2021 Cybersecurity Trends – What You Need to Know

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant shift in how businesses and their employees work. The adoption of new technology accelerated, but at the same time, so did the incidence of cybercrime. This article will discuss how small business owners and professional service firms can protect themselves from devastating cyberattacks. It might be a little depressing or outright frightening. A little planning and preparation can go a long way in protecting your assets.

Small Business as Targets

The business press reported a massive increase in cyberattacks in 2020, with the Solar Winds attack leading the way. Other brands like Twitter, Garmin, and Marriott International also suffered devastating data breaches. Large businesses are well suited to survive attacks. They have more resources, bigger IT teams, and lots of lawyers. Small businesses are not exempt from these types of attacks and are often targeted by cybercriminals.  A small ransomware attack may be a catastrophic event for a law firm or small business.

In this way, being small can be a liability when it comes to cybersecurity. The cost to protect your network from attacks may not fit into your IT budget. The solution is to develop a plan to provide the best protection you can afford and implement it over time.

Remote Office Workers Are a Unique Problem

Before 2020, most IT security systems secured offices. There were well-defined walls and rules. Remote workers now require businesses to protect hundreds of individual offices. IT managers now need to deal with the kids’ downloading games onto the company laptop and tablets left in cars. The rules are different. Another challenge is to develop policies to protect assets when employees quit or are fired. It is difficult to stop employees from deleting critical files and stealing customer data.

Ransomware

Ransomware is malware that infects your system and encrypts your operating system, locking you out of your network. You obtain the digital key only after paying the ransom, often requested in bitcoin, which can’t be traced. The malware spreads through your network, infecting existing files on desktops and servers. Ransomware demands are also rising, costing in the $50 to $75,000 range. Legal fees, IT remediation and insurance costs make the attacks even more costly.

Phishing Email

Email attacks continue to be the biggest cybersecurity threat. Phishing emails entice users to click on links that insert viruses into your network. Scanning software can detect and filter a lot of spam emails.

Breach Reporting Requirements

Another factor is government regulation. California maintains a public list of businesses reporting data breaches. New York and North Carolina require firms to report hacks and data breaches. These regulations require companies to alert customers via email or phone if there is a data breach. Health data privacy must comply with HIPAA regulations.

Security Risk Assessments

Taking inventory of your cybersecurity needs is the first step to developing a comprehensive protection plan. Parkway Tech will work with your leadership team to conduct a security risk assessment. We review your current process, evaluate risks, and develop a long-term plan that fits within your existing budget. Our cybersecurity services will protect your business from cyberattacks and help you comply with government regulations. Visit our website or call us at (336) 310-9888 to schedule your assessment.

Written by Chris Michalec posted on February 21, 2021

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