Top 6 Cybersecurity Risks for Businesses in 2021

Adam Harling 05-Feb-2021 00:00:00
Young male sitting at his desk using his computer to have a zoom call with colleagues

In the past few years, the level of business cyber-crime has risen dramatically and it’s no longer just big financial companies being targetted – small and medium-sized businesses are feeling the heat too.

Today, cybercriminals don’t just hack your emails, they can steal sensitive information and corrupt your entire databases at a click of a button. From healthcare institutions to government agencies and online stores, no industry is safe from cybercrime.

Now more than ever, it is important to understand the cybersecurity risks we face and learn how to protect our businesses. So, let’s start by getting to know the top threats businesses will face in 2021.

6 big threats to business security

Social engineering

Social engineering attacks use deception to exploit social interactions and gain access to important data. The criminals behind these attacks manipulate individuals into disclosing sensitive information or bypassing security measures. Data from security vendor purplesec suggests that social engineering is even more pervasively used than phishing, citing that 98% of cyber attacks rely on social engineering.

Since Coronavirus (COVID-19), social engineering attacks have been on the rise and even the best cybersecurity systems cannot reliably stop them. The best defence is to educate your employees on the importance of following policies and procedures and how to recognise and react to cyber threats – this will reduce risk and embed a culture of cybersecurity awareness.


These attacks infect your network and hold your computer systems and data hostage until a ransom is paid. In the last few months, there have been a number of big names making headlines due to ransomware attacks. As well as the ransom, businesses lose productivity and their reputation is severely damaged. Sadly, attacks like these have put 60% of companies out of business within six months of the attack.

Take a look at our cybersecurity blog to learn how to protect your company from Malware.

Companies should implement a robust backup and disaster recovery systems for when the worst happens. When time is money, BDR is a business saving proposition.

Remote working

We are in new territory with the pandemic: working remote, meeting online, and facing new challenges on a daily basis. The number of people working remotely has more than doubled and changes in user behaviour have been dramatic. Employees working from home are much more likely to use their work devices for personal reasons and engage in risky activities. Personal use of devices increased by 97% and the use of risky apps and websites increased by 161%.

Implementing strong authentication and access controls (SSO, MFA), and zero-trust network access to private apps in data centres and public cloud services will reduce exposure of apps and limit network lateral movement.

Get the best out of your remote workers by putting together a clear Remote Working policy. Download our policy guide.

Download Our Free Remote Working Policy Guide

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Cloud services have allowed businesses to cut down on capital investments and to adopt solutions like BYOD – employees use their own devices for work. While this has been shown to increase convenience, flexibility and productivity, it leaves businesses exposed to cybersecurity breaches. Unsurprisingly, personal devices usually do not have the same level of security as a company device, making it easier for attackers to compromise data and breach networks.

Companies should review BYOD policies and ensure that all your employees are adequately trained to minimise this risk.

Download our policy guide to get the full picture of the risks BYOD comes with and the policy you’ll need to put in place to protect your business data.

Internet of Things (IoT)

While the benefits of new technology always seem exciting – especially for small business owners looking to save money and increase productivity –  it’s important to take time to understand the risks that come with it.

Since IoT devices are connected to the internet, they can be hacked just like any other internet-enabled device. IoT devices have the potential to bring efficiency improvements to many industries, but steps should also be taken to ensure they don’t leave your network vulnerable to malicious actors.

Outdated software and hardware

If you are not up to date with software patches, your company is severely vulnerable to any number of information security breaches. Attackers are actively looking for software vulnerabilities they can attack. However, not all cybersecurity threats result from software.

As hardware becomes obsolete it cannot support newer and more secure security measures which will put company data at risk. Therefore, it is important to monitor your devices and replace or upgrade devices that are out of date.

To avoid these issues, it is best to let an MSP manage your information and technology infrastructure. Managed IT support services gives you everything that you would expect from an internal IT department, including a service desk, 24/7 network monitoring, security analysis and strategic business reviews to align technology with business needs.

Steps to protect your business from cybersecurity threats

As technology advances, cybersecurity threats are becoming increasingly more complex and devastating. To best migrate the threats, businesses must take steps to protect their data and networks by creating a cybersecurity strategy to include things like:

  • Identify risks related to cybersecurity.
  • Develop procedures, policies and processes to address security concerns.
  • Identify and mitigate risks associated with remote access.
  • Address risks associated with third parties and vendors.
  • Have the ability to detect unauthorised activity.
  • Get Cyber Essentials certified.

Netitude can help you to understand cybersecurity in your business, and increase your employee’s security awareness through training. Want to know more about Netitude’s Cyber Security Service? Get in touch and discuss your needs with an expert.

CTA: Get in touch to discuss your needs with an IT specialist, today!