power. The ability to keep track of and to prepare for these harmful digital issues that have the potential to damage and destroy businesses are a big help to security and risk management consultants, so that they can better support business goals. These threats are:

1. Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the biggest stressors impacting businesses in the last three years. It still remains on the list of Top IT Security Threats in 2021. Just as the name implies, it ransoms your wares. Meaning it impinges on company security to steal encrypted data and secure database information, with a threat to delete everything unless a ransom is paid. Every 14 seconds to date, there is a ransomware attack on a business. That’s around 4,000 ransomware attacks happening on a daily basis. Thus, building safeguards against this kind of infiltration is top priority. Training employee to spot this type of breach is paramount. This, along with endpoint security protection can mitigate this online extortion.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and few minutes of cyber-incident to ruin it. Stephane Nappo

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2. Cryptojacking

Mimicking the same style of ransomware, the goal of this is to steal cryptocurrency. Patterned after old school carjacking, another name for cryptojacking is cryptomining. What makes this extra sneaky is that it runs silently in the background, going unnoticed while it quietly mines for cryptocurrency. Before you realise it, everything has been stolen.

3. Phishing Attacks

Tagged as the biggest threat to cybersecurity, with 76% of businesses noting they have fallen victim, it is not surprising that IT analysts have beefed up security measures to keep phishers at bay. Designed to steal credit card information, user log-in, and other financial or personal information, they pretend to be the trusted source to scam for your information. Sometimes, all it takes is a click of link to get everything from you. Thus, it is important to read the fine print and to double check when receiving any form of communication.

Companies spend millions of dollars on firewalls, encryption and secure access devices, and it’s money wasted; none of these measures address the weakest link in the security chain.Kevin Mitnick

4. Cross-site Scripting

These types of attacks use an official looking business website to perform unwanted code in a victim’s browser. Executing the code makes it easy for the offender to steal cookie information so they can hijack the site without any credentials. Also known as XSS, cross-site scripting can target not just individuals but organisations.

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5. Mobile Malware

Mobile devices are now also targeted by hackers. Poor vulnerability management has reinforced this trend. Some organisations have attempted to operate MDM solutions or Mobile Device Management to combat this. However, a lack of updates in the some of the software found in devices make it difficult to adopt.

6. Software Supply Attack

Incidents of supply chain attacks have increased tremendously in past few years. It is a growing risk because the number of infections or virus injected into a legitimate software package can go unnoticed. This attack implants malware during the production stage or while in third party storage making it difficult to eradicate.

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7. IoT Device Threats

Referred to as “Internet of Things” (IoT), these are potential threats from devices that are supposed to help in maintaining security. For instance, security cameras and smart container chips are in abundance, but many people do not know how to manage these products, even though they have proliferated in most public areas. Failure to understand these IoT devices puts everyone at risk.

8. IoT botnet DDoS Attacks

Networks composed of these IoT devices are massive in scale. Unfortunately, this can all be controlled from a remote location and they can be used to launch attacks. Powerful botnets are a conglomeration of these machines and computers. Hackers controlling these networks can issue a DDos attack or a distributed denial of service. An example of this is hacking the traffic light network system to create utter chaos.

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9. Geopolitcal Risks

Where a company’s products are based or where their data is stored increase information security threats. Disregarding this can lead to unpalatable outcomes.

10. Advanced Persistent Threats

This results when an unauthorised attacker code is given permission to enter a system network. The result is quietly stealing information while being able to avoid detection. Unfortunately, the code can remain in the network for a long period of time creating the perfect environment to steal information.

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Conclusion

Being aware and prepared for these cybersecurity threats that potentially have the capacity to destroy businesses in these modern times are dangerous and serious topics that must be faced head on. With cyberthreat continuing to grow and evolve, coupled with new threats emerging almost as soon as an old one is addressed, means that businesses have to be vigilant in order not to fall victim and suffer the dire consequences. These harmful digital issues have a large impact on business outcomes, which include operations and even profits; thus, mitigating against these risks by effectively managing information security threats is vital for any companies survival.

Imran Zaman

The founder of DIGITI.ORG - The Digital Transformation Magazine. Imran is a Senior Consultant who helps FTSE 500 companies develop Cloud-First Strategies, introduce Cloud Operating and Cloud Finance Models and leads international Program Management teams to deliver digital change. Imran writes about Business, Technology and Innovation.
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