Cybersecurity Forecast for 2022
If 2021 taught us anything about cybersecurity, it’s that we’re more vulnerable to attacks than ever before. With so much of our lives being spent online, it gives rise to a plethora of opportunities for phishers, hackers, scammers, and extortionists.
We saw this play out with the SolarWinds hack, described by Microsoft president Brad Smith as “the most sophisticated cyberattack of all time,” which went undetected for months and is still under investigation. The hack affected 18,000 customers by exposing sensitive data from Fortune 500 companies and the upper echelons of the US Government, including the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Treasury.
With no sign of this crime wave slowing down, organizations of all sizes are taking action to understand their exposure to risk, as well as how to mitigate it.
Let’s take a look at the most significant trends affecting cybersecurity in the next year:
As more companies invest in artificial intelligence to counteract cybercrime, cybercriminals are using these same machine learning technologies to evade the protective measures of cybersecurity.
Ransomware is a Growing Threat
Ransomware, typically deployed through phishing attacks, usually involves infecting devices with a virus that threatens to destroy files unless a ransom is paid. An alarming trend is an increase in these types of attacks targeting critical infrastructure, including one at a water treatment facility that briefly managed to alter the chemical operations of the facility in a way that could endanger lives. Other ransomware attacks have targeted gas pipelines and hospitals. As a result, by 2025, the percentage of nation-states passing legislation to regulate ransomware payments, fines, and negotiations is expected to rise to 30%, compared to less than 1% in 2021.
Internet of Things (IoT) Vulnerability
The number of connected devices, known as the Internet of Things (IoT), is forecast to reach 18 billion by 2022, which also means that cybercriminals looking to gain access to secure digital systems have can now benefit from an increased number of potential access points.
Cybersecurity Risk will be a Key Factor in Partnership Decisions
Gartner estimates that by 2025, 60% of organizations will use cybersecurity risk as a primary determinant in conducting third-party transactions and business engagements. Given the trajectory of information security legislation following the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), such as the Chinese Personal Information Protection Law, and the Californian Consumer Privacy Act, more organizations are taking heed to avoid risking huge penalties due to information security slip-ups. As such, every partner that potentially has access to an organization’s data or systems will be rigorously vetted.
Tighter Regulations Catch up to Risk
The cost of cybercrime to global economies is at $6 trillion, an unsustainable situation that is prompting regulators and jurisdictions to pull out all the stops when it comes to expanding penalties that cover vulnerabilities and exposure to potential damage and passing laws related to making payments in response to ransomware attacks.
With such high stakes and the increased risk for irreparable damage, we’re going to see more organizations taking stock of their cybersecurity vulnerabilities and addressing these issues ahead of potentially losing the trust of their customers.
If you’re looking to enhance your security systems at your business, reach out to one of our Identity Experts at 800.486.1312.