Cyber Threats Are Not Slowing Down in 2022: What Should You Do?
Cyber threats to businesses and organizations are expected to continue to be a major concern in 2022. While 2021 saw increasing cyber threats as well, what caused the most disruption to businesses and organizations were the more advanced ransomware attacks. Not only were the ransomware attacks harder to uncover, but they also had a damaging impact on the businesses and organizations that were victims of an attack.
More business leaders are recognizing the threat of cybersecurity vulnerabilities and the importance of protecting their business operations against those who wish to perform malicious acts. However, many businesses are not taking the right steps to protect their business. Some leaders are also trying to convince themselves that they are taking the right steps, even when they know they could be doing more.
Ransomware attacks soared above 90 percent in the first half of 2021. With the increased frequency of cyber threats and the potential for human error in administering security, businesses and organizations need a comprehensive method that will assess their cybersecurity posture and address any concerns as quickly as possible. When securing critical assets, security leaders must cover all their bases to stay ahead of cybercriminals who are waiting to wreak havoc.
One of the most challenging aspects of cybersecurity today is preparedness. Attack techniques are becoming more sophisticated and there are no signs of these attacks slowing down in 2022; cyber threats seem like a never-ending attack. As we start 2022, your organization must do its best to prepare for incidents that may occur in 2022. Auditing and evaluating the state of your security systems, your technology, and your processes is a great place to begin. How will your efforts, combined with an increase in cyber threats, impact your security posture in 2022?
Now more than ever before, your organization needs to understand what the top cybersecurity threats of 2022 will be and how to combat them.
Ransomware-As-A-Service (Raas) Are on the Rise
Due to its simplicity and the promise of a nice financial return, RaaS is growing in popularity. Cybercriminals can pay for somebody to carry out an attack and take a cut of the ransom payment. More cybercriminals are leveraging these because of their rising availability on the deep web. With many skilled, experienced, and well-funded groups out there, sophisticated toolsets can be sold and purchased, helping individuals or organizations execute a devastating ransomware attack.
With the rise of Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) and the availability of malware, ransomware continues to become the preferred method for cybercriminals who want to make easy money by encrypting systems and holding data hostage until a ransom is paid to them to send the decryption keys.
To protect yourself against ransomware attacks, which will certainly be on the rise in 2022, you should:
- Regularly back up your data so you can mitigate the risk of data loss and clear the way for recovery after a ransomware attack.
- Have vigorous endpoint security protection so you can help stop ransomware from gaining access to your systems.
- Train staff to detect threats and attacks, such as phishing emails, a common form of ransomware.
- Ensure your systems have the latest patches and updates.
The fact that hacks and data breaches are occurring often hasn’t helped. Data breaches typically lead to stolen credentials, and these stolen credentials are then sold on the deep web. Cybercriminals are leveraging the fact that many organizations are being hacked and breached, and it is becoming very easy to gain access to those credentials. Once cybercriminals gain access to those credentials, they will then execute a successful ransomware attack.
Business leaders must determine if their organization is vulnerable to ransomware attacks. It’s important that they know and understand the cyber threats that are out there, as well as the potential vulnerabilities that are within their systems, so they can ensure their business is safe.
Headlines in 2021 showed us that no organization is out of reach of the hands of cybercriminals when it comes to ransomware attacks. School districts, colleges and universities, and healthcare organizations are all targets for cybercriminals. However, in 2022, there is growing anticipation that the government will step in and implement measures that will put an end to ransomware groups.
As the efforts by the government continue, cybercriminals will likely become more particular in their process. It’s unlikely that ransomware attacks will come to an end, but malicious actors may make more deliberate choices when deciding who to go after. This means that if your organization has any vulnerabilities, your chances of becoming a target will likely increase. However, if you have several layers of defence already, you may already be reducing the chances of an attack.
Cloud Security Breaches Will Increase
With the increasing popularity of cloud services, we are seeing a rise in cyber threats from the cloud. Many cloud services and cloud providers house confidential and sensitive data about clients, making them tempting targets for external and internal threats. One of the biggest cybersecurity threats that arise from cloud services is poor access controls, ranking at the top of vulnerabilities within organizations.
Most organizations suffer hacks and data breaches in the cloud due to access controls that have not been properly implemented. Phishing attacks and credential stuffing are also utilized by malicious actors to gain access to credentials. Typically, a malicious actor will impersonate a colleague and engage in an email conversation, which can trick the unsuspecting victim into sharing their credentials.
Your organization can safeguard its operations by doing the following:
- Using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to strengthen the security of accounts, so even if a malicious actor steals your password, they will not be able to access your accounts.
- Using security monitoring applications to ensure that there are no security misconfigurations.
- Encrypting data on the Cloud.
- Educating and training employees to identify phishing emails and other related cyberattacks.
The Internet of Things Will Disrupt Security Measures
The majority of the workforce transitioned to a remote and/or hybrid workforce at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, security measures fell behind. While IoT devices continue to become a major asset for those who are working in the office or remotely, some security measures still haven’t been prioritized. In 2022, technology will continue to expand its reach. Unfortunately, some organizations may not pay enough attention to the basics of security. Securing your business or organization, its network, and your services is a key step that should not be overlooked when introducing new technologies.
IoT is going to become more widespread and sophisticated in 2022. Most workplaces have a stronger cybersecurity posture than their employee’s homes, however, these can be evaded and made ineffective as soon as an infected device is connected to the workplace’s infrastructure. As more employees return to the office or remote or hybrid workplaces in 2022 with their personal devices, malicious actors will begin to target and infect devices with malware to gain access to networks and infect systems.
Your organization can protect itself by doing the following:
- Monitoring your systems and your networks by maintaining a record of your critical infrastructure and devices.
- Ensuring your networks are properly configured to prevent infected devices from connecting to networks.
- Educating and training employees to follow cybersecurity best practices (i.e. being more cautious when downloading applications and not connecting to unsecured network connections).
- Not allowing unsecured devices onto your networks.
- Conducting audits of any device that can be connected to a network.
- Deactivating IoT devices that are no longer being used by your organization.
No business or organization will be immune to the threat of an attack in 2022. The businesses and organizations that prioritize cybersecurity will have the best chance of avoiding damaging consequences. Taking steps to address internal and external vulnerabilities can help your business or organization put up better defences. As cybercriminals become more aggressive and creative in their techniques, businesses and organizations must maintain an optimal security posture.
While we cannot give you a concrete prediction of what will happen in 2022, we can tell you that you must begin prioritizing key areas in cybersecurity so you can save money and time. Critical infrastructure, devices, data, and cloud-based services will be vulnerable to cyberattacks in 2022. You must work hard to detect these cyber threats before they do serious damage.
OnServe Knows How to Protect Your Critical Infrastructure
Keeping up with the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape can be a frightening task, and it can be difficult to determine the vulnerabilities in your infrastructure that can lead to a cyberattack. You must be able to keep track of the cyber landscape and know where potential attacks lie to protect your organization. OnServe can evaluate your cybersecurity posture, alerting you to vulnerabilities and ongoing cyber threats in real-time. We will check for suspicious activities and infected devices, if your network and cloud solutions are secure enough, if there’s ransomware on your network, and more.
As with cyber threats and attacks, the best protection against them is to ensure that you have good cybersecurity protection in place. Contact us for more information on our cybersecurity solutions. The security of your business depends on it.
Thanks to Holden Watne at Generation IX in LA for his help with this article. Discover more about GenIX at https://www.generationix.com/it-services-los-angeles/