In the year 2020 after the Covid-19 pandemic, there was an increased interest in all kinds of online activities. Let’s see how Cyber-attacks increase.
After the events resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, and with the extension of the quarantine to many countries; there was a boom in digital activities, especially in online work. Many companies were forced to adapt to an online mode in order to continue operating, and as a result; many jobs began to be performed remotely; this has led to an cyber-attacks increase.
And while for some people working online was an advantage, for many companies it also represented a new vulnerability. Lack of knowledge on the part of employees; and at the same time deficient cybersecurity systems in some companies, made 2020 an unprecedented year for the increase in cyberattacks.
Evolution of cyber-attacks
Cyber-attacks and computer threats have always been present in the world of computing; the first computer viruses date back decades ago. Although technological advances and the evolution achieved in recent years have made it possible to develop systems and software to defend against these threats, as cybersecurity has evolved; so have malware and computer threats.
Likewise, as time goes by, more and more people are joining this new digitalized stage. Since the last decade, with the emergence of social networks; smartphones and all the great technological advances that have appeared; every day there are more activities that we can perform online, instead of in person; and although this seems to be an advance or an advantage, the fact of performing activities such as entering banks, working from home, storing important information digitally, can cause us to be victims of a cyber-attack and information theft.
This is why, in the last decade, the increase in cyber-attacks has been greater; taking into account not only the number of cyber-attacks, but also the variety. During the last few years, many types of attacks and threats have been developed; so not being prepared, many people fell victim to them. So the main cause of these threats being effective is the lack of information.
Cyber-attacks during 2020
Usually computer attacks are carried out with the motive of obtaining some economic income by the victim, from spyware, Phishing or vishing where information and personal data of the victim is obtained; in order to use them later to try to access banks or financial institutions and steal money. There are also threats such as rasomwares where the victim’s information is blocked and; in order to unblock it, a sum of money is demanded in exchange.
Because of this, it is estimated that more than 70% of the cases of cyber-attacks occurred with the objective of obtaining money from it; such is the magnitude of the attacks that by this year 2021 it is estimated that $6 billion dollars will be lost due to information theft and hacking globally.
Cyber-attacks increase: some statistics
Likewise, the increase in cyber-attacks in 2020 was such that during the first half of the year; IBM estimated an increase of 125% in Europe and 40% worldwide. It is therefore clear that the economic, health and social crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has also affected the world of cybersecurity.
Although this was caused mainly due to teleworking or online work, which became a focus for threats and hacking on a global scale. Many companies were affected by these cyber-attacks; but in the same way, hospitals, public websites and servers were also affected, among others.
However, although hackers are constantly developing new ways to breach security systems; those who have basic knowledge and a good defense system are less likely to be attacked than people who have no knowledge on the subject.
During 2020, while many individuals and companies suffered cyber-attacks; in general there were more cases of individuals and companies with vulnerable or unsecured information. Large companies were very little affected by these attacks, with the exception of a few cases; while small companies reported increases of as much as 424% compared to the previous year.
Worst incidents in 2020
With respect to 2019, the year 2020 was full of cyber-attacks. Worldwide, increases in all types of cyber attacks were reported; including the appearance of new types of malware. Thanks to the popularization of online work and online activities; cyber-attacks were reported to increase every day, from malware to even brute force, the latter being reported, in some places, up to 12,000 attacks per day on single victims; representing an increase of 141%.
However, during the year attacks occurred that can be said to have caused a greater impact on both the victims and the public; even serving as a reflection of the consequences that can be achieved by having a deficient cybersecurity system.
Among the most prominent are:
- Solarwinds: This was one of the cyber-attacks that, together with the FireEye attack; generated the greatest impact in the community, as both IT companies were attacked by the same group of hackers; who in the case of Solarwinds took advantage of a vulnerability in their system.
- Attack on Twitter: The attack on Twitter was also one of the most shocking attacks worldwide; as it is one of the most widely used social networks globally, affecting many accounts; including those of artists and celebrities. It is believed that the attackers were able to access the system thanks to the collaboration of a worker of the social network.
- Rasomware: Rasomware was the main threat during 2020, affecting many people and causing exponential economic losses by encrypting the victim’s data and demanding money in exchange for releasing the information. A clear example of this is Regret Locker.
- Phishing: Although phishing is not a new malware at all, there are still many people who fall for it, mainly because of their misinformation; even so, through spam emails hackers used to send their malware and if a person was fooled they could steal their personal, banking and even company information.
The increase in cyber-attacks caused many losses of both information and money around the world, not only for ordinary people but also for large companies dedicated to cybersecurity, which is why if we want to prevent these threats, it is best to acquire as much knowledge as possible on the subject and have a good security system.
Interesting related articles: The dangers of phishing in organizations.
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