2021 has been a fantastic year in tech! But as we look back on the last 12 months of industry news and updates, it’s imperative not only to celebrate our successes but to also review the tech lessons we’ve learned along the way.
‘Tis the season, after all!
Here’s a look at three important tech lessons from 2021 that we’ll take with us into the new year.
If you weren’t worried about ransomware before 2021 – and trust us, you should have been – well, you’re definitely worried about it now.
Ransomware is a catch-all category for any malware that encrypts your data, allowing cybercriminals to hold it hostage in exchange for payment or other demands. If the ransom is not paid, these bad actors often threaten to either delete your data permanently or expose it publicly on the web. While there are many ways ransomware can gain access to your systems, it is most commonly attached to phishing emails and other forms of social engineering, making it particularly risky for business owners who must now rely heavily on employee vigilance to stay protected.
Unfortunately, 2021 has been the most dangerous year for ransomware attacks to date. In fact, over 500 million attacks or attempted attacks were reported between January 1st and September 30th alone. That number is expected to grow to over 750 million by the end of the year.
As for the costs, the US government has tied over $5.2 billion in bitcoin payments to successful ransomware attacks in just the first half of 2021. And that number doesn’t even touch the auxiliary costs of data recovery, downtime, reputation repair, and more that companies who fall victim to ransomware must pay.
Take, for example, the Colonial Pipeline Attack from May of this year. One single leaked password led to a ransomware attack that totaled a days-long outage, mass panic along the whole Eastern seaboard, and over $5 million in payment. That’s huge!
What’s clear from this past year is that ransomware is a threat you and your business need to be taking seriously. Companies large and small can – and likely will – be targeted in the coming months and years, and if we’ve learned any tech lessons from 2021, it’s that we have to start safeguarding against them right now.
Collaboration Tech is Still King
If the events of 2020 turned the business world upside down, the events of 2021 are what kept it there.
The ebb and flow of where, how, when and even if workers will return to pre-pandemic office life has forced us to continuously re-evaluate the efficacy of our technology ecosystems. But in a year of near-constant questions, one thing is clear: being able to collaborate, communicate, and coordinate from anywhere is now – and forever will be – a vital necessity.
Whether it comes in the form of an advanced solution or a simple subscription service, having access to a safe and reliable form of cloud-based communication will keep your business afloat even when everything else is taking on water.
As we adjust to what is obviously the new normal of business, collaboration tools like Zoom, Teams, Slack, and others like them give employees and business owners alike the flexibility they need to keep getting the job done.
As far as tech lessons go, ensuring that these tools are up to date and running smoothly is foremost among them.
Things moved fast in 2021. Did your business stay on top of it all?
From new operating systems to bug fixes, recently released devices to revitalized industry standards, staying updated on all the ins and outs of your technology will be key to building success in the coming year.
Updating your applications and devices with the latest releases will help keep your information safe from cybercriminals. Using newer hardware and software will ensure that your business processes are running smoothly, even in the face of radical . Keeping track of in the industry will help your tech team make informed decisions about the future of your technology ecosystem.
In such a turbulent time, staying up to date is perhaps the most important tech lesson we can impart. And it is certainly one that should stay on your mind both in 2022 and for years to come.
Learn With the Best
Are these tech lessons a lot to take in? You don’t have to do it alone.
At EMPIST, we pride ourselves on our ability to handle all the ins and out of your technology for you. We take our expert-level knowledge, hard-earned skills, and all the lessons of years past and combine them with your business’s particular needs to build an IT program that learns and grows with you, year after year.