The 7 Top Cybersecurity Threats to Watch Out for This Year

The 7 Top Cybersecurity Threats to Watch Out for This Year

As a business owner, you need to be aware of the top cybersecurity threats to your company. That way, you can take the proper steps to avoid having your data compromised and suffering major financial repercussions…

There's no doubt that the digital transformation has brought enormous benefits to multiple industries like healthcare, legal, retail, construction, etc. Technology has created a platform for companies to conduct business online, increase their customer base, enhance communication, save on costs, and more. It’s even created avenues for people to interact and work without time or border restrictions. However, there's the other unpleasant side of the coin: the dramatic rise of cybercrime.

The digital world has opened more doors for cybercriminals to launch and improve their attack tactics, often targeting vulnerable businesses of all sizes and types. Most of these cyberattacks take the form of data breaches, unauthorized access to financial accounts, impersonation of respected figures, and more. And if you don’t educate yourself about the top cybersecurity threats, your business may be next…

Top 7 Cybersecurity Threats to Watch Out For

There are several ways cybercriminals can harm your business. Plus, it’s not only outside dangers you need to worry about but also inside risks. With that in mind, here are the top cybersecurity threats that we'll cover below:

1. Phishing
2. Accidental sharing
3. Ransomware
4. Credentials stealing
5. Cloud computing vulnerabilities
6. DDoS attacks
7. Database exposure


Unfortunately, phishing continues to be one of the top cybersecurity threats to businesses. A phishing attack occurs when a hacker tricks an end-user into providing sensitive information, downloading malware on their device, or opening a link to a site with malware. In essence, the attack occurs when a hacker pretends to be a respected figure in your business, knowing that the end-user can hardly question their authenticity.

Phishing attacks have become more sophisticated in recent years, with cybercriminals now moving more toward business email compromise (BEC). This is where the attackers aim to steal the email passwords of high-level executives. Then they use the accounts to fraudulently request payments without leaving a trace of the conversations.
The other emerging threat to watch out for is cloud-based phishing. It's where cybercriminals use your company's cloud apps and services to launch attacks.

Accidental Sharing

Users' unintended or accidental actions have also emerged as one of the top cybersecurity threats. In fact, they’re a leading cause of data breaches. What qualifies as accidental sharing, though? Whether you send personal or sensitive business data to unauthorized individuals, you expose your company to cybersecurity threats. It can happen via emails, social media platforms, text, unsecured forms, and more.

Accidental sharing is a problem primarily linked to companies with larger employee access to primary databases. And since it's based on human error, it will most likely persist in 2021 and many years to come—unless end users handle information with greater caution.


In a ransomware attack, the perpetrator usually threatens to publish the victim's data. Or, they may block access to an entire computer system unless they get paid a hefty fee referred to as a ransom. The attackers typically launch their scam by installing malicious software on your computer via deceptive links shared in your email, website, or text.
What makes ransomware extremely dangerous is that even after paying the ransom, there's no guarantee that the attacker will return your computer system to normal even after paying the ransom. And although there are some ransomware decryptor sites out there that can help when infection occurs, prevention is always the best course of action.

Credential Stealing

Also referred to as credential stuffing, this is a cyber attack technique where the attackers steal users' login credentials to access their accounts fraudulently. The criminal leverages automatic web injection to spill credentials across multiple websites until they match an existing account. They usually ride on the assumption that users still apply bad security practices, such as using similar passwords for different accounts and sites.

Your company needs to implement the following best practices to remain protected against credential stuffing:

  • Invest in 2-factor authentication. On top of the password and username, you also need to protect your account with email or phone verifications.
  • Avoid sharing passwords. That's a no-brainer, right? But if you share an account with another user, give them the login details verbally instead of sharing them electronically.
  • Use unique passwords for every account. Don't give criminals an easy ride of accessing and compromising all your accounts by just hacking one.

Cloud Computing Vulnerabilities

Despite unlocking several awe-inspiring opportunities for business owners, the cloud can also be a weak link for potential cyberattacks. Unauthorized access and insecure APIs are some of the top cybersecurity threats in the cloud, with misconfigurations also posing a significant vulnerability.
Other cloud security compromises may take the form of data breaches, account/service hijacking, insecure data transmission, credential theft, and more. The good news is partnering with a top-rated cloud solutions provider can significantly reduce the risks of such attacks through 24/7 monitoring and management of your cloud infrastructure.

DDoS Attacks

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks occur when attackers compromise servers, applications, services, machines, or network systems. Then, they make them temporarily or indefinitely unavailable to their target users. In a DDoS attack, the hacker uses multiple systems to send countless requests or malicious data until the target system drowns and becomes nonfunctional.

The perpetrator's goal is usually to cause a minor annoyance. They aim to disrupt critical business services or cause significant disruption by making all applications, websites, and services unresponsive.

Database Exposure

As the name suggests, this is a security breach intended to expose database information. The attack can take several forms. Some criminals may leverage malware to access users' accounts fraudulently. Others may social engineer their way into stealing login details.

Below are some best practices your company can apply to prevent database exposure:

  • If you have an on-site server, be sure to store the physical hardware in a secure room to prevent data theft if your office gets robbed.
  • Encrypt the data on your on-premise server and have a backup and data recovery plan.
  • Restrict access to the server. Each person with the server login may pose the risk of an accidental leak, so the fewer the better.
  • Invest in both a database and a web application firewall to protect your server from online exposure.

Final Say

Now that you've discovered the top cybersecurity threats that may potentially cost your business, what’s next? You guessed it… It's time to devise an airtight proactive strategy to address any vulnerabilities within and outside your business that cybercriminals could take advantage of. This may involve exposing your employees to security awareness training, investing in the right tools, complying with the set regulations, outsourcing your security and cloud management to a reputable IT company, etc.

Don’t forget that IT Management Solutions is here to help. Learn more about our network security services today.