2020 has been such a turbulent year for many of us and our businesses. With 2021 approaching, here at Euclid Security we decided to put together a list of the top 3 cyber threats to look out for going into 2021. We hope this will help you do your best to reduce your cyber security risks and prepare for what to do if you are unfortunately targeted by these tactics, whether that is putting together your own cyber security plan or undertaking a full security assessment to ensure your online safety.

1. Pandemic Related Phishing Scams

The COVID-19 pandemic is still a threat for a number of reasons, including the opportunities it provides for scammers to use pandemic themed phishing strategies and to target remote workers, who may be working with less security than they are provided with in their regular workplace.

Many of us are used to seeing phishing emails in our junk folder or even in our text messages from scammers pretending to be a variety of global companies such as Amazon, PayPal or Netflix. This is an attempt to get you to click a malicious link and/or input your personal data, with the end goal of infecting your computer with ransomware and stealing your personal information and money. Expect to see a greater number of these phishing emails to be related to Coronavirus – these can come in the forms of claims about the vaccine breakthrough, such as offering free vaccines or your chance to take part in a clinical trial. They might also claim to be offering a free service because of Coronavirus, such as free security assessments, or grants for business owners that have been struggling because of the pandemic. We have recently seen text messages to self-employed individuals from scammers pretending to be the Government, claiming you are entitled to a grant due to the pandemic, and offering a link to a site in which you are asked to input a number of personal details about yourself and your business. It is vital that you ensure yourself and your employees are always looking out for cyber threats, and remain cautious about clicking links in emails – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

2. Cyber Threats for Remote Workers

Another ongoing cyber security risk caused by the pandemic is the number of people who are now forced to work from home. As previously mentioned, it is quite likely that remote workers won’t have the same security infrastructure that is offered in their usual workplace, making them a key opportunity for hackers and scammers to gain access to company information.

One of the biggest dangers in having your employees working remotely is the possibility of them using an open network, rather than their own internet connection. Although over 85% of Americans have access to the internet at home (Source: Statista), this doesn’t stop employees from choosing to work in a local coffee shop or library and using the free and open Wi-Fi, providing their local governance allows it during the pandemic. We highly recommend you either request workers to stay at home to work if they are able to, ask them to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) if it is feasible, and make sure they use complex passphrases that are hard to be guessed. If you really want to tighten up your cyber security, then take advantage of a security assessment done by professionals who can give you further pointers on how to ensure that your remote staff are secure.  

3. New Technology Means New Cyber Threats

There has already been a rise in cyber security risk due to new technology. Over the past few years hackers and scammers have used increasingly intelligent methods to get to your business’ data, that can now be stored within more than just your computer or a server at work. More and more criminals now try to gain access to smartphones, smart TVs and even games consoles in their search for personal information.

One of the most talked about new technologies over the past year has been 5G, and as its implementation becomes more widespread so have the potential cyber threats associated with it. 5G can be anywhere between 10 and 1000 times faster than 4G, depending on where you are and what you are using it for (Source: Tripwire). Some people worry that this extremely high speed offers hackers an easier opportunity to infiltrate data being sent, and they might be on to something considering Purdue University and University of Iowa found what they classed as 11 major vulnerabilities in the network (Source: Forbes). Although it is worth noting that many experts believe that 5G has only the same vulnerabilities as its predecessors, 3G and 4G, this still poses a real threat to individuals and businesses alike.

If you are concerned about cybersecurity risks going forward into 2021, then why not ask for help from the experts? At Euclid Security we offer a range of services to help small and medium with their cyber safety; These include, but aren’t limited to, security awareness and training services, as well as full security assessments. We are able to offer our services globally and remotely where needed, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a no-obligation discussion about your cybersecurity needs.

Tags: Cyber Threats, Cyber Security Risk, Security Assessment