Cybersecurity 2021

Global cybercrime damages are predicted to cost up to $6 trillion annually by 2021.

Malicious hackers are now attacking computers and networks at a rate of one attack every 39 seconds per the University of Maryland’s recent Clark School study.

Primary targets of these cyber criminals are now and are expected to continue to be remote workers complying with COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders. These nefarious actors exploit any gaps in companies’ security postures as they struggle to support workers offsite.

Phishing (22%) and malware (20%) will continue to be the two biggest cyber threats to organizations.

To date, ninety four percent of malware has been delivered via email with over ninety percent of it being polymorphic, meaning it can change its code to evade detection.

Phishing is the number one type of threat action involved in data breaches; thirty percent of phishing emails in the U.S. are opened. Roughly one third of attack emails contain the word “payment” and Monday is the preferred delivery day.

Attack motivations are evolving beyond immediate monetary gratification to data collection designed to promote multiple subsequent attacks. According to a recent security threat report by Symantec, intelligence gathering motivated ninety six percent of attackers.

These are their top ten most coveted information items:

  1. Customer information (17%)
  2. Financial information (12%)
  3. Strategic plans (12%)
  4. Board member information (11%)
  5. Customer passwords (11%)
  6. R&D information (9%)
  7. M&A information (8%)
  8. Intellectual property (6%)
  9. Non-patented IP (5%)
  10. Supplier information (5%)

Mobile threats are growing faster than others with default passwords being the core attack tactic.

Those firms adopting a rigorous cyber vigilance posture and a security conscious culture will be most successful in protecting their organizations in the coming year.

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