2021 Cybersecurity Year In Review

woman at computer

In 2021, cybersecurity continued to be a top concern for businesses and individuals alike. Despite increased awareness and investment in cybersecurity solutions, there were still many high-profile cyberattacks that affected both organizations and individual users.

When we see these high-profile attacks on the news, it’s important to use them as case studies so we can learn how to keep ourselves safe.

5 Major Cybersecurity Breaches of 2021

1. Android Users

Last April, more than 100 million android users’ data was exposed. This breach happened because of a misconfiguration of cloud services. 23 apps were unsafely handling information in a way that compromised security.

2. Microsoft Exchange Email Servers

Microsoft Exchange email servers were hacked by a Chinese hacking group called Hafnium, which obtained access to the email accounts of at least 30,000 businesses in the United States and 250,000 globally.

3. Colonial Pipeline

A criminal group called DarkSide breached the Colonial Pipeline’s systems and shut it down completely. They demanded a ransom of $4.4 million before turning the system back on.

4. Socialarks

214 million profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin were exposed by an organization called Socialarks. An unsecured database caused the personal information of 214 million people to be leaked.

5. Kroger

A breach at their third-party cloud provider allowed hackers to access the pharmacy data and HR information of 1,474,284 people. Sensitive information like social security numbers, home addresses, phone numbers, and health insurance information was all accessed.

What Can We Learn?

Despite increasing cybersecurity investment, businesses and individuals are still being impacted by cyberattacks. In order to stay safe, it’s important to be aware of the most common cybersecurity threats and take measures to protect yourself.

The majority of these breaches were caused by human error. When we neglect to protect our information, hackers can attack.

5 Ways to Protect Your Business from Cybersecurity Attacks

1. Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication requires more than one type of authentication to log in. This can include something you know, like a password, and something you have, like a security key. Requiring your employees to use MFA keeps your information safe because hackers can’t get into your system with a password alone.

2. Have Regular Cyber Security Trainings

Your employees may forget about some security best practices. Hiring an IT professional to come in and train your employees will save you from future breaches. Most managed IT companies offer regular training to keep you safe.

3. Keep Up With Updates

Keeping your software up-to-date is another way to stay safe. Make sure to continually update your software when prompted. Your IT provider will help make sure your software is up-to-date.

4.  Use Strong Passwords

Your passwords are your first line of defense. Make sure they’re strong and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. Generating a random password for each account is the safest way to keep your passwords strong.

5. Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates a secure connection between your device and the internet. When you’re using public wifi, it’s important to use a VPN to keep your information safe. Your IT provider can help you set up a VPN for your business.

How an IT Provider Keeps Your Company Safe

IT providers provide a major line of defense against cybersecurity attacks.  They can help you set up multi-factor authentication, keep your software up-to-date, and provide cybersecurity training for your employees. They also offer a VPN to keep your data safe when you’re using public wifi.

It may be tempting to run your IT in-house. Having an IT provider is much safer for your business. They have the experience and knowledge to keep you safe from cybersecurity attacks.

Training

One major perk of managed IT is the training they provide. Your employees can learn directly from the experts. This can include cybersecurity training to keep your data safe and even protect you against phishing. IT providers offer regular trainings on a variety of topics, so you can stay up-to-date on the latest technology.

Disaster Recovery

Some cyberattacks hinge on a lack of backups. Hackers will steal information and ask for a ransom to give it back. Your IT provider can ensure you have adequate backups so these attacks aren’t detrimental.

Reliable EDR Software

Your business’s cybersecurity plan should include reliable EDR (endpoint detection and response) software. This software will protect your devices from malware, ransomware, and other viruses. IT providers can help you choose the right software for your company.

Server Management

If you have a server, it’s important to have someone manage it. An unmanaged server that’s missing security patches and updates can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. IT providers can help you manage your server and keep it safe from cybersecurity threats.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a great way to keep your data safe. Your IT provider can help you set up cloud computing for your business. This will keep your data off-site and safe from cyber attacks.

The Bottom Line

Cybersecurity is a major concern for businesses. By using an IT provider, you can keep your company safe from cybersecurity threats. Your IT provider can help you set up multi-factor authentication, keep your software up-to-date, and provide cybersecurity training for your employees.

They also offer a VPN or other secure remote connection solutions to keep your data safe when you’re using wifi outside of your office building. Having an IT provider is the best way to protect your business from cyberattacks.

Looking back on 2021, it’s evident that cybersecurity is still a major issue. Despite increasing investment and awareness, businesses and individuals were still impacted by many high-profile cyber attacks. Hopefully, by learning from these breaches, we can stay safe in the future.

In the business world, cybersecurity is more important than ever. Unfortunately, many companies still aren’t taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves from cyberattacks. That’s where an IT provider can help!

Learn more about keeping your network safe here.