2021 Cybersecurity Flashback & A 2022 Look Forward

Cybersecurity Flashback

WHAT A CYBERSECURITY YEAR 2021 was with so many cyberattacks and exploits plaguing the internet. So many questions arise like; what can we learn from 2021 and how should we look forward into 2022 with more web security savviness and in a prudent like fashion. 

2021 was filled with a plethora of new computer viruses better known as malware including many cybersecurity-related alarms going off with notable cyberattacks.

Let’s have a quick cybersecurity flashback on 2021 and explore what you can do this 2022 to make it a more cyber secure year for your family, friends, and loved ones. 

2021 Cybersecurity Flashback Quick Top 5 List

  • Colonial Pipeline

The largest pipeline in the United States experienced a major cyberattack in May of 2021. The impact was quite significant as this cyberattack caused a disruption in fuel supplies impacting 12 U.S states along the east coast. The pipeline was left with no other choice to shut down its operations and had to pay $ 4.4 million dollars in BTC to hackers. This cyberattack’s wrath was reduced with the help of the FBI which helped Colonial Pipeline recover most of the payout.

  • Acer 

The Taiwanese hardware company was victim to a major ransomware attack by the REvil hacker group, this is the same cybercriminal organization that attacked the London forex firm Travelex in 2020. 

Acer was subject to some embarrassing moments when the hacker group released some of their stolen data which included confidential bank statements, other banking data such as communications and financial spreadsheets. 

  • JBS Foods 

This global meat processing giant was also the victim of the Russia-based REvil hacking group which is thought to be behind this major ransomware attack. This attack caused major business outages with temporary closures reported in Australia, the United States, and Canada. 

JBS made a ransom payment for a WHOPPING $11 MILLION DOLLARS after working with cybersecurity to evaluate the best options given the circumstances. This is one of the biggest payments made in ransomware history.

  • KIA Motors

The Korean Hyundai subsidiary experienced a ransomware attack in February of 2021 with reported major business interruptions with IT system outages.  A reported $ 20 Million dollars was requested

  • CNA Insurance

In March of 2021, one of the biggest insurance firms in the US faced a major cyberattack. The attack encrypted thousands of devices, including devices used by CNA’s remote workforce. 

A major HR-related data breach took place with data such as SIN – Social Insurance Numbers and listed dependents within benefits-related data

A new form of ransomware called Phoenix Crypto Locker was used for this attack. According to some media reports, a mammoth payout of $40 Million dollars was made. 

2022: A Cybersecurity Look Forward

The common denominator amongst these cyberattacks is that they were ALL RANSOMWARE related and even though most readers of this article are regular cyber citizens, there are a few related steps to take to avoid and better prepare for ransomware attacks.

Let’s go over some of those steps: 

  1. Backup all your data on a regular basis on a cloud location and an external disk drive. This will help  if your data is locked in a ransomware attack you will have a backup, and in most cases avoid having to pay a hefty ransom to get your data back. 
  2. Ensure a reputable and comprehensive anti malware application is installed across all your endpoint devices. 
  3. Ensure you have a firewall protecting your network, including at the operating system level.

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