Cybersecurity in 2021

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Never, in the history of the Internet, has it become so crucial & important in this past year, due mainly to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Shops, schools and businesses, plus personal communications via emails, video calls etc via the world wide web, have kept us all afloat during these unprecedented times. Sadly, the Cybercriminals & Hackers have been hard at work too, trying to infiltrate our business and personal cyberspace, so protecting our systems has never been more important.

So, what is Cybersecurity?

‘Cybersecurity is the protection of internet-connected systems, including hardware, software, and data, from digital threats. Individuals and businesses use the practice to defend themselves against unauthorised access to data centres and computerised systems.

There is a combination of elements for Cybersecurity.

Application security-these usually have inbuilt protections and need constant updating to protect the user.

End point security-business and personal usage often needs remote access, and these are areas that security can be at its weakest.

Data Security- all applications, networks and systems use and store our data. Data security is a vital layer protection.

Infrastructural Security-Hardware and software are a crucial part of our systems and must stay protected.

Business continuity planning – In the event of an infringement or a natural disaster, users should be sure that their data remains safe. For this, organizations will need a secure back-up plan.

Cloud Security-more of us now are using digital storage like a cloud. These digital environments create great challenges to keep our stored data protected.

With all these elements in mind, moving on with cybersecurity is ever evolving. Our internet usage has changed considerably since the pandemic, many worked from home and the forecast is likely that, even after the ‘all clear’ is given, more workers will continue to work from home. This creates many windows of opportunities for the ‘bad guys’ to infiltrate our often poorly protected home systems, with weak passwords and easy unauthorised access.

Predictions for the coming year are a spike in ‘Spear ’Phishing. (the fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information.)

The dangers of infiltration by hackers on Mobile/ smart phones has increased in 2021. From spyware to malware, more often our mobiles are unprotected and are an open door for the criminals.

Further developments in AI will aid the fight to protect our devices, from face recognition to voice detection, being just a couple of examples.

Final Thoughts.

Without wanting to sound like the prophet of doom, Cyber threats will become more prolific in 2021, particularly concentrating on ‘easy prey’ like home workers & Mobile users. So firstly, be very alert when opening an email or attachment that you do not recognise, or if a company/Friend is asking for any type of financial information or personal details that they have no legitimate reason to ask for (Spear-Phishing) and secondly, and perhaps more importantly, make sure all your devices (including smart phones) are protected with a reputable, all round antivirus software package.

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