2021 Security Threats for Small Businesses
Despicable as it may be, cybercrime is an operation that’s always evolving. Basic principles and techniques remain popular, but the scammers are constantly putting a new twist on their tactics. Let’s address where business owners need to be particularly vigilant this year by examining 2021 security threats for SMB.
While many employees will return to the office in 2021, remote working—often set up in a hurry—will remain a part of business life. That means a difficult balance in giving staff remote access to key documents and other files while keeping them out of the hands of attackers. Whether the scammers try to get log-in details through phishing attacks or route attacks through workers’ computers, it’s a serious potential security gap that needs checking and plugging.
While most of us are familiar with ransomware attacks that lock up files until the victim pays up, there’s a growing number of attackers who favor full-on blackmail. In these cases, the threat isn’t simply to block access to files but to make the data public. That could not only mean compromising trade secrets but also losing public trust. It also risks legal consequences with both contracts and data protection violations.
Cybersecurity Training Waning
With staff either not in the office or working in a socially distanced manner, it’s been harder to physically gather employees together for training of any kind. That includes cybersecurity training, both for onboarding new employees and as a reminder and refresher for long-term staff. Without good procedures and training, you not only risk security slipping from staff’s minds, but you’ll fail to keep them up to date on emerging dangers.
This unusual phrase refers to an unusual attack in which the wrongdoers are neither looking to steal data nor (primarily) to cause harm. Instead, a cryptojacker tries to get remote access to a computer and harness its resources for “cryptocurrency mining.” That’s a process by which people volunteer their computers to process and verify transactions involving cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Do this enough, and you get rewarded with units of said currency, which can then be exchanged for real-world cash. It’s bad enough when scammers hijack office desktops to do this, but if home-based employees fall victim, they could be facing slowed or overheated computers with no IT staff on hand to figure out the cause.
The art of tricking users into handing over sensitive data such as passwords looks set to emerge in two key ways in 2021. One is simply the sheer amount of insight attackers can gleam from previous security breaches and databases leaked online, letting them craft more credible requests. The other is the potential for artificial intelligence to be harnessed for nefarious consequences, with “bots” automatically creating personalized scam communications on an industrial scale.
The good news is that with the right security support, you can mitigate many of the 2021 security threats for SMB. Contact us today for more details on how we can help.