Cybercrimes are among the most prolific security threats facing the world currently. Reports suggest that cyber threats resulted in damages worth a whopping $6 trillion in 2021 alone, making it the single largest economic disaster in history. In fact, at the current 15% growth rate, the cost of cybercrimes is expected to touch $10.5 trillion by 2025. 

Even though Canada fares comparatively better globally in mitigating cyber threats, the catastrophic impact of these threats is still a major issue. According to the 2020 Cyberthreat Report, 78% of Canadian organizations faced at least one successful cyberattack, phishing and ransomware being the most common threats.

In 2018. the average cost of a data breach for Canadian organizations was $4.74 million

With such enormous amounts of money at risk, it is no wonder that Canadian firms bumped up their IT budgets by 4.7% to counter the threats in 2021. As these threats and hackers themselves evolve, cybersecurity and the protective measures it offers grow correspondingly. As we look at past and present statistics, we also can’t help but wonder what the future of cybersecurity holds.  Based on our experience, Packetlabs ethical hackers have come up with what we think the cybersecurity trends will be in 2022. As organizations look at their final quarter of the year and start determining budgets for IT security in the new year, these trends and stats may help solidify budget decisions to support strengthening internal cybersecurity.

What are the Projected Cybersecurity Trends for 2022?

More User Awareness Programmes

As organizations realize the cost of cyber threats, they have also begun to invest heavily in educating and informing their employees. Apart from technological deployments to protect their hardware, software and networks, organizations have also bumped up their efforts to improve the capabilities of their employees via educational programs and seminars. 

An Infosec report revealed that 97% of people could not distinguish between an authorized and a phishing email. Simple cyber hygiene practices can negate close to 80% of cyber threats, according to Cyber Observer. 

Educating personnel can help organizations recognize and neutralize these threats. We anticipate that there will be even more of a focus on educating employees on the importance of cybersecurity to help support the security of an organization’s assets. 

Advanced Localized, Geo-targeted Phishing Threats 

A 2020 survey suggests that phishing is the most prevalent cyber threat facing companies. In 2022, we anticipate that this threat will only evolve into a more personalized and targeted risk, making employees even more susceptible. According to Security Boulevard, 1 in 8 employees inadvertently end up sharing information on phishing websites. Another factor here is that almost 32% of all data breaches result from phishing emails

Studying how stage these modern phishing attacks helps counter these threats. Also, disseminating the knowledge gained via awareness programs within the organization mitigates these threats. 

Continuous Work From Home Cybersecurity Challenges

The pandemic kickstarted the trend of remote work on a global scale. Companies such as Microsoft and Facebook have even declared that they will continue to provide the option of remote work. We are optimistic that 2022 will be a better year for everyone and that remote work will continue even after the pandemic. While this sounds promising, it brings with it a new set of security challenges that companies will still be trying to overcome in 2022.

In addition to work from home staying relevant, the use of IoT devices in 2022 will increase, adding to our already massive digital footprint. The increasing dependence on IoT devices will continue to open up new targets for hackers to capture. With work from home becoming commonplace, IoT devices can pose a major security threat to organizations. 

Other threats to watch out for in 2022 include cross-contamination of data, data leakage, poor cloud security, phishing and insider threats. 

Increased Cyber Threats in the Healthcare Industry

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the vulnerabilities of the healthcare industry to the forefront and exposed them to greater cybersecurity threats. In 2022, the healthcare sector will continue to be one of the most at-risk industries regarding cybersecurity. 

Between 2015 and 2019 alone, over 157 million patient records were exposed in data breaches. UnityPoint Health, a multi-hospital group in the USA, has suffered two data breaches this year alone, exposing records of over 1.4 million patients and hospital employees. These breaches, on average, can cost organizations upwards of $7 million

Additionally, many hospital admin staff were asked to work from their homes due to the pandemic. But remote working has exposed them to the cybersecurity challenges explained above. 

Health organizations have identified this issue and have increased their investments in cybersecurity. Not surprisingly, cybersecurity in the healthcare market is expected to boom to $125 billion by 2025.

Conclusion 

Predicting the exact paths cyber threats and hackers will take is not easy, but we can look at the trends and statistics of the present and past to anticipate what cybersecurity in the near future will look like. Companies are still learning how to fortify their defences and protect their digital assets from cyber-attacks. We know that current trends provide invaluable insight into what next year has in store for us. If you have any questions about how we can support you in strengthening your cybersecurity posture or how penetration testing can be part of your cybersecurity plan, reach out to us.