2020 and 2021 have had a fair share of cybersecurity challenges. This was largely because of the mass transition to remote work caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As individuals and businesses alike rushed to ensure that working continued remotely during lockdown, hackers were devising ways to take advantage of the vulnerabilities. These issues coupled with technological developments such as IoT tech saw cybercrime go up a great deal. These challenges are highly likely to be sore come 2022. Businesses and individuals need to understand and be prepared to up their cybersecurity strategies in the coming year. Here are 10 cybersecurity challenges to look out for in 2022.
1. Ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks increased in 2021 compared to the year 2020. This trend is likely to continue in 2022 as systems vulnerabilities grow with the increase of hybrid working models. Attackers use these vulnerabilities to inject malware into systems. The malware encrypts files in the network, rendering them unusable. Attackers then demand a ransom from the organization for them to decrypt the files. Organizations have a task to identify any vulnerability in their network and find ways to mitigate them. Moreover, keeping the operating system updated, using multifactor authentication and enforcing password good practices can go a long way in preventing these attacks. VPNs are also a great way to mitigate such attacks. However, there is a need to be sure of the VPN to implement. Going through a list of best VPNs for VPN reviews can give insights on the one that has been most used with positive results.
2. Supply chain attacks
Attackers continue to find techniques that they can use to attack enterprises, and using supply chains is one technique that has proved successful for them. They take advantage of the absence of monitoring within a supply chain to perform attacks such as malware infections and data breaches and then ask for a ransom from the affected organizations. In 2022, supply chain attacks are likely to increase. Governments will have to put in place regulations around these attacks as well as work with private sectors to identify global and regional attackers.
3. Misinformation campaigns
Campaigns that are focused on spreading false information about organizations on social media have been on the rise. In 2022, these campaigns will be more common as attackers try to find a way to reap more from ransomware attacks. Organizations will be willing to pay more when their reputation is on the line. These attacks will also be used to manipulate stock prices for large multinationals. Organizations will need to employ the latest data gathering and monitoring techniques to be on top of what the web says about them. Moreover, planning for bad events and backing up data are some of the measures that organizations can employ.
4. Cryptocurrency theft
As money becomes digital, hackers are cashing in on the vulnerabilities that digital wallets present. For starters, digital wallets aren’t run by the rules found in banks or governments, which makes it easily accessible to people. Unfortunately, this raises the risk of cybercrime by hackers. There is also the issue of anonymity where it is very hard to trace back theft to the culprits. Governments need to create laws to regulate digital money. But before then, organizations and individuals that accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment have a task keeping up with the latest threats that hackers use. This way, they can recognize and find ways to safeguard their assets.
5. Deepfake technology
As technology advances, techniques used to make fake video or audio are also advancing to more dangerous levels. Malicious people are using this technology to create content that can be used to obtain permissions, and manipulate opinions and more. A case that in 2020 showed how deep face technology can be destructive is that of a bank manager in the United Arab Emirates who transferred $35 million after being tricked by hackers. The hackers created an audio using AI voice-shaping tools to clone the voice of a company director, which the bank manager fell for. Such cases are likely to be common in 2022.
6. Mobile malware attacks
Mobile devices continue to be the most preferred device by individuals. This is mainly because it provides many services on the go including mobile banking, online shopping, digital wallets and more. Moreover, as reliance on mobile devices continues to grow, cybercriminals will continue to find new techniques to try and exploit mobile devices users. For this reason, individuals need to be careful on what they click on and apps that they download.
7. Remote desktop software attacks
After the transition to remote work, most companies are considering allowing remote work permanently. This means an increase in the use of remote desktop software among remote workers. This also comes with raised security concerns about RDP. Brute-force attacks on remote desktop software are already on the rise, and companies need to bump up their security strategies in the coming year.
8. IoT vulnerabilities will be targeted
IoT technology is finding its way into homes and offices. However, while they come with added benefits, they also come with increased security risks. These vulnerabilities can crop up from lack of regular updates, insecure interfaces, weak password protection, poor device management and IoT skills gap. In 2022, IoT devices will be among the most targeted by cybercriminals and users need to understand these vulnerabilities and work towards mitigating any attacks.
9. Credential stuffing
Most people are used to reusing credentials in different applications probably for ease of remembrance. Hackers know this and they take advantage of it by stealing credentials of one application and using them to log in to another application. Techniques and attack tools are advancing. Hackers can now use bots to masquerade multiple IP addresses and locations, making it a potential cybersecurity challenge in the coming year.
10. Phishing threats
Phishing threats have been around for a while and are likely to continue owing to their rate of success. Even with so much information about phishing emails, most people still struggle with identifying malicious emails. Hackers are also upping their game by creating emails that are harder to detect. Even so, training and creating awareness about phishing can still help in avoiding these attacks.
Cyber security will continue facing challenges that are more advanced and technical to solve in the new year. Businesses and individuals need to be proactive in putting up the best security infrastructure to protect systems and devices. To this end, working with cyber security experts can go a long way in helping them prepare. Sensitizing employees on the issue of cyber security should also continue in 2022.
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