The latest hacker targets and what companies should do against them.

Digitalization and the associated acceleration have shifted the threat scenarios for 2021. According to a survey by Allianz, cyber attacks have become the most important risk for companies this year – special protection is required here. We clarify what private users and companies can expect in terms of security risks in 2021.

A major influence on cyber threats this year is the Corona pandemic and its consequences. To prevent the Corona virus from spreading uncontrollably through the population, certain security measures must be taken. In this particular case that means maintaining a distance, following hygiene rules, and wearing a face mask.

Apart from the corona virus, there are also virtual attackers and other viruses that individuals and companies must also protect themselves against. Employees working from home are predicted to become the main targets for cybercriminals in 2021. According to a survey by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, cyberattacks were declared the highest risk for companies for the first time this year.

Remote working – flexible and (in)secure at home

The rapid adoption of working from home has made the digitization of business processes and infrastructures transparent for many companies. In addition, it can be assumed that many employees do not have hardened IT systems and computers at home as they are used in the business environment. This transparency, combined with reduced security measures, makes it easier for hackers to obtain valuable and classified information. Many employees are also unaware of the security standards that should be maintained at home to protect corporate data. Hackers exploit this uncertainty by using certain social engineering techniques to gain access to important personal or corporate data from home devices in use via lateral movement on the network.

Corporate IT managers are trying to make working from home as secure as possible by modifying devices and adapting structures. However, the greatest risk, namely the employee himself, can only be secured to a limited extent. To protect sensitive data and secrets, it is therefore advisable to only allow employees to access data when working remotely if there is doubtless authentication – for example, by depositing a second factor.

In addition, insecure passwords are a major problem in companies. Many employees use the same password both privately and professionally or pass it on to third parties via email or social networks. Password management software like Password Safe can close security gaps and prevent third parties from accessing important data. With Password Safe, employees can generate and store secure passwords simply by pressing a button – eliminating the hassle of remembering passwords. After all, the most secure password is the one that the employee himself does not know. In addition, IT managers can decide who in an organization is authorized to share or discover a password.

Secure password sharing with Password Safe

With the move to working from home, the number of tools and accounts used in companies has also increased rapidly. What used to be simply pinned to the whiteboard or flipchart in former time needs to be communicated digitally now. As the number of used tools and accounts increases, so does the number of passwords. Password Safe can relieve employees of the burden of thinking up and remembering new password combinations by automatically generating and storing passwords.

Departmental accounts such as accounts used by multiple people also bring the problem of passwords being shared and openly communicated. Since the old-fashioned post-it with the password combination cannot be shared manually at the moment, passwords are readily sent via chat message or email. In such situations, hackers can intercept the information and gain access to valuable information. With Password Safe, employees share passwords independently within the company to ensure secure data handling. IT managers can additionally use the application to define which employee or department may have permission to discover, copy or change passwords.

According to a recent threat analysis, the number of attack attempts increased by more than 85% in the last half of 2020. In 2021, the number of cyberattacks is expected to increase even further. Password management software such as Password Safe can be an effective tool to protect corporate passwords and secrets.

In addition to password management systems, virus scanners and firewalls, companies should also focus on regular employee training to be prepared for all situations and threats. With strong cybersecurity partners who bring the necessary security expertise to the enterprise, companies can continue to overcome numerous challenges in 2021.