Internet Security in 2022: Key Points You Need to Know
Since the bursting of the dot-com bubble, cybercrime and cybersecurity threats have become a part of our lives. Before the year 2020, there was a split between firms digitizing their processes and those remaining adamant with the traditional brick-and-mortar system. However, the COVID-19 attack pushed almost every company sitting on the fence to immediately plunge into the pool of digitalization as per McKinsey.
Earlier, digitalization was regarded as a necessity due to the surging competitiveness amongst companies to provide enhanced convenience along with high-quality products and services. According to Arabian Business, the eruption of Covid-19 reshaped this necessity into a matter of survival. As a result, enterprises that failed to adapt quickly and remodel their operations faced their downfalls and eventual demise under harsh lockdowns and commercial constraints.
However, as digitalization picked pace, so did the related internet crimes and the related cybersecurity threats and costs. Today, every individual and organization has become vulnerable to privacy invasions and data breaches that cause exponential monetary losses. That is, however, a well-known truth. The real question is, what will the upcoming year unveil in terms of internet security?
But, before we look at the crucial aspects to note regarding internet security in 2022, let’s have a look at the recent large-scale internet assaults that have shaken the world.
The recent significant internet attacks
According to Packetlabs, internet-related crimes soared by 300% in the United States during Covid-19’s early stages. Let alone the remainder of the year’s events. Likewise, Cybercrime Magazine reports that the losses resulting from various internet assaults amount to about 6 trillion.
Here are just a few of the high profile internet attacks that made it to the headline this year:
- In March, a cyberattack on the supply chain led to an ultimate leakage of confidential data from renowned entities like The Australian Securities & Investments Commission and the security software company, Accelliond.
- A notorious cybercrime group, REvil, launched a ransomware attack against computer hardware tycoon Acer, which eventually led to leakage of sensitive data and ransom of $50 million.
- Bombardier, an aerospace company, suffered the loss of confidential data of its employees, clients, and various other stakeholders due to a cyber attack on their third-party File TRansfer system.
- According to a BBC News report, Colonial, the US’s largest petroleum pipeline, was hit by a ransomware attack that ultimately resulted in the shut down of the pipeline’s operations for several days and the payment of a large lump sum in the form of ransom.
Three crucial internet security key points for 2022
Now that the base is built, let us foresee what 2022 will bring forth:
1. Increase in ransomware attacks
The most prevalent assault that major corporations encounter, as seen by the incidents listed above, is a ransomware attack. Cybercriminals employ a variety of well-known methods to obtain access to a company’s systems and encrypt sensitive information. They then threaten to leak the data if a ransom is not paid in a timely manner. This trend is anticipated to continue in 2022, based on the current analysis and observations.
Ransomware assaults have escalated by 62% during 2019, according to the SonicWall Cyber Threat Report for 2021. The trigger was definitely the Сovid-19 outbreak and the ensuing drive to move all corporate procedures online. Many small firms and large tycoons were not attentive enough to adequately protect themselves against cyberattacks in the midst of chaos and uncertainty related to the pandemic.
Firms, particularly small enterprises, and even giant organizations will need time to figure out how to resist the growing onslaught. As a result, we should expect a few more high-profile ransomware attacks in 2022.
2. Phishing attacks will take a new turn
While corporations as a whole will mostly face ransomware attacks, their employees in their individual capacities will suffer more phishing attacks. During such an attack, the cybercriminal often drafts an email or message that seems to have been from an authentic organization. These people even go to the extent of buying domains and creating seemingly authoritative websites to lure their prey.
In 2022, however, we shall see that most of these phishing emails will exploit an individual’s fear of covid and uncertainties. The perpetrators will draft seemingly genuine emails from legitimate organizations requiring an individual’s information for vaccine distribution purposes. People will fall into their hands and compromise massive private and company data. The most vulnerable group to these attacks will be the work-from-home force.
To identify the authenticity of the individual sending the emails, we would suggest that people use Nuwber to verify the sender’s identity. Just type in the sender’s full name or the contact details they provide into the search bar and press ‘enter’. Scrutinize the results and report any suspiciousness to the relevant authorities so that appropriate steps may be taken.
3. Continuation of work from home and its challenges
Perhaps if there is anything that might be called a ‘positive outcome’ of Covid, it is work-from-home opportunities. Though this was an initial immediate response to the rigid lockdown restrictions to minimize the spread of the pandemic, it has turned into a favorite work perk and cost saver for both the employees and the employers, respectively.
On this note, giants like Microsoft reveal that they shall continue to offer work from home opportunities for the foreseeable future. However, this convenience brings forth a prominent internet security threat. This is because a company usually has a dedicated IT security team or at least a third-party service provider who diligently deploys a few suitable security measures. An employee, on the other hand, will not be able to take the necessary steps on their own.
Hence, perpetrators will exploit the vulnerabilities of employees’ personal devices which will lead to a compromise of personal and company data.
Therefore, in 2022, as work from home will continue, the resulting internet security challenges will only pick pace.
Overall, internet security and related crimes have become a part of our lives just like the threats in the real world. Therefore, instead of resisting the upcoming surge in internet-related threats, individuals and companies should rather practice prudence and precaution. The above-mentioned three internet security trends should be enough to decide on the preventive, detective, and corrective controls to put in place.
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.