Social engineering attacks were responsible for the majority of business breaches in 2020

Published : Thursday, August 26, 2021, 12:48 pm
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According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, social engineering cyberattacks were the primary cause of company breaches in 2020 at 14%, followed by advanced persistent threats (10%), unpatched systems (9%), and ransomware (9%).

With social engineering attacks, criminals use a broad range of manipulation tactics to trick victims into giving out sensitive information or making security mistakes, such as revealing passwords, bank information, or giving away access to their devices.

Ruth Cizynski, the cybersecurity researcher and writer at Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on the situation:

“The myriad of technology-based security solutions available today, such as anti-malware software, firewalls, and VPNs, give people a false sense of security. While these technological solutions do improve online safety, the reality is that most security breaches are caused by human error. No technology solutions will help if people will continue to fall for social engineering tricks.”

Overall, 35% of organizations claim they experienced an increase in attacks compared to a year ago, with over one-fifth (23%) of companies stating that threat actors took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to disrupt organization’s activities.

Companies fear cyberattacks will damage their reputation

No company is immune to cyberattacks, while their consequences can be devastating. Naturally, companies are concerned about cyberattack threats.

Corporate reputation is increasingly being recognized as the most important strategic asset in a company's value creation. Therefore, the number one concern for organizations regarding cyberattacks is the damage to a company's reputation. A whopping 78% of companies are afraid cyberattacks may harm their company’s image.

Next up is data breaches resulting in customer physical or financial harm. Damage to clients is a major worry for 69% of organizations. Meanwhile, 49% of companies are also distressed about cyberattacks on the supply chain or business disruption.

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