Cybersecurity Lessons Learned in 2021

As we move towards the close of 2021, businesses have become over-reliant on digital technologies to conduct their operations. While this newfound reliance brings several benefits, it also leaves them vulnerable to cyberattacks. To stay safe in today’s online world, business owners ought to be aware of the current cybersecurity threats and the possible precautions to take to protect their companies. This post looks at how cybercrime progressed and the ten cybersecurity lessons learned in 2021. Dive in!

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting electronic information by mitigating information risks and vulnerabilities. It includes measures taken to protect confidentiality, integrity, and data availability. Cybersecurity threats are increasing in number and sophistication as hackers find new ways to exploit businesses’ weak points.

What is the importance of cybersecurity?

By 2022, it is estimated that 95% of cyberattacks will be invisible to the human eye. With such grim statistics, cybersecurity has become a top priority for businesses. Inadequate cybersecurity practices could put your business at risk of losing sensitive information or facing legal sanctions, fines, and slashed stock values.

How are hackers getting more sophisticated?

A lot has changed in 5 years. Between 2016 and 2021, Canadian businesses have witnessed a massive evolution of hackers to a level where they have become highly sophisticated criminals. Below are the common cyberattacks that troubled businesses in 2021.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a piece of malware that locks away valuable data or systems within the infected device. Ransom demands are made by the owner in exchange for unlocking the data.

Phishing

This is an attempt by hackers to get hold of sensitive information such as passwords and credit card details (and money) under the guise of a trustworthy person or organization.

Social engineering

Social engineering is a technique used by hackers to exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to confidential information. It can be done in person or remotely through email, phone calls, text messages, and more.

The exploitation of IoT devices

IoT devices are gadgets connected to the internet. They allow businesses to expand their operations and increase efficiency. However, these connected devices pose a significant security risk as they are often left unprotected. Hackers can exploit these devices to access sensitive data or launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

Malicious insiders

It is estimated that a company will lose about 5% of annual revenue to inside workers. Employees going rogue can be a security risk as they can hack into systems, leak, or even sabotage their employer’s data.

DDoS attacks

DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service, a type of attack that floods a website or online service with traffic from multiple sources. This makes the website unavailable to legitimate users.

Weaponized AI

As of 2021, it is estimated that 65% of all cyberattacks evolved through AI. Hackers can use AI for various malicious activities, including developing (AI) malware to launch DDoS attacks and further compromise IT infrastructure.

10 Cybersecurity lessons learned in 2021

1. The value of a proactive cyber approach

Too often, businesses view cybersecurity as an IT issue rather than a business-wide problem. However, an initiative-taking cyber approach means having measures in place to identify and prevent attacks before they happen.

This can include the application of holistic security approaches such as employee training on how to spot phishing attempts, implementing firewalls and anti-virus software, and adopting encryption technology.

2. Cyber insurance is essential

Cyber insurance is a type of insurance that provides businesses with financial protection against cyberattacks. It can help cover the costs of data recovery, business interruption, and crisis management.

3. The importance of multi-layered security

A multi-layered security approach is ranked among the most effective ways to protect your business from cyber-attacks. This means having multiple security measures in place, such as firewalls, anti-virus software, and data encryption.

4. The dangers of ransomware

With the increased cases of ransomware, businesses should remain vigilant and prepare for ransomware attacks. Companies can quickly recover from a cyber-attack and resume operations by having a backup plan.

5. The importance of cyber Intelligence and cyber threat intelligence (CTI)

These intelligence types inform businesses of potential threats to their operations, security, and customer data. CTI provides information about the source, motivation, and tactics of cybercriminals.

CTI also includes information about ransomware campaigns or malware exploits targeting specific industries. It can also provide data about vulnerabilities in the systems and applications used by a company. Businesses can use CTI to improve their cybersecurity posture and protect themselves from various cyber threats.

6. The need for cyber resilience

Cyber resilience is the ability to resist and recover from an attack or disaster and resume normal operations as quickly as possible. Therefore, a practical plan is necessary for businesses to achieve cyber resilience to recover from an attack. They must also ensure they have appropriate cyber insurance coverage.

7. The significance of integrated cyber risk management (iCRM)

To effectively manage their cyber risks, businesses must establish an integrated approach that includes all cybersecurity and information technology (IT) aspects.

This means involving different stakeholders and enhancing security protocols with strategic planning and risk assessments.

8. The need for continued investment in cybersecurity

Continued investment by governments, companies, and individuals is needed to develop new cyber technologies and stay ahead of cybercriminals. This includes investing in cybersecurity education and training to create a future generation of cybersecurity professionals.

9. Enactment and amendment of regulatory legislation

Regulatory legislation is needed to help businesses protect their data and systems from cyberattacks. This includes enacting and amendment of existing laws that mandate data breach reporting, establishing security standards, and imposing sanctions on cybercriminals. This also includes developing and implementing a national cybersecurity strategy.

10. The need for increased international collaboration

International collaboration is needed to establish a global set of cybersecurity standards and help businesses protect their systems from cyberattacks. This includes working with the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The takeaway

With these cybersecurity lessons learned in 2021, businesses should have the proper knowledge and information to protect themselves from cyberattacks. Compunet Infotech, based in North Vancouver, is the best choice company for your cybersecurity needs. We offer desktop and IT support services to the Architectural, Engineering, and Accounting industries in Vancouver and across the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Contact us today to know to keep your business safe!

Special thanks to Ulistic HPC member, James Forbis from Cincinnati IT services company, 4BIS for his help.

Compunet InfoTech Inc.

105-135 East 15th Street North Vancouver, BC V7L 2P7 Phone: (604) 986-8170 Email: info@compunet.ca

Compunet InfoTech offers Managed IT Support & Hosted IT Services For Vancouver & Surrounding Areas. Serving Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Coquitlam and New Westminster.

Our Services