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.
Microsoft held its annual Microsoft Ignite conference last month in a virtual setting. There was no lack of technology to put on this incredible event. A variety of Green Screens and a Keynote presented through virtual reality was what we witnessed, and all went off without a hitch. This year even though we could not be there in person, the conference was no less impressive. There were two common themes this year that focused on the Cloud and security. It is apparent that Microsoft is continuing to be a forward thinker in technology, and we were thrilled with the conference announcements.
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.
In March of 2020, work as we knew it instantly changed. We were used to an office environment where physical office space was the norm. Virtual meetings were the exception and were primarily used when clients were distant and travel was impossible. Although more and more companies had made working virtually more acceptable, the trend was merely beginning. The global pandemic of COVID-19 changed all of this. Many will look back on this year and remember it as a disaster. However, because of the challenging world pandemic, technology quickly evolved and was adopted faster than would have ever happened.
The question is not whether you should have multifactor authentication (MFA); instead, what type? MFA is utterly essential when it comes to your business and personal data security. In the world of multifactor authentication, not all avenues are created equal. Although having something is better than nothing, in this case, that is not the attitude that you should have concerning your security. In 2016, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) proposed restricting the use of SMS or voice for MFA, and although they softened their approach, they still do not recommend this method of MFA. Microsoft recently began campaigning against using SMS or voice for MFA. Today we are going to look at why the big push and what avenue is best for MFA.
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.
Cybersecurity is a term we discuss broadly. It was discovered in 2019 that the average sophisticated cyberattack costs an organization $13million. With this extreme financial consequence, you can understand why we focus on cybersecurity education and prevention. We know the dangers of cyberattacks, although are you aware of what started the Cybersecurity Industry? This week we hit the thirty-second anniversary of the first sophisticated computer worm. How did this "research project" meant to determine the Internet's size end up taking down 10% of the Internet within 24 hours?