Cybercrime has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry, professionalized, specialized, and increasingly personalized. Intelligent criminal networks are taking cues from intelligence services and military organizations, and some government agencies are turning a blind eye as criminals attack companies from afar.
Since the late 1990s, when the dot-com boom led the world online, data protection has been a top priority. And over 20 years later, unprecedented events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, contested elections, and rising sociopolitical unrest have resulted in an increase in the number and severity of cybercrimes in just a few years. Security threats are likely to be more advanced and thus more expensive over time: analysts predict that worldwide cybercrime costs will reach $10.5 trillion by 2025, up 15% from $3 trillion in 2015.
The key to preventing a cybercrime attack is proactive protection. Start by looking at what experts think are the top information security threats confronting the world in 2022, and gain knowledge on what you can do to keep yourself and your business safe.
What are the Top Cybersecurity Threats?
Whereas the list of cybersecurity threats is constantly changing, the following are the most prevalent threats that have been on the rise ever since the start of the pandemic and will continue to expand in 2022.
The term "insider threat" probably conjures up images of unscrupulous staff members attempting to break into your office block, trying to hack into your system, and trying to steal all of your money and details. Extra points if you envisioned them looking like the Hamburgler. Although this is a big threat, it is not the only insider potential danger your company faces. The majority of insider threats are not malicious; they are unintentional.
Tessian compiled statistics from the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report for 2021, and the figures on insider attacks were incredible. It was found that insider threats, both malicious and unintended, rose by 47 percent between 2018 and 2020. Also, a large percentage of occurrences, 62 percent, are the result of careless insiders. Insiders who are survivors of data theft and who are careless account for 25% of attacks. Lastly, Malicious insiders are involved in approximately 14 percent of all incidents.
Enough that, while malware activities do occur, the large majority are unintentional and the result of careless behavior. Careless behavior can vary from leaving work devices unsupervised in public places to sending emails to the wrong address. It thus means the vast majority of staff members aren't attempting to sink their businesses on purpose, but their cluelessness about security procedures and lack of quality security controls are opening the door to a variety of potential breaches.
Ransomware has become a business. The creators rent out their products to system break-in specialists. According to the Sophos 2022 Threat Report, the rise of "ransomware-as-a-service" has enabled criminals to "innovate new ways of breaking into gradually more well-defended systems." Back when ransom attackers only encrypted data, businesses could protect themselves from the worst effects by performing regular backups. The criminals then threatened to reveal personal information and trade secrets. Ransomware attackers are now demanding larger payouts, and many victims are complying.
According to Sophos' research, most organizations that pay the ransom do not receive all of their data back. Their data is occasionally leaked or sold on the dark web. In most cases, the cost of rebuilding damaged systems, referred to as remediation far outweighs the cost of any protection money paid.
Social Engineering Attacks
Social engineering attacks, as opposed to bots trying to enter a desktop via the web, depend on human or social interaction. Because individuals are subject to error, social engineering is today's most serious security risk. How dangerous is it? According to some reports, employees unknowingly engage in a social engineering attack account for 93 percent of business data breaches! Social engineering attack takes place when a hacker dupes someone into giving them information, software, or data. Hackers attempt to persuade people to violate standard safety processes.
Social engineering attacks typically prey on a person’s thoughts because they rely on human interaction. Among the most commonly used techniques is to make someone believe they are assisting people in distress. An attacker, for example, may present as a coworker or a close relative and request access to a file, bank account, or sensitive information. Consider this: a properly designed IT system can avoid malware attacks, but it cannot help stop an employee from providing a password to a hacker posing as a work colleague.
In 2022, social engineering attacks such as phishing and email impersonation are likely to advance to integrate new trends, technologies, and tactics. Cryptocurrency-related threats, for example, increased nearly 200 percent between October 2020 and April 2021, and thus are expected to stay a significant threat as Bitcoin and other blockchain-based currencies grow in prominence and cost.
Malicious hackers can circumvent security systems by hacking into less-secure networks owned by third-party companies with special access to the hacker's primary target. At the start of 2021, hackers did leak personal information of over 214 million Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin accounts, which was a huge example of a third-party violation. The hackers gained access to the data by breaching Socialarks, a third-party contract worker employed by all three companies, and with special access to their systems.
Third-party breaches will be an even greater threat in 2022, as firms increasingly rely on contract employees to complete work previously handled by full-time staff members. According to a 2021 workforce trends report, more than half of businesses are much more inclined to employ freelancers as a result of COVID-19's shift to working remotely. According to the cybersecurity firm CyberArk, 96 percent of organizations grant these external parties access to systems, supplying attackers with a potentially unprotected accessible route to their information.
While IT services and up-to-date software and hardware are essential, it is also essential to understand that today's modern attackers target human behavior thru social engineering hacker attacks. Companies and individuals, thankfully, can benefit from training, software, and assistance!
If you own a new business, SunTel Technologies strongly advises you to work with an IT service provider. Even if your company has its own IT department, it is beneficial to receive training and a second set of eyes on your firm's security.
Contact SunTel Technologies right away.
We would be delighted to meet with you, discuss your company's objectives, and strategize how your IT can help you to grow your company!