Top Phishing Targets 2021
Are their eyes on you in the new year?
Earlier this month (December 2020) Metro Vancouver’s transit system was hit by a ransomware attack which Global News reported to have started with a successful phishing email. A number of TransLink’s operations went down (and some continue to be down) and at press they have not committed to paying the demanded ransom. IT World followed this news up with reports that recent a phishing simulation found that more than 70% of public sector workers are likely to enter password credentials after clicking on a malicious email.
While the public sector may get a lot of press when it comes to phishing schemes, no organization is removed from this threat. In fact, some are hotter targets than others, especially as we enter 2021. If you’re among them you will need to take extra precautions as you move through the new year. But first, let’s find out if your industry is indeed counted as a top target for phishing campaigns.
5 Industries That Stand Out as Hot Targets for Phishing Campaigns in 2021
I. Media and News Broadcasting
Rightly or wrongly so, few industries have received public and political scrutiny in 2020 quick like media and news broadcasting. The handling (by some) of elections and COVID-19 reporting has especially put a lot of negative attention on the industry, and when this occurs a big red target gets painted on the backs of those involved. Hacking groups armed with both sociopolitical and financial motivations look to take down the media not only because there is indeed a lot to gain, but because they (hackers) know that public sympathy is not on necessarily on the side of such journalism at the moment. Again, whether this is a fair or unfair assessment is beside the point. What matters, is that if you run a media company you need to remain on high-alert through the months ahead. View more on why broadcasters must secure better IT support, cyber security included.
II. Film Industry
The film industry took a major hit in 2020, with production coming to a screeching halt. But with the beginnings of a return to “norm” in 2021 studios will be working overtime to produce new content for the masses. Year over year investment will skyrocket, but where the money goes the hackers grow, and they love the entertainment industry (remember the infamous SONY hack?) which compounds the growth of studios as a hot target. C-level executives in the film industry are being targeted for spear phishing attacks and this trend is expected to strengthen in 2021, prompting studios to invest not just in content, but in more robust IT support.
There’s a correlation to where phishing campaigns will be targeted, and which industries are set to experience a sharp rebound in 2021. The film industry (as per above) is coming back, but so is tourism – even more so. Tourism was crushed in 2020, but now that it is primed to open up the floodgates are also opening for cybercriminals who seek to capitalize on yet another revitalized business sector. Travel based companies that host consumer payment information are vulnerable, with booking agency and hotelier staff along with travelers (holding rewards based memberships) themselves being targeted in phishing campaigns. View more on why the accommodations industry (analogous to all other tourism based businesses) requires greater investment in IT to keep phishing attacks at bay.
IV. Financial Services
Who benefits most from a rebound after a massive economic recession? Quite possibly the financial services industry. It’s no secret that hacking groups love this sector, and those existing on Canadian soil are equally at risk for phishing campaigns. The Coast Capital Savings attack from over a year ago was enough to put industry peers on high alert, but no time serves as a greater call to action than 2021 as money once again flows back into the economy as consumer confidence receives a boost with each shot of COVID-19 vaccine. View more on how cybersecurity through IT support is mission critical for financial services.
Healthcare has and will always be a target for hackers and their respective phishing schemes. The volume of sensitive data held by healthcare businesses is significant and the ramifications of this data being compromised are massive. With the healthcare industry thrust into the forefront of the global pandemic the target has grown larger, and hackers have shown no signs of backing off. FORBES reports that hacking groups are even targeting healthcare cold-chain providers who are charged with storing the COVID-19 vaccine. No one is off limits. View more on why healthcare businesses need to secure better outside IT support.
Protect your business from phishing schemes while improving overall IT infrastructure in 2021 by contacting SAV Technology today.