According to a recent report from the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), cyberattacks currently reign as the fastest growing form of crime. In addition to security and reputational repercussions, these attacks can often cause significant financial disruption—with global cybercrime costs estimated to reach a startling $6 trillion during 2021.

No organizations are immune to cyberattacks. In fact, over half (53%) of respondents from ISACA’s report expect to experience a cyberattack within the coming year. With this in mind, it’s important to review top cyber trends from the last 12 months and respond accordingly to ensure your organization remains safe and secure in 2021. Here are some of the most common cyber concerns from 2020, as well as best practices for avoiding them:

  • Social engineering—Cybercriminals implement social engineering scams to manipulate their victims into sharing sensitive information. This manipulation usually occurs in the form of impersonating an individual or organization that the victim trusts, thus making the victim feel falsely comfortable with providing their information. While these scams can happen via text, phone call or email, the latter method (also known as phishing) is the most popular. To keep these scams from wreaking havoc on your organization, instruct staff to always verify the identity of the individual or organization they are communicating with and be wary of sharing any sensitive information over the phone or online.
  • Ransomware—Ransomware is a type of malicious software that cybercriminals use to compromise a device (or multiple devices) and demand a large payment be made before restoring the technology for the victim. Since ransomware often appears in the form of deceptive links or attachments, encourage employees to never click on suspicious links or download attachments from unknown senders.
  • Software update issues—Although conducting routine software updates may seem like an arbitrary act, it can make all the difference in protecting your organization. Failing to update your software regularly can create major cybersecurity gaps, making it easier for cybercriminals to infiltrate your systems. That being said, keep staff on a strict update schedule, and consider using a patch management system to further assist with updates.

By keeping these risks top of mind, you can better protect your organization from cybercriminals in 2021.