2021: Cybersecurity Year in Review

  • Published: Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022

As we close the door on 2021 there's no shortage of noteworthy cybersecurity stories. Surly we will have learned from some of these incidents and will be able to place controls in order to prevent repeats. Cyber threats are constantly evolving and the impact is growing. We need to remain vigilant and continue to implement cybersecurity best practices.

  • Phishing attacks remain the prevalent cause of data breaches and credential theft. Social engineering attacks, in general, are the largest threat to public administration.
  • Dangerous malware such as WannaCry and Emotet became persistent perils.
  • Ransomware was a huge threat to industry, large and small. Many K-12 schools districts, libraries, health care facilities and universities were hit with this hostile menace.
  • And there were numerous disruptions like the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, Florida water system and the SolarWinds compromise. These attacks affected not only the company but also the clients and customers with which they do business.
  • The coronavirus pandemic continued to have an effect on cyber crimes as miscreants used phishing campaigns to spread threats, lies and promises of cures. Fake vaccination cards were offered for as little as $20.
  • Cryptocurrency hijacking campaigns reported heists of over $7.7 billion, marking an 81 percent increase over 2020. Cryptocurrency investment scams fleeced victims of over $80 million according to a report from the Federal Trade Commission.

Flaws and vulnerabilities were routinely exposed and exploited, sending IT into a tailspin of patching and updates.

It is clear that cyber threats and attacks will continue in 2022. All organizations are targets. The bad guys just look for a way to disrupt and gain access to your valuable information or finances. Patching and education remain crucial stop-gaps in helping to thwart these bad actors and their evil plans. Implementing secure defense strategies can save time and money by reducing risks to hostile activity. 

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Writer: Kathy Bellew