The 21st century began with many technological advancements, innovative software, new tools, and resources. However, it comes with its own set of risks and dangers. Cybersecurity is often a hot topic in the tech industry and for the right reasons. Businesses are unquestionably more exposed to cyberattacks due to many factors such as rising digitalization, the trend to hybrid working, and increasing dependence on global supply networks. On the brighter side, there is obvious evidence that government and non-government institutions are taking cybercriminals far more seriously than ever before, laying the groundwork for future generations.
As businesses and employees adopt the remote labor ethic, security will need to become better. Work from home will boost the usage of home computers to access company systems remotely. Cybercriminals will use this to attack employees’ personal devices, which are readily compromised.
To avoid such attacks, businesses and employees need to be aware of the kind of attacks that they need to look for. Here’s a list of cyber threat predictions that one should watch out for in 2022.
Considering how many issues every government has to deal with, it is not surprising that cyberwarfare is the most prominent one. There have already been many speculations of governments all around the world using viruses and malware to spy on other state agencies and organizations, and it is growing into a major concern.
Cyberwarfare is a geopolitical struggle between enemy states that takes place in cyberspace. It enables governments to execute large-scale, low-cost, and untraceable clandestine operations. Cyberwarfare is vast in scope since it may take place in at least five distinct contexts: economic, sociological, regional, military, and geopolitical. In terms of economics, 85 percent of cyberattack targets in the United States are in the private sector – small institutions, for example, can suffer over 10,000 assaults each day.
Cyberwarfare is at the heart of the US-China and the US-Russia conflicts. The governments of these countries are employing a tactical, covert operation to wage war against each other through advanced technology to breach a rival government’s security. Today, nations do not have to deploy a single weapon to attack each other. Instead, they have resorted to cyberwarfare in the context of geopolitical tensions regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China-Taiwan conflict, among others.
Cyberwarfare has become a growing concern because these governments have so many technological resources at their disposal that they can easily lead a major cybersecurity breach against another country. The world can definitely expect cyberwarfare to be at the forefront in the coming year.
2. Covid Scams and Phishing
The new coronavirus strain Covid-19 was found at the end of 2019, and it soon grew into what is likely the worst public health disaster in living memory. And whenever there’s a crisis, there will always be a swarm of hackers looking to cash in.
Coronavirus scams, phishing campaigns, and other frauds have all too inevitably appeared, as have DDoS assaults on health institutions and malware named after the virus. Scammers have been assaulting customers with advertisements for bogus therapies since the outbreak began, and this is unlikely to change even with COVID-19 vaccinations and officially licensed treatments now accessible.
The FTC and the FDA have issued hundreds of warnings to firms offering unapproved treatments that purport to cure or prevent COVID-19. Teas, essential oils, CBD, colloidal silver, and intravenous vitamin-C therapies are some of the purported antiviral remedies promoted in clinics as well as on webpages, social media, and tv programs as pandemic countermeasures.
3. Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware is a type of cyber assault that is becoming more common. It entails hackers planting harmful software on computer systems in order to impede organizations from carrying out routine activities or analyzing information or other assets. Organizations are then asked to pay the attackers in order to stop the attack.
Ransomware is becoming a major threat to organizations, and in the last year or so, it has been regarded as the “golden period” for hackers. Cybersecurity professionals anticipate this criminal operation will soar in the foreseeable future. In recent years, we’ve witnessed ransomware attackers expand from unorganized splinter organizations and people to incredibly advanced operations, with diverse teams combining to attack anything from SMBs to technology distribution networks.
Possession with ransomware is no longer the final objective of a hack. Malware families in this category, such as WannaCry, NotPetya, Ryuk, Cerber, and Cryptolocker, might instead be used as a component in assaults aimed to exact a blackmail payment from a target organization.
4. Internet of Things (IoT) Attacks
The internet of things (IoT) is, without a doubt, among the most adaptable technologies available today. The IoT is scalable and adaptive because of the internet’s pervasiveness, the increasing bandwidth of network connections, and the multiplicity of smart devices.
However, acknowledging the IoT’s rising reality also entails acknowledging its potential downsides. In a corporate context, for example, the Internet of Things (IoT) is frequently found in office automation (OA) and operational technology (OT). This refers to a company having various IoT devices installed. Such a configuration raises the prospect of attacks in areas that have never previously presented cybersecurity issues.
Threats to IoT systems and devices result in increased security concerns due to particular aspects of the underlying technology. These traits make IoT settings effective and efficient, but they are also susceptible to exploitation by threat actors. Cybercriminals, like everything else digital, exploit flaws or gap gaps in the internet of things (IoT) devices to transform them into formidable instruments for cyberattacks.
This is usually the result of consumers failing to safeguard their internet-connected electronics gadgets. Unbeknownst to them, cyberattackers can then infect many of these unprotected digital devices with harmful viruses to establish a botnet, which they can then employ to target and interrupt the regular operations of major websites and servers- even take them down.
