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January 7, 2021

2020 was a wild ride for everyone. The tumultuous events of the year sent shockwaves through every aspect of our lives, from the way we work to the way we interact with friends and family. Cybersecurity was definitely impacted. As you’re deciding what adjustments you might want to make for your 2021 cybersecurity plan, these facts about cybersecurity in 2020 need to be part of your planning process.

1. Phishing Rules the Roost

Most of today’s nastiest threats have a common denominator: phishing. More than 80% of all cyberattacks are phishing based. That means that an essential part of keeping your business safe from cybercrime is keeping your business safe from phishing. Phishing attacks skyrocketed by over 600% in 2020, and that’s not going to go away.

With many people still working from home, and a greater reliance on email communication, the dangers of phishing are even more apparent for businesses, especially in the form of ransomware. Cybercriminals are leaping at the golden opportunity that increased email usage creates for them to launch phishing attacks – and they’re branching out with more attempts through voice, text, messaging, and SMS.

Mitigate this risk by increasing your commitment to security awareness training that includes phishing resistance. Creating a strong cybersecurity culture by enlisting all of your employees in the fight against phishing transforms them from security risks to security assets. It also builds essential cyber resilience for your business.

Optistar’s Security Awareness Training is the ideal solution to get every employee up to date and on board to spot and stop phishing. Easy remote management, video training, and online testing make it a snap to keep your staff vigilant against phishing threats whether they’re in the office or remote.

2. Ransomware is Here to Stay

Ransomware has been the most devastating and disruptive single threat type in 2020, and that looks set to continue right into 2021. More than 50% of businesses were impacted by ransomware in 2020. It’s become a favored tool of hackers from sophisticated nation-state groups to cybercriminal gangs on the Dark Web. Experts estimate that a ransomware attack will take place every 11 seconds in 2021.

Cybercriminals aren’t just using ransomware to steal data anymore. This year, we’ve seen a trend toward ransomware being used to disrupt operations at businesses, manufacturers, essential services, infrastructure targets, and hospitals plus many organizations in other sectors worldwide. Just before the COVID-19 vaccine news started rolling in, cybercriminals were deploying ransomware against hospitals, pharmaceutical developers, laboratories, even cold storage trucking companies. They weren’t trying to steal data, they were trying to disrupt operations at critically needed organizations in order to score a big, quick payday, and they were successful in many cases.

That’s what makes a secure identity and access management solution an essential tool for every business, no matter the size or industry. Experts agree that multifactor authentication and single sign-on are powerful mitigations against cybercrime including ransomware.

3. Dark Web Danger is Real and Growing

The Dark Web is a complicated place, and just like everything else in the world, the chaotic nature of events in 2020 impacted the way it operates too. It hasn’t stopped growing – Dark Web activity has increased by more than 300% in the last 3 years. While it hasn’t been as much of a newsmaker as flashier things like nation-state hacking, make no mistake – it’s still an enormous threat to your business, and that threat is only growing larger with time.

Why? Because the proliferation of information gathered in data breaches, especially in this record-breaking year, provides ample fuel for cybercrime like credential stuffing and spear phishing. The growth of the cybercrime-as-a-service sector of the Dark Web economy also puts companies squarely in the crosshairs of bad actors. Plus, in a challenging economy, even cybercriminals are feeling the pinch and looking for new ways to rake in cash.

Dark Web monitoring is a security essential because it provides your company with something incredibly precious: time. By having your business credentials monitored 24/7/365 with our expert human and machine-powered analysis, you’re making it possible for you to find out if you’ve been a victim of credential compromise fast. Which gives your IT team time to address vulnerabilities before the bad guys even find them. 

Cybersecurity in 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride, but we’ve all learned from these challenges to ultimately become more adaptable and more resilient – two great qualities that we are taking into 2021. Use these essential facts about cybersecurity in 2020 to stay one step ahead of the bad guys in 2021. Contact us today and we’ll show you how our solutions can help you secure your systems and data against today’s (and tomorrow’s) biggest threats fast.

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