Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sales have been down for many businesses. As a result, many business leaders during the coronavirus crisis refocused their efforts on finding new opportunities to generate new revenue streams. But while business leaders were concentrating on new ways to overcome drops in their sales numbers, malicious actors near and afar were busy looking for opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities in systems and networks, and they’re not anywhere near done.

Despite businesses’ efforts to take the proper precautions to protect their systems and networks, ransomware continues to dominate as a cyberthreat. More than half (56 percent) of organizations have suffered a ransomware attack in the last year, according to the results of the 2020 CrowdStrike Global Security Attitude Survey, produced by independent research firm Vanson Bourne. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that ransomware is top of mind for many, including cybersecurity professionals.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a security and privacy nightmare for cybersecurity experts. Seventy-one percent of cybersecurity professionals worldwide are more worried about ransomware attacks due to the coronavirus crisis, according to CrowdStrike’s report. But ransomware isn’t the only threat they’re concerned about. Another growing concern for them is nation-state cyberwarfare — and for a good reason.

Nation-state sponsored cyberattacks are far more common than people think. If you’re not convinced, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CISI) has been tracking significant cyber incidents since 2006. Take the time to review the lengthy list. You’ll notice the following: Many of the major cyber incidents over the years were state-sponsored. Now, that’s concerning not only for cybersecurity professionals but also business leaders.

Instead of worrying about generating new revenue in the new year, business leaders will have to pay close attention to the increasing number of cyberattacks coming from afar. Seventy-percent of the report’s respondents believes nation-state-sponsored cyberattacks will pose the single biggest threat to organizations like theirs in 2021.

Despite all the doom and gloom, there’s some good news — businesses have been taking action and plan to in the future. Sixty-one percent of organizations have spent more than $1 million on digital transformation over the past three years, according to the results of CrowdStrike’s survey.

Business leaders are also confident in the steps they’ve taken to better protect their systems and networks, especially after making significant investments to better adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seventy-eight percent of the survey’s respondents have a more positive outlook on their organization’s overarching security strategy and architecture over the next 12 months.

Even though they’re paying attention to what’s going on, businesses aren’t out of the woods yet. Cybercriminals are continuing to take advantage of a world in crisis and exploring new opportunities.