Although no one has a crystal ball and can predict what kinds of cybersecurity threats will be prominent in 2022, we may make some educated guesses based on prior attacks in previous years. Cybercrimes have already been proven to affect every industry, with several recent assaults in 2021 and 2020 spelling out the point clearly. Notably, attacks on hospitals and public infrastructure have increased in the past two years. The sophistication and audacity of these cyberattacks have increased dramatically. Not to mention, modern technology has helped attackers evolve new methods to evade detection.
Based on previous trends and expert opinion, we have aggregated the most significant cybersecurity threats to watch out for in the coming year.
The Top Cybersecurity Threats for 2022
Deepfake attacks will become more mainstream
IntSights, a cyber threat intelligence firm, reported that traffic around deepfake attacks has increased by 43% since 2019 on some dark web channels. Deepfake technology is becoming increasingly popular among cybercriminals looking to promote substantial ransomware and phishing schemes.
The components of deepfake technology include deep learning algorithms and its advanced artificial intelligence. The technology uses self-teaching algorithms that use large datasets to learn and replace faces in videos and other digital content. The technology can create fake media content that’s nearly indistinguishable from the original.
Deepfake technology had been developed by some hacker organizations to start offering deepfake-as-a-service programs. This means less-skilled hackers will be able to purchase deepfake technology for a modest price and use it against victims.
Ransomware will become the top threat fueled by cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin and Binance Coin, is based on blockchain technology that makes it hard to trace payments and single out individuals. The decentralized mechanism behind the cryptocurrency has encouraged hacker groups to rely on it for ransomware payments. Decentralization is expected to facilitate a rise in ransomware attacks.
The danger of ransomware has necessitated the implementation of laws by governments and federal agencies in order to combat it. Even though the anonymity of crypto makes it harder to identify perpetrators, the possibility of legal action may act as a deterrent.
Federal and public digital infrastructure will remain under attack
In 2021, major assaults on federal agencies, public infrastructure, and other government departments were reported. The attack on the Colonial Pipeline, JBS and the Newfoundland health care system showed how cyberattacks could cripple critical infrastructure and cause massive damage. Cybersecurity threats are likely to grow in the coming year as governments digitize their services and rely more on modern technology.
Because of the data they contain, the government and its associated infrastructure are prime