2020 was an intense year. 2020 put Cybersecurity tactics to the ultimate test. We had to change so many fundaments in the way we lived and worked that put our lives and offices in such volatile situations that tested our resilience in every way possible. This volatility fueled a boom of cybercrimes, and we witnessed record-breaking ransomware and phishing attacks. These attacks did not discriminate. They were prevalent in every single industry, including those who were not accustomed to receiving these attacks. Through our partner, ID Agent, we are spotlighting the top five cybersecurity trends of 2020 and their impact on today.
We are nearing an entire year of living with a global pandemic. Some things now seem normal, and most have gotten accustomed to working and living with our new constraints. Although, even when things start to feel normal, we still have a great deal of uncertainty surrounding many processes. One of these uncertainties is the process of receiving unemployment or stimulus money. Because there is so much money to be applied for with such great urgency, cybercriminals are taking full advantage of this easy paycheck. These attempts are paying up to $20,000 per successful attempt. A payout this large urges the cybercriminals not to worry about the extra work and are cashing in on our identities. How will you stay safe?
As if we hadn't seen enough spam and phishing emails with the onset of COVID-19, it has gotten worse. Since the start of 2021, we have experienced an even more significant rise in spam/phishing emails. As we have discussed many times before, these emails can be quite tricky. We are all familiar with the phishing email that appears to be a friend or family member stranded in a foreign country. Although those attempts still make a great deal of money, today's scams are so much more sophisticated. Today, the phishing attacks genuinely appear to be your bank or Amazon requesting sensitive information. There are a few tried and true rules to help avoid these tricky scams.
As we near 2021, I hope you rejoice in the ending of a challenging year and eagerly step toward a year with more light and promise. We have seen significant advancements in technology throughout 2020 with the immediate need to change the way we live and work. In addition to the significant advances, we unfortunately have also seen cybercrimes spike. We are all thrilled to shed this current year and move past it, although we need to make sure we are stepping into 2021 educated and ready to take on the imminent threat of cybercrimes. Now is the time to ready ourselves to be educated, secure, and cyber-ready.
In regards to Multifactor Authentication, the question should not be if but instead what kind. Multifactor authentication (MFA) is vital to the security of your network. As Brian Sherman from Valeo was quoted, “Weaker MFA is better than no MFA.” However, if you can protect your data more thoroughly, then why wouldn’t you? Let’s take a look at the forms of MFA and how they will help keep your data safe.
Top 2020 Phishing Threats and How to Dodge Them
2020 has been quite a year thus far. Alongside record alcohol sales, Cybercrimes are also at an all-time high. As we have discussed in the past, 91% of breaches begin with a phishing attempt, and we have seen phishing attempts increase by 600% since January. To avoid these tricky phishing schemes, we need to understand what to be vigilant of when it comes to phishing attempts. We know that COVID-19 phishing attacks are on the rise but don't get too complacent in that fact. Let's take a look at the top trending phishing attacks in 2020.
As we have discussed time and time again, COVID-19 has changed a great deal about our world. It has altered the way we work, the way we socialize, and it has put a massive new stressor on our shoulders. Not only do we fear our health, but COVID-19 has proven to be a threat to our business’ cybersecurity. The scams that have come out of the fear and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 are elaborate. From using frightening subject lines to adopting faux letterhead, these scam artists are scrambling to use the climate of fear and disruption that has been caused by COVID-19 to their benefit.