While the world has been focused on many things in the last few years, notably the global pandemic, financial and political insecurity, wars, and climate change, many other concerns haven’t gone away. In particular, cybersecurity remains a top threat that individuals and businesses must pay close attention to if they want to stay safer.

Whether you’re a busy CISO looking to guard against threats for the firm you work for or a small business owner worried about how to keep venture and customer data safe, it’s worth paying attention to some of the big cybersecurity trends having an impact these days.

Synthetic Identities

If you haven’t heard of the rise in the use of synthetic identities happening around the country and globally these days, you’re sure to start hearing news of it very soon. It’s one of the fastest-growing cybersecurity threats.

Scammers are working increasingly on creating new identities from a combination of fake and real data that they use to defraud victims. This kind of scam gets used a lot when there’s a need for hackers to complete credit card requests or open digital accounts.

Fraudsters often source valid social security numbers and use a genuine address if needed for goods to get shipped to. They then combine these details with false personally identifiable information to create a synthetic identity and get what they want. Often, the name and date of birth used on this profile are made up or don’t match with a single person.

Cybercriminals typically need to get into a system containing identifying information to gain access to authentic details for this fake identity. For businesses, this means it’s vital to protect online networks and carefully background check potential new employees, as some hackers get hired as workers at firms in order to access data or pay staff members to obtain the valuable information they need.

There are a lot of online services, for example, Instant checkmate or Truthfinder, because each service has its specification. For example, one is good for general information, while the other is better for specialized information. It is important to choose the right service for your needs. Otherwise, you may not get the information you are looking for.

5G Vulnerabilities

With the arrival of 5G and its current rollout, transfer speeds are hitting warp speed. They’re expected to reach 10 gigabytes (GB) per second, making transferring data through the cloud easier than ever and helping other types of communication have fewer bumps. Yet, while this increase in the pace of business has many advantages, there are downsides, too.

Unfortunately, the 5G network also increases the risk of new cyber threats. Due to the velocity of data transference, hackers will be able to infect more data packages and find it quicker to break into networks. There’s the potential for cybercriminals to spy on organizations without them realizing it.

More vulnerable Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be ripe for hackers to launch network assaults and other attacks on, too, with malware likely to spread through IoT networks quickly. 

Offline Risks

While cybersecurity relates to online issues, this doesn’t mean offline activities aren’t also involved. Many entrepreneurs don’t realize that many hackers’ fraudulent tactics utilize non-digital tactics. For instance, smartphones get stolen so cybercriminals can access people’s financial or shopping apps and buy goods.

Or, they find ways to, in person, take pictures of the passwords and usernames or other login details people type into their smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc., and use this information for nefarious purposes. It’s vital, then, for business leaders and their teams to be careful about how they use tech tools when in public.

Healthcare Targeted

For many years healthcare has been a particularly vulnerable sector cybersecurity-wise. However, the threats keep on getting broader. In fact, some CI Security analysis shows that healthcare data breaches went up a massive 36 percent in the second half of 2020 and that around 21 million records got breached in that period.

Hackers are likely to be targeting healthcare more and more because of the increasing amount of patient data that gets managed, tracked, and stored online every year. Also, many people and medical facilities use third-party smartphone apps and other applications, which tend to be more open to attacks from cybercriminals.

If you run a healthcare operation or deal with healthcare-related organizations regularly in your venture, it’s wise to take as many precautions as possible against digital attacks. Hackers use many complex, sophisticated, and long-term strategies in this area, including email system breaches, ransomware attacks, breaking into appointment scheduling tech tools, phishing scams, and hacks on third-party vendors, among other things.

No matter what your venture sells or how it does it, as a business leader, you need to keep cybersecurity top of mind and put in place higher levels of security and monitoring to help protect your firm this year and beyond.