Cybersecurity Year in Review

Cybersecurity Year in Review2021 will go down as the year that the public and many business owners started taking cybersecurity seriously. The primary story of the year was ransomware- how it’s evolving, and the attacks on large and critical businesses.

Colonial Pipeline was a marker for cybersecurity in national news headlines. The general public followed the attack and subsequent shutdown of the fuel pipeline in the southeastern US. The news sparked panic buying at the gas pump and the first successful cyber-attack on critical infrastructure in America.

2021 was also a year that business owners took cybersecurity more seriously. Cybersecurity spending was up 12.4% from 2020 after the pandemic and remote work had already increased attacks last year. Business owners saw a peak in cybercrime in October of 2020 that continued through the first half of 2021.

Ransomware organizations evolved from a group of hackers to something that resembles a business. Some ransomware groups offer customer service to help victims pay a ransom and use a decryption key. We also saw criminals begin to use the data they stole to attack customers of the business, or their employees. In the past, it was possible to recover from an attack with a quality backup system, but these new threats are forcing more victims to pay.

However, the news was not all bad. The most aggressive ransomware group of the first half of the year, REvil, mysteriously went offline in July. The group was responsible for extorting $11 million from the meat processing company JBS Foods. The criminal website came back online in September, and just last month we learned the FBI was successful in hacking into the criminal servers when they came back online. They arrested two of the criminals and retrieved $6 million in cryptocurrency.

Another positive sign for cybersecurity is the increased use of multi-factor authentication. Important accounts like social media and banking are all moving to a second form of authentication as the default instead of an option that can be turned on. Many universities are also planning to move to MFA in the new year.

Quanexus IT Support Services for Dayton and Cincinnati

Request your free network assessment today. There is no hassle, or obligation.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and stay up to date on by subscribing to our email list.

Posted by Charles Wright