Cybersecurity is not a new term for frequent internet users and firms with a virtual presence. Every now and then, news about hacks into the servers of renowned organizations and even government websites hits the headlines.
Earlier this year, BBC News reported that the largest US petroleum pipeline, Colonial, which carries around 45% to about 50 million US citizens across the East Coast, suffered a ransomware attack. Resultantly, the pipeline was shut down for several days, which led to an increase in oil prices.
The preceding case demonstrates that regardless of a company’s size or security measures in place, its vulnerability to cyber assaults is never entirely eliminated. According to IBM, the cost of a data breach surged from $3.86 million to $4.24 million in 2021.
Of course, Covid-19 is primarily culpable for these expenses since it drove practically every firm to function digitally, forcing customers to connect with companies online as well. But the real question is, what does 2022 have in store for us?
However, let us first get a glimpse into the most common cyber threats every individual and organization faces at the moment.
Common threats individuals and companies face
Apart from the costs mentioned above, in 2021, cybercrime itself led to losses of around $6 trillion as per Cybercrime Magazine. Here are the most common types of threats faced by IT systems and individuals globally:
- Phishing: This is when cyber criminals trick users into revealing sensitive information through exceptionally designed emails that seem to have come from an authentic organization such as a bank.
- Ransomware: This is when an attacker infects a company’s database or IT system with malware that encrypts data. The attacker then demands a ransom in return for decryption and may also threaten to leak the data if the ransom is not paid on time.
- Denial of service: In this case, the attacker floods the victim’s website or server with numerous requests that ultimately results in a completely unresponsive website/server.
Cybersecurity trends you will continue to face in 2022
Now that we know the threats facing us let us see the related trends we shall witness in 2022. Generally, the costs associated with cybersecurity and damage due to cybercrime will only increase.
Escalated cyberattack threats for Healthcare
Statista reveals that the Healthcare industry incurs the largest cybersecurity costs. This will not change in 2022 as the industry will continue to spend more on cybersecurity as a result of a heightened threat of an attack. A renowned hospital, UnityPoint Health has faced numerous cyberattacks that led to a compromise of data belonging to millions of patients and employees.
Various healthcare organizations had to relax their firewalls as a result of Covid-19 for ease of their patients. However, the latter means that these organizations have to invest more in cybersecurity. This investment will only escalate in 2022.
Increased threats on the education sector
Universities, schools, and other higher education institutions were also forced to move the majority of their procedures from learning to management to the web because of Covid. Even though people might find this transition beneficial, it has caused the education sector a considerable lump sum in the name of cybersecurity. Apparently, covid is responsible for more damage than what meets the eye.
The University of California faced a nationwide ransomware attack earlier this year that led to the data of its students and staff being compromised, as per TechPlore. Online learning will continue in 2022, and the related costs to keeping the student and staff data safe will also increase.
Continuance of remote work challenges
Despite the challenges, working from home has been taken quite positively worldwide. Companies like Microsoft will continue to offer remote work as Covid is here for an unknown time. While working from the comfort of one’s home saves costs for both companies and their employees, the related cyber threats and costs will rise in 2022.
The problem is, personal devices do not have the protection that company devices have. Hence, company data is at an increased risk when people work on personal laptops or phones.
Advancement of geo-targeted phishing and ransomware attacks
As apparent from the points above, phishing and ransomware will become the most common techniques used by cybercriminals. The rate at which every other brand has revealed ransomware in 2021 clearly builds the base for what to expect in 2022.
Ransomware attacks will become the most prominent virtual threat to large organizations. On the other hand, phishing will be the most prevalent technique when it comes to the cybersecurity of organizations and individuals combined.
Most of the data breaches mentioned above resulted from a phishing trick that employees fell prey to. As mentioned earlier, working from home will further increase this risk, and both the employee and the company’s data will remain at risk.
To identify a perpetrator, it is vital that every organization adopts a zero-trust policy. When a seemingly authentical email requiring sensitive information arises, confirm the sender’s identity. You can use Nuwber to do this. Enter the stranger’s name in the search bar and hit enter. Then, analyze the information that comes up against the sender’s details in the email.
Increased investment in employee education
All of the above accumulatively will lead to increased investment in employee education and training regarding cybersecurity. While some companies learned the hard way, others are preparing to take precautions. The increased cyber risks and the latest events will eventually push every small and large organization into ‘teaching’ their employees how to recognize a phishing attack and any other such threat in 2022.
Cybersecurity is a worldwide issue. The emergence of Covid-19 pressured all businesses, large and small, to go digital. As a result, people were driven to connect with businesses online. While digitization has numerous advantages, it also poses a greater risk to a person’s or company’s data. Cybercrime, as well as the expenses and losses associated with cyber security, will only ascend as we move into 2022.