The year of 2021 was a challenging year for cybersecurity. Consequences of the SolarWinds hack, working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, epic vulnerabilities, such as ProxyLogon, ProxyShell and Log4Shell, to name a few. In 2022 risks are only growing and evolving, that is why it is crucial for businesses to secure their digital assets and service performance to prevent reputational and financial damage. The best way for cybersecurity specialists to protect companies is to learn from past incidents.
Having a cybersecurity incident response plan could also help to avoid and recover from cybersecurity risks. Businesses should recognize new threats, identify and manage vulnerabilities, implement user access review best practices and zero trust policies, etc. Because cybersecurity breaches are so common these days, conducting periodic reviews of access rights to certain networks and systems and the users who have access permissions into those networks are critical to any organization’s data management practices.
Top 5 cybersecurity trends for 2022
Adoption of cybersecurity solutions based on AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already in use for fraud detection in financial services. In 2022, we’ll see the adoption of AI-based technologies for fighting cybercrime. These solutions will identify patterns of behavior that could be the sign of malicious activity. Using AI means that identification of suspicious activity can be done in machines dealing with thousands of events taking place every moment. We have already seen using machine learning technologies in various cybersecurity platforms and services.
Predictive powers of AI could be very helpful for cybersecurity, so we expect that more and more businesses will be investing in AI-based solutions this year.
Adoption of attack surface management best practices
The attack surface is a constantly changing and growing landscape, especially as many businesses’ assets are distributed across the cloud. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees have started working from home, which has also increased the number of external assets needed to be protected. In 2022 threat actors will continue to automate their tools to probe and analyze external attack surfaces.
To prevent cyber attacks it is essential for companies to manage risks before hackers find them. To do this they should achieve complete visibility and continuous monitoring. Attack surface management can help companies to cope with this task.
Attack surface management is the continuous discovery, inventory, classification, and monitoring of the entire corporate digital infrastructure.
Adoption of zero trust strategy
The main principle of zero trust is the assumption that every system is compromised by default and cannot be trusted. Zero trust is a strategy where companies can hinge on their cybersecurity measures.
With the adoption of new working environments – remote and hybrid environments, for example – in 2022 there will be a growing demand for an effective zero trust security strategy. Because this strategy boosts cybersecurity, simplifies infrastructure, and enhances user experience more and more organizations will adopt this strategy. Additionally, it minimizes the intensity and repercussions of a cyberattack.
The British National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) found that there were three times as many ransomware attacks in the first quarter of 2021 than in the whole of 2019. In 2022, the number of ransomware attacks will continue to grow.
During ransomware attacks, threat actors usually infect devices with malware that encrypt files and extort money for the encryption keys. Lately, more ransomware operators adopted a method known as double extortion. After gaining the access to the victim’s network and before encrypting data hackers steal files and threaten to expose them if the victim doesn’t pay the ransom.
Usually, ransomware infects corporate networks through phishing attacks on employees. Threat actors trick them into providing details or clicking a link that downloads the ransomware onto a computer. There is also a way to infect the system directly via USB devices. This method doesn’t require an internet connection but rather physical access to the targeted system.
The Internet of Things
According to Ericsson Mobility Report, around 29 billion connected devices are forecast by 2022, of which around 18 billion will be related to the Internet of Things (IoT). That means that there will be more access points for cyberattacks.
We saw past attacks when threat actors used connected household appliances like thermostats and kettles to get access to networks. From there they can get an access to devices where valuable data could be stored.
In 2022, the IoT is going to be even more sophisticated than previously.