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How Cyber Criminals will target businesses in 2021

2020 was a uniquely challenging year for business and many of these challenges seem set to continue into 2021. We’re still working from home or on the go. This means a continued reliance on our personal devices, and a continued lack of the office technology that we are used to. This includes the systems that we use to protect our business, creating an opportunity for bad actors.

Working from home means working with technology that does not afford the same protections as the services that we are used to. Even if your home device is equipped with the latest firewalls and protections, not everyone in your team will be. This is why it is crucial that you stay informed, and stay in communication with your team. Security risks often come where you least expect them and it can take a long time before anyone notices that something has gone wrong.

With this in mind, here are some of the tactics that cyber criminals will use to exploit businesses in 2021, and what you can do to prevent them.

Email Fraud:

One of the common targets of cyber criminals is our inboxes. When working from home, our personal devices often don’t have the same effective spam filters as our office systems. This means that more fraudulent content is likely to slip through the cracks. Most of the time, fraudulent emails are easy to identify by experienced users, but scammers know this. It only takes one slip up from a user of any skill level to cost a business thousands.

64% of businesses reported a phishing attack through their email in the past year so this is a very real problem

The best way to protect your team is to understand what a fraudulent email looks like. Look for the sender’s address. If it is full of random digits, or doesn’t match the business that the sender claims that they are, delete it.

Similarly, watch out for links and attachments. 48% of malicious email attachments are Office files. Make sure you know exactly who is getting in touch with you before you click on the links or files that they are sending.

Insecure networks:

This is a real issue for home workers and is perhaps the most crucial cyber security issue in 2021. Now that we work from home more than ever, our personal devices are the ones we use for business. This also applies to our Wi-Fi networks, leaving us more exposed.

Connecting company owned laptops and smartphones to home networks allows cyber criminals a valuable entry point into your company’s devices. Therefore, the best way to protect these systems is to make sure that your team are all working on a secure network.

In our view, the best way to ensure your home network is safe is through strong passwords and VPNs. Make sure your team don’t just have “password123” as the one thing standing between them and a cyber-criminal.

If you need more guidance on how you can use VPNs or any of this technology, then feel free to give us a call here at biscuit on 01924 241 281. We’d be happy to help you find out more.

Stealing logins:

The fastest route into any business’ data is through an insecure login. This once again comes down to password security, but it is a problem that is accelerating. With the rise of remote working, cloud computing is becoming more and more popular. The usefulness of cloud systems cannot be overstated but they also need to be protected.

Most teams use services like AWS or Teams Site to store files or company data. All that’s needed to access this data is a password. This is what scammers are often looking for and this is where protections need to be put in to place.

It is crucial that when your team are working remotely that they apply unique and secure passwords to their accounts. Google features a password generation feature that can help you here.

Telecoms Fraud:

This is very similar to Email fraud but instead targets another means of communication. On average, an instance of telecoms fraud will cost businesses tens of thousands. The best way to avoid these disastrous charges is to know what to look out for.

The tell-tale signs of phone fraud are calls being made from your business phone system outside of business hours, and international calls. These are done in order to rack up charges on your system that will be directed elsewhere.

The way around this is to limit the features of your phone system. Many modern systems allow you to set restrictions on the features that your team can access. If you have no need to be making international calls, just block the feature.

We hope that this selection of security tips can help to give you some much needed peace of mind moving into 2021. For more advice on IT and cloud security give us a call here at Biscuit on 01924 241 281. For more information check out our website.