Top 7 Cyber Security Threats for 2021

Top 7 Cyber Security Threats for 2021

Cyber security threats skyrocketed in 2020. And as 2021 rolls along, they’re becoming even more sophisticated, persistent, and much more widespread. So it’s less a matter of if a cyber attack will happen, and more about when.

Our goal is to ensure that your business is kept abreast of the latest trends in cyber security, so you can work with us to put systems in place to keep your data secure.

So, here are seven of the top cyber security threats for 2021 that your Brisbane business needs to be aware of.

Ransomware attacks

Ransomware attacks are still one of the most common cyber security threats in 2021. This is because it’s effective—and small businesses are going to bear the brunt. They’ve got more to lose, and therefore are more likely to pay the ransom.

Cybercriminals know that these types of businesses are less likely to have complete data backups, and less contingency systems in place.

The key to staying safe against ransomware attacks is to be prepared, and have the right data backups in place. To ensure your business is protected against potential ransomware attacks, get in touch with GPK to find out how we can help you with your backup solutions.

Zero-day vulnerabilities

Zero-day vulnerabilities occur when new weaknesses in software and systems are discovered, allowing cybercriminals to access these systems before organisations have a chance to create a security patch.

A recent example is the Microsoft Exchange zero-day vulnerability. At the time, an unnamed cybercriminal group discovered an unpatched weak spot in the Microsoft Exchange server. This enabled them to access details and information for over 30,000 businesses and organisations using the server, and in some cases deploy malware and web shells, a hacking tool that provides attackers with administrative access to the organisation’s server.

Advanced persistent threats

One of the most insidious cyber security threats in 2021, advanced persistent threats enable cybercriminals to attack business systems from the inside.

It works in a similar way to a zero-day vulnerability: cybercriminals identify and exploit hitherto undiscovered weak spots in a business’ security network. But they don’t immediately act on it. Instead, they plant subtle code within the system—the IT equivalent of leaving the back door unlocked from the inside.

Hackers can then leave this code dormant for months, and when the time is right, access the business’ systems and make their move.

Mobile cyberthreats

As the world adjusts to hybrid working environments, cybercriminals are still taking advantage of dispersed networks and at-home setups. And, instead of directly attacking businesses themselves, they’re taking advantage of the vulnerabilities within home computer networks.

These attacks can take many forms. It could be with phishing attempts, directed at the employees themselves. Or it can be discovering and exploiting vulnerabilities in misconfigured antivirus software or an employee’s VPN, and entering the business’ system that way.

Mobile and remote work has provided cyber criminals with a broader playing field. Businesses need to ensure their employees’ remote security protocols are robust and up-to-date, they understand password safety—and they’re sensible about the links they click.


While phishing attempts are on the rise, one concerning increase is in the number of spearphishing attacks.

While quite heavy-handed in name, spearphishing takes a more targeted approach to generic phishing attacks. Using this method cybercriminals target individuals, repeatedly and persistently, with malicious links disguised as emails from reputable sources.

And, as automation software becomes more sophisticated, the volume of these attacks is only set to increase.

Insider threats

With the rise of remote working, we’ve seen more and more traditionally face-to-face practices be conducted online. Cybercriminals are now taking advantage of this. And while this manner of attack may sound like material for a fictional spy drama, it’s most definitely real, and potentially damaging.

And it’s a long game, too. In this case cybercriminals are targeting the recruitment processes. They actively apply for job openings, follow the recruitment process, and use their advanced systems and vulnerabilities in remote recruiting to game the system and land the role. Then, once they’ve been onboarded, the user is free to access sensitive company information, get what they need, and disappear.

Vulnerabilities in IoT devices

From home devices like fridges, TVs, and assistants like Alexa and Siri, through to security equipment, factory production lines, and autonomous cars, the increase in internet-enabled, Internet of Things (IoT) technology has allowed us to become much more connected.

But this increase in connection points means we’re likely to discover an array of security vulnerabilities and threats, which will become a playground for the modern cybercriminal.

The old adage, forewarned is forearmed, has never rung truer

At GPK Group we provide robust cyber security for Brisbane businesses. Our goal is to ensure you’re aware of any potential cyber security threats, and help you put processes in place to protect your network, systems, and data.

Get in touch with us today for a free, no-obligation discussion on how we can help keep your business safe and secure in 2021 and beyond.

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