The entire world has been swept by a wave of digitalization over the past few years. From companies to consumers, our reliance on tech devices, digital data, and the internet continues to increase day by day. As a direct consequence, cybersecurity risks have also increased significantly, with cyber actors getting bolder and more astute in performing their attacks.
2021 was a particularly difficult year for cybersecurity. The large-scale adoption of digital technologies triggered by the covid outbreak has left many companies in a vulnerable position during the transition. It was an opportune time for cybercriminals to act and take advantage of these newly created vulnerabilities, and no one was spared.
Businesses big and small have fallen victims to cyber-attacks in large numbers – statistics reveal that by the fourth quarter of 2021 the number of data breaches had already exceeded the total number reported in 2020.
It comes as no surprise that cybersecurity is top of mind these days, for companies and individuals alike, and it will continue to be a priority in the years to come as well. Finding the resources to keep ahead of the game is one of the main concerns for businesses at the moment, but it doesn’t come without its challenges.
One way to tackle these obstacles is by staying up to date with the latest developments and events in the cybersecurity world. Therefore, if you want to find out what the future has in store cybersecurity-wise, here are 5 important trends to be aware of in 2022.
Focusing on the human factor
Ransomware is one of the most common cyber attacks employed by cybercriminals, and its prevalence has increased a lot in the past few years. Experts agree that the sudden switch to remote work and the lack of preparation for this transition were the main factors that have contributed to this growth.
Cybercriminals were a lot more skilled at adapting to the new state of things and using these vulnerabilities to their advantage than businesses were at finding solutions to these challenges and protecting themselves against threat actors.
When building their security strategy, a lot of companies tend to direct their attention towards implementing new systems and software to keep potential hazards at bay. However, the human factor shouldn’t be left out of the picture. Many of the cybersecurity incidents suffered by businesses could have been prevented if the staff would have been better educated on cybersecurity matters.
Therefore, poorly trained employees represent a major vulnerability that companies will strive to address in the near future by investing in training and implementing adequate digital hygiene policies in the workplace.
If you’re wondering about the financial implications of cyber-attacks, the numbers paint a pretty concerning picture. According to a 2021 report, the global average cost of a data breach surpassed 4 million U.S. dollars, a significant increase from 3.8 million U.S. dollars registered the previous year.
Since part of the reason for this increase has to do with the growing activity of remote and hybrid teams, and companies are likely to maintain this work model even after the pandemic, the cyber attacks will probably leave an even bigger dent in companies’ budgets.
The obvious conclusion: Cyberattacks are expensive and they’re about to become even costlier as we’re advancing into 2022. To top things off, penalties for non-compliance with the regulations in place, loss of opportunities, and the negative impact on the brand image will make cyber-attacks a much more expensive affair for businesses in the future.
Turning people into passwords
Passwords are often the first line of defense against unauthorized access, helping users keep intruders at bay and protect their systems and accounts. Unfortunately, most passwords, even those that might seem complicated, are also incredibly easy to break, so they become just another liability in the digital landscape.
This is where biometrics step in, adding an extra layer of security and ensuring enhanced system protection. Biometric security refers to the use of biological measurements related to an individual’s characteristics as a form of identification, in order to secure access to an account or system.
In other words, our own specific features become part of the password. Obviously, one also has to be aware of the drawbacks of using biometrics for security, since none of these methods employed so far is infallible. However, compared to traditional passwords, biometrics security is sure to provide plenty of advantages which is why more companies are going to adopt this strategy in 2022.
Triple extortion ransomware on the rise
Ransomware attacks are not only dangerous for the companies whose data has been compromised, but also for their partners. Cybercriminals are no longer satisfied by the financial gains provided by these types of attacks, so they’re trying to capitalize on business partnerships. This approach is known as triple extortion ransomware, where a ransomware attack suffered by a business turns into an opportunity for cybercriminals to direct their demands towards the victim’s clients, suppliers, or partners.
Therefore, it’s not just the fact that ransomware attacks are becoming more common and expensive that should concern businesses, but also the range of these attacks is expanding. Chances are we’re going to witness a rise in triple ransomware attacks in 2022, which is why businesses have to be more cautious than ever on how they manage their partnerships and interactions with other entities.
Struggle for compliance
Cybersecurity concerns have prompted governments and regulatory bodies around the world to take action and improve regulations in the field. While this is clearly a positive change, it does generate a series of obstacles for companies. With no single cybersecurity protocol to follow at a global level, different regions will develop different rules and regulations in this respect.
Global businesses should prepare themselves for a regulatory battle where they’ll have to navigate the various regional cybersecurity requirements in order to become fully compliant. This can also hinder the effectiveness of the cybersecurity measures set in place.
These are some of the most important cybersecurity predictions for 2022, but since cybersecurity is a fast-evolving landscape, businesses should stay on their toes and constantly look for ways to improve their methods and strategies.
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