Top Cybersecurity Threats & Solutions in 2021

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The technological developments we are witnessing today have taught us that whenever new opportunities come in, there are those who must always exploit them for their benefit.

The cybersecurity world is one perfect example of how cybercriminals are leveraging recent technological advancements that would have been used to transform human lives for their malicious reasons. Hackers have brought down websites, stole sensitive data, committed financial fraud, and infiltrated networks with dangerous traffic.

There is no doubt that cybersecurity threats are increasing, and something should be done quickly to mitigate the situation. It all starts by understanding some of the cybersecurity threats that your organization could face

Top Cyber Security Threats

1. Social engineering

social engineeringSocial engineering has emerged as one of the most prolific and influential tactics that cybercriminals employ to gain unauthorized access to networks or systems. Social engineering attacks work by manipulation and exist in different forms.

The most prevalent form of social engineering attack is phishing. Symantec shows that there is one phishing email in every 4200 emails sent. Another report reveals that $17,700 is lost each minute because of phishing attacks. 

Other wide-scale social engineering attacks include baiting, spear phishing, smishing, and watering hole attacks. 

2. Ransomware

Ransomware attacks are a form of malicious software that encrypts or erases information kept on a computer network, distorting the information, and making it unavailable until a ransom fee is paid. 

Ransomware attacks are increasing rapidly and becoming one of the most dangerous threats on the internet. The internet is witnessing new variations of ransomware attacks daily. 

They have now become a global issue whose primary motivation is monetary gain. They lead to loss of sensitive data, disrupt normalcy in network and system operations, and harm an organization’s reputation. 

3. SQL Injections

A Structured Query Language attack, which is popularly abbreviated as SQL injection, is a type of attack where a hacker inserts a malicious code into a server that uses a structured query language. A server that becomes infected will release sensitive information to the users. 

4. Insider Threats

Another major threat that is causing havoc is insider threats. An insider threat refers to risk to an organization driven by intention or unintentional acts of the employees (former or current), contractors, or business associates. 

Employees could easily access critical organization data through negligence or malicious reasons or act as a link for hackers to access the same data.

Insider threats have been on the rise, especially in the recent past. According to a 2017 Verizon data breach investigation report, 25 percent of data breaches resulted from insider threats. 

The report shows that insider threats have become a menace that could put employees, organizations, and stakeholders at risk. Insider threats can lead to severe financial and reputational damages. 

5. Malware

Top Cybersecurity Threats and Simple Solutions [2021]A malware attack is where attackers target a computer system or network to infiltrate the network with malicious software. Malware will be activated when the victim clicks on a link or downloads a malicious attachment.

Malware can be so dangerous to your system. They could deny you access to critical network components, spy on your sensitive data and activities, and make the system inoperable by disrupting the individual parts. There are different forms of malware such as Spyware, Trojan horses, Viruses, Worms, and Ransomware, 

6. DDoS attacks

A Distributed Denial of Service attack is where attackers target multiple compromised networks to attack a system and cause a denial of service to the victim. 

Attackers will flood the network with heavy traffic forcing it to slow down or shut down completely. HelpNetSecurity shows that there were 4.83 million Distributed Denial of Service attacks in the first half of 2020.

Recommended solutions for cyber threats

The cost of a successful cybersecurity breach is not something you are ready to incur. Hackers will leave you with serious financial damages, reputation damages, heavy legal fines, and penalties, and in worst-case scenarios, you will most likely get out of business. 

You have to put in place proper cybersecurity solutions to deal with the cybersecurity threats mentioned above. Here are some cybersecurity solutions that you can employ to protect your network from security threats.

1. Keep Software and Plugins Up-To-Date

It is crucial to keep your website up to date. WordPress and plugins usually contain security vulnerabilities. Cyber attackers are adept at exploiting these vulnerabilities.

 Their joy is to see people failing to carry out the updates. WPBeginner research reveals that 83 percent of hacked WordPress cases in 2012 were not running on up-to-date software. 

You must always ensure that you are running on up-to-date software and security plugins to seal any loopholes and deny hackers entry to your system. 

2. Add HTTPS and an SSL Certificate 

One of the most vital cybersecurity solutions that you should have for your website is the Secure Socket Layer certificate. Secure Socket Layer, more famous with the abbreviation- SSL certificate, secure in-transit data and communication between web servers and web visitors through encryption. 

They ensure that all sensitive data is protected from the reach of hackers. Even if intruders succeeded in accessing the data, they would not decipher its meaning since the information is encrypted. 

Any sound cybersecurity strategy should incorporate the essence of an SSL certificate. You must ensure that you acquire an SSL certificate from a trusted SSL certificate provider

You do not have to spend too much on obtaining the certificate. Price is not a measure of encryption.  Besides price, the type of SSL certificate is important for website security. For example, your site may need a single domain, multi-domain, or any wildcard SSL certificate. 

Moreover, there are different brands like Comodo, GlobalSign, Sectigo that offer few valuable certificates including Comodo wildcard SSL, GlobalSign single domain, Sectigo EV SSL, etc.

3. Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor Authentication

Strong Passwords and Multi-Factor AuthenticationPracticing good password hygiene is very critical to protecting your network against cybersecurity threats. 

Passwords are the first defense line to protect your website, servers, and data against any form of attack. Before a hacker tries other entry points, the hacker will first have to establish how safe your passwords are. Weak passwords will give hackers an easy time to your system. 

Passwords are never strong enough to protect your system from data breaches. You need an extra authentication layer to safeguard your networks. Two-factor authentication is another excellent way of authenticating a user before access. 

Here, factors such as One-time passwords, secret codes, biometric authentication features, and secret words will help prove the authenticity of a user before the user can access the account. 

Because hackers do not have access to the second authentication factor, they will not access your online accounts. 

4. Lockdown your IP address

Another excellent cybersecurity solution is securing user access by setting up which IP addresses should access your system. Locking down your IP address will restrict certain users from accessing your accounts, thereby protecting your account from cybersecurity vulnerabilities. 

5. Backup Your Website

Cyber attackers will not sleep until they find their way to your account. This is despite all the security measures and infrastructure you might have installed to secure your website from cybersecurity threats. 

A data backup plan acts as a post-breach measure that will safeguard your business from the adverse effects of a data breach or data loss.  Always ensure that you undertake regular data backups. You can set up automatic data backups to help you play this role. 

Conclusion: Simple solutions to Cybersecurity threats 

Cybersecurity threats are increasing to alarming heights. We hear them in the news and read them in newspapers almost daily. 

They leave business ventures in deep financial crises, and most businesses that become victims of data breaches cease to exist. This article has explained some of the cybersecurity tips and solutions that you must be aware of. 

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