5. AI-Powered Cyberattacks
Artificial intelligence (AI) has opened up new opportunities for businesses. Organizations can now alter operations, embrace new business opportunities, understand consumer behavior, and predict cyberattacks due to their ability to organize and enhance human intelligence.
Organizations with these qualities may change their processes and adapt to obstacles and possibilities before materializing. Regrettably, artificial intelligence has also given cybercriminals a boost. They can find weaknesses in business IT networks by utilizing smart and clever technological solutions.
AI-powered cyberattacks may be the most serious danger to enterprises today. Because most AI practitioners excel at understanding the meaning of existing evidence, they are rarely security professionals capable of protecting their systems and data. Cybercriminals have discovered ways to corrupt these systems, resulting in the idea of hostile AI. This form of hack jeopardizes the ability of data and AI systems to provide the value promised to the company.
6. Software Supply Chain Attacks
Most of the destructive and greater cybersecurity events in recent decades have been supply-chain hacks. While there are several causes for this spike, one of the most prominent is the cyber pandemic. Malicious hackers have had several possibilities to conduct supply chain assaults due to the various attack vectors generated by remote work and overburdened security staff.
A software supply chain attack occurs when hackers breach the programming of third-party computer elements to corrupt the ‘downstream’ programs that rely on them. With lateral forces, attackers use stolen programs to steal data, damage selected systems or allow entry to other portions of the victim’s system.
Supply chain assaults are intended to take advantage of trust connections between a company and third parties. Associations, vendor ties, and the usage of third-party software are examples of these interactions. Cybercriminals will breach one business and then advance up the supply chain, leveraging trusted connections to access the surroundings of other firms.
Managed service providers (MSPs) are a prominent sort of supply chain assault target. MSPs have extensive access to their clients’ networks, which an adversary would find advantageous. After successfully infecting the MSP, the perpetrator can quickly spread to their customers’ networks. These intruders have a greater effect and may acquire network access that would be far more difficult to attack directly if they exploit supply chain flaws. That’s how the Kaseya attackers were able to infect so many businesses with ransomware.
7. Cloud Attacks
The volume of data traveling between enterprises and cloud service providers creates chances for both inadvertent and purposeful breaches of critical material to untrustworthy third parties. Most cloud storage data breaches are caused by human mistakes, insider threats, malware, weak passwords, and criminal behavior. Malicious hackers, especially government hackers, attempt to exploit cloud service security flaws to steal data from the target company’s network for profit or other illegal objectives.
Generally, the characteristics that make cloud services accessible to people and IT networks make it harder for enterprises to prevent illegal access. Nevertheless, the security problems posed by cloud computing have not hindered cloud computing growth or the fall in on-premise data centers. As a result, businesses of all sizes must reconsider their network security policies in order to reduce the danger of unwanted data transfers, service outages, and reputational harm.
8. Remote Workforce Vulnerabilities
Employees rely on their wireless routers and often their own equipment – to execute duties in a remote workforce, which introduces a slew of risks. And you’d best hope they’re technically savvy, but there is only so much your IT staff can do to assist them if they run into any technical difficulties. We are significantly more exposed to cyber assaults without the security safeguards provided by office systems, such as firewalls and blacklisted IP addresses, and our greater reliance on technology.
The most obvious concern is that the majority of our work is done online. Then again, if someone is on the Web, it is always possible that a cybercriminal will compromise it.
Cloud docs, emails and files, instant messaging clients, and third-party services are all vulnerable, and with so much data being exchanged online, the remote workforce attack surface has risen significantly.
9. Cryptocurrency Scams and Attacks
With the growing popularity of bitcoin and blockchain technologies, there will be an avalanche of hitherto unseen cryptocurrency frauds. Whether they like it or not, crypto investors are exposing themselves to a new and increasing danger of fraud and scams. The lack of KYC processes on blockchain raises serious concerns about its broad adoption.
There are no protections in place to determine who is a good actor and who is a bad actor on a decentralized network. Scammers, competent developers may now design new games and even imagined worlds on the blockchain. Getting eager blockchain beginners to buy a sort of newly produced currency or token for a game is a simple method to defraud them. If enough individuals push up the price due to supply and demand, the original fraudsters will be able to sell all of their assets and vanish in a process known as a reverse takeover or rug pull method.
10. Internal Threats
An insider threat is a potential threat to a business that emerges from current or former workers, business associates, contractors, and so on.
Insider threats may be extremely damaging because they originate from someone within an organization who has firsthand knowledge of the business’s security processes and access to critical information, IT, or network resources.
An ethical hacker might be either a turncoat – an insider who takes data purposefully – or a pawn – an unintended or reluctant participant in a data breach.
Since they are already in there, insider threats are a major problem for firms of all sizes. This implies that they have either access to important data or are familiar with the company’s vital systems and strategies for protecting them. To address this issue, businesses must employ the appropriate tools and approaches to detect conduct that suggests a possible insider threat.