An Eye Opener: The Pace and Scale of Cyberattacks in 2021

As Charles Dickens famously wrote in A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times; It was the worst of times.” Many anxiously waited for the ball to drop on December 31, 2020 so they could say ‘goodbye’ to what was a very difficult year in so many ways.

2021 was going to bring a more promising future. Now as we reach the halfway point of the year, there certainly has been a lot to celebrate. COVID-19 vaccines are more accessible to the general public, businesses are opening back up and the United Nations even declared 2021 the International Year of Peace and Trust. However, 2021 is also turning out to be the year of cyberattacks.

In fact, of the 128 publicly disclosed cyber incidents that were discovered in May 2021 (yes, just in May!), more than 40% were ransomware attacks. There have been reports suggesting that ransomware has already increased by more than 100%, compared to the same time last year.

According to FOX Business, experts have said that “with easily accessible hacking tools and hard-to-trace financing amid the rise of cryptocurrency, cybercrime is soaring around the world.”

What is most concerning is the fact that attackers are targeting organizations in critical industries such as supply chain, transportation, healthcare and logistics. These are all industries that keep the economy up and running.

With the most recent attack on JBS Foods, the world’s largest meat producer, there has even been speculation on whether or not that attack was ‘just a dry run’ for what’s to come. That’s a scary thought because this year we have already seen threat actors temporarily halt fuel supplies to the US East Coast, attempt to poison the water supply in Florida, and attacked healthcare systems.

When we look back, the most damaging cyberthreats that hit enterprises in 2020 were: social engineering attacks, ransomware, DDoS attacks and vulnerabilities from third party software. The size and scale of these cyberattacks should not be taken lightly. Organizations must strengthen their cybersecurity postures to help protect themselves from these types of attacks – or at least help them recover more quickly if compromised.

Last month, President Biden signed an Executive Order to help improve the nation’s cybersecurity efforts and to protect federal government networks. This order largely focused on accelerating the move to the cloud and supporting a zero-trust architecture.

The shift to a zero-trust network architecture allows organizations to ensure fast and secure connectivity, from any location. Since users are always connected through the cloud network security service, access to cloud applications and resources can be granted based on who the user is, including the user’s role within an organization.

It is well-known that legacy solutions, like VPNs and on-prem SWGs, were never intended to be used by a dispersed workforce. Cloud-based SASE solutions offer secure connectivity, while minimizing hardware and increasing bandwidth capacity.

The iboss Cloud Platform is built on a patented, containerized architecture in the cloud that enables users to connect quickly and securely to any cloud destination, from anywhere.  The iboss SASE platform can help organizations modernize their network and security architecture. iboss reduces the need for and dependency on VPNs to provide secure connectivity, which is typically a bottleneck for users needing to access cloud applications. iboss also eliminates the need for traditional network security appliances, allowing organizations to network traffic from anywhere to protect against malware and data loss.

Additionally, part of any organization’s cyber resilience strategy should include a robust backup and restoration plan that is tested regularly. That system should have multiple iterations of backups that are kept offsite to ensure that things like ransomware will not affect the backup server.

Let’s not wait to see if the attack on JBS was just a ‘test run.’ Organizations of all sizes and in all industries across the globe must ensure they are taking extensive efforts to improve their cybersecurity postures.

Download the IDC Research Study to learn how iboss can reduce network and security cost by consolidating multiple technologies in the cloud, while increasing security and connectivity for a better user experience.

If you are considering a migration to SASE, check out our ebook in which we outline 5 steps for a successful migration.