cybersecurity threats

Watch Out Against Cybersecurity Threats

Cybersecurity threats are very real and can affect anyone. Hence, we must do everything to prevent these. Otherwise, it may spell disaster.

The COVID-19 pandemic gave hackers more open doors to breach data. How? Almost everything today is done remotely. The moment we connect to the online world, we expose ourselves to risks. This pleases hackers.  

For instance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that the global losses from cybercrime exceeded $1 trillion in 2020. 

Take a look at this 2020 Global Risks Report 2020 by World Economic Forum. The report stated that there is only a 0.05% chance of catching and convicting a cybercriminal. Sounds daunting, isn’t it? Hence, the saying “prevention is better than cure” is more accurate than ever. The first step to information security is resilience and business awareness. 


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In this article, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back at the most damaging cybersecurity threats in 2020. Yet, take note that these cybersecurity threats are more intense than ever because most people now rely on technology for daily tasks.

Social engineering 

Social engineering is responsible for almost a third of the breaches in 2020. Moreover, 90% of those attacks are a result of phishing. A few examples of social engineering techniques are phishing, scareware, quid pro quo, and more. All of these methods have one thing in common – they manipulate the victim to achieve specific goals.

Phishing is so rampant that it is responsible for 95% of enterprise breaches. In March 2020, phishing attempts increased by a whopping 667%! Additionally, 47% of workers admitted that they made mistakes that compromised cybersecurity. 

Hackers successfully scammed Twitter by using phishing. This cost Twitter more than $100k. Additionally, a Texas school fell victim to a phishing attack. Cybercriminals stole $2.3 million dollars from the said school. Moreover, hackers attempted to steal personal data by sending an email pretending to be from WHO.

Third-party software 

The top 30 eCommerce retailers in the United States are connected to 1,131 third-party software. 23% of those assets have at least one critical vulnerability. What’s worse is hackers only need one application within that ecosystem to compromise other domains. $4.29 million is the average cost of a third-party breach.

Moreover, Verizon reported that 80% of organizations experienced a data breach caused by a third-party vendor. Furthermore, Verizon also reported that web applications were responsible for 43% of the breaches. Some of the major names that were affected by third party exposures are:

  • Spotify
  • General Electric
  • Instagram, and more

Ransomware 

This is wherein hackers encrypt the victim’s data to the point that the victim can’t access it. Afterward, the hackers will demand a ransom in exchange for the release of infected data. In 2020, the overall total of ransom demands reached up to $1.4 billion. 

Moreover, ransomware is responsible for 22% of data breaches. In fact, it is the third most common type of malware hackers use to breach a network. 

The University of California was one of the notable cases of ransomware in 2020. The attack compromised the COVID-19 research data of the university. Moreover, hackers demanded $1.14 million from the university as a ransom. 

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