The biggest cybersecurity challenges in 2022
#1. The increase in cyberattacks
Each year, certain risks increase dramatically because cybercriminals concentrate their efforts on a particular profitable or effective attack method like ransomware, for instance. cybersecurity But, one of the most concerning developments in 2021 was the rise of cybercrime all over the world.
The 2021 year saw the overall number of cyberattacks grow by 50% from year to year. However, some sectors were more affected than others, with research, education and healthcare taking the brunt of the harm. This suggests that cyber threat actors are focusing their efforts on areas that are becoming more dependent on technology and the least equipped to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.
The rapid increase in attacks could be a harbinger for 2022. As cyber threats improve their methods and utilize the power of machine learning and automation the impact and frequency of cyber attacks are likely to increase.
#2. Supply Chain Attacks are On the Steering Wheel
Supply chain attacks grew in prominence in the latter half of 2020. increased through 2021 and will likely pose a significant danger until 2022. In December of 2020 the investigation into the SolarWinds hack caused this trend.
Threat actors hacked SolarWinds development environment and then inserted backdoor codes into the Orion software for monitoring networks. It was the discovery that led to the Sunburst malware launching an extensive investigation which revealed not just the details of the SolarWinds hack , but additionally, multiple malware variants and an attack plan that targeted more than 18,000 private and public sector organizations.
SolarWinds started a boom in supply chain security attacks which continued through 2021 and well into 2022. Another supply chain vulnerability that was highly visible during 2021 included the Kaseya attack that exploited the connections with managed service suppliers (MSPs) and their clients to distribute ransomware through MSPs Remote Monitoring and Management software.
The numerous supply chain incidents in 2021 have proven that supply chain attacks are an efficient and profitable attack channel for cyber criminals. In 2022, cyber-attackers are likely to broaden their attack on supply chains to expand the reach and impact of their attacks.
#3. It’s the Cyber Pandemic Continues
The COVID-19 virus caused an abrupt change in the way business was conducted. Instead of workers working from their corporate offices the majority of workers are working from home and will remain so in the near future.
The pandemic triggered the cyber epidemic because cyber threats were able to adapt and take advantage of the changes to IT-related operations of corporations. The rapid growth of remote working created computers for employees typically personal devices the first line of defense. The increase in cloud use to aid remote workers and achieve digital transformation goals provided new attack opportunities for cyber attackers.
Two years on from the outbreak and little has changed. A lot of companies continue to support an entirely remotely-based workforce. the use of cloud computing is growing. While cybercriminals are continuing to exploit of the weaknesses and security holes created by the rapid IT transformation, companies are struggling to protect their systems and safeguard the data of their customers and corporate clients.
#4. Cloud Services Are A Major Goal
In the wake of the pandemic’s push to remote work , came an accelerated adoption of cloud-based services and infrastructure. Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions filled in the gap – like the requirement for online meetings or file sharing. Cloud-based infrastructure was more easily accessible and easy to manage by remote employees.
Since the transition to remote computing and cloud in 2020, businesses have had the chance to address some of the most significant security concerns that resulted from a rapid shift without much or no preparation. However certain security issues with cloud computing remain and cyber threats continue to push ahead of security professionals in using the important role cloud computing plays in modern enterprise.
A lot of these attacks exploit weaknesses within the cloud infrastructure, which allows attackers to compromise a variety of victims with just one vulnerability.
OMIGOD wasn’t the sole security flaw found within Azure the year 2021. The ChaosDB vulnerability that was discovered in August gave total control over Azure Cosmos DB clients’ cloud resources by compromising a key. Azurescape focused on the Azure Container as a Service (CaaS) service and allowed the exploitation by other clients’ Kubernetes clusters in the cloud service. Although Azurescape was patched prior to when it was exploited, the consequences could have been devastating.
Azure isn’t the sole cloud service to suffer from attacks and vulnerabilities in 2021. A mistake in the configuration of AWS permissions could permit AWS support staff to read the contents of S3 buckets instead of just metadata.
Cloud adoption is increasing, which means greater scrutiny, both from ethical hackers as well as cyber threat actors. 2021’s case illustrates that more security vulnerabilities in cloud computing will be identified in 2022 and beyond.
#5. Ransomware Attacks are On the Upswing
Ransomware became popular after the Wanna Cry incident in 2017. Since then, numerous ransomware-related groups have appeared which makes it a constant and costly risk for every business.
in 2021, the ransomware criminals proved their capacity and ability to affect organizations that go beyond their immediate target. For instance, the Colonial Pipeline hack is the most evident example because it was the time that Dark Side ransomware group caused an entire week-long shut down for one of the major pipelines that service that region of the US East Coast.
But Colonial Pipeline, while perhaps the most prominent ransomware attack in 2021, isn’t the sole one. A second attack occurred that same period was targeted at JBS S.A., the largest meat processing firm worldwide. The attack was global in scope and resulted in the shutdown of several plants within both the US along with abattoirs throughout Australia that led to the cancellation of 3,000 shifts and furloughs for 7,000 employees.
In addition to these prominent attacks, ransomware organizations also targeted healthcare and education sectors. The attacks led to closures of schools, the loss of sensitive healthcare and educational information, as well as the delays of non-urgent and emergency medical procedures. Hacktivists have launched multiple attacks that caused disruption to the public in Iran through targeting railway stations and gas stations.
Ransomware attacks have proved to be profitable and effective for hackers. If this trend does not change the way they operate, they will continue to be a major threat to organizations.
#6. Mobile Devices Bring New Security Risks
Another impact of the shift to remote work was the widespread adoption of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies. When employees are able to work on personal devices, organizations might have increased productivity and retention, but also lost crucial security visibility and the capability to detect and respond to any viruses that could compromise security systems and solutions for the company.
The increase in smartphone usage has made cyberespionage tools such as Pegasus more efficient and risky. Created in collaboration with NSO Group NSO Group, the malware employs several zero-click exploits that allow access to target devices prior to taking them over and stealing data from different sources (texts, emails, phones and so on.). Pegasus is available to law enforcement, government agencies and other law enforcement officials. Inspired by the success of Pegasus, Cytrox, a North Macedonian country, is now offering the same tool, Predator and the threat could expand to other cyber threat actors too.
The cybercriminals of 2021 have adapted their strategies to make use of the increasing popularity of mobile. These mobile Trojans exploit the power of the popularity of social media sites, app store security controls and other similar strategies to gain access and gain the required permissions on the devices they target.
Mobile devices are now an exciting new avenue to fight cybercrime. In today’s business world mobile security, it’s the most important element of a cybersecurity plan for the company.