Cyber Security Threats 2021

The Business Of Hacking

Common CyberSecurity Risks

Cyber security threats are one of the top problems businesses are facing in the United States. 

Most malware these days are distributed via email. While our email filters catch the vast majority of these attempts, no system is 100% effective. With that said, there are numerous cyber security threats your organization must prepare for. Here are our top 5 common cybersecurity risks:

Phishing Attacks

Carefully targeted digital messages are transmitted to trick people into clicking on a link which can then install malware or expose sensitive data. Learn more in our post about how to spot a phishing email


Software that performs a malicious task on a target device or network.


This is a form of malicious software that attempts to encrypt your data and then extort a ransom to release an unlock code. Most ransomware is delivered via malicious emails.

Attacks on IoT Devices

IoT devices, such as industrial sensors, are often vulnerable to multiple types of cyber threats. These include hackers taking over a device to make it part of a DDoS attack. Then, the device is able to gain access to unauthorized data. Given their numbers, geographic distribution and frequently out-of-date operating systems, IoT devices are a prime target for cyber criminals.

Data Breaches

A data breach is a theft of data by a cyber criminal. Motives for data breaches include crime (i.e. identity theft), reputation damage, and espionage.

Third Parties

Third parties such as vendors and contractors can be a huge risk to businesses. The majority of these businesses have no secure system or dedicated team in place to manage these third-party employees.

Recent Cyber Security Threat Examples

2017  – The NSA Hack

In 2017, the National Security Agency, our nation’s most elite cryptographic experts and hackers, were themselves compromised. Now, their own hacking tools are available to other nation-states and criminal syndicates to use to attack the smallest of utilities.

The game changed tremendously then, and now traditional firewalls and anti-virus programs do little to protect you or your utility.

2018 – City of Atlanta Crippled

For over A week, the City of Atlanta has battled a ransomware attack that has caused serious digital disruptions in five of the city’s 13 local government departments. The attack has had far-reaching impacts—crippling the court system, keeping residents from paying their water bills, limiting vital communications like sewer infrastructure requests, and pushing the Atlanta Police Department to file paper reports for days.

 2018 – Colorado CDOT Offices Hit

More than 2,000 Windows-based computers at CDOT offices were knocked offline February 21 by a version of the cyber security threat virus known as SamSam. Colorado has spent between $1 million and $1.5 million recovering from a February ransomware attack that took out thousands of computers at the state’s department of transportation (CDOT). 


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Cyber Threats – Who Are These Criminals?

Nation-states that are under severe sanctions are desperate to raise cash. North Korea has recently raised tens of millions of dollars through ransomware attacks, and Iran is generally assumed to be actively attacking the United States’ infrastructure.

Add criminal syndicates to the mix, and soon you realize where millions of daily attacks are coming from.

What Does all This Mean?

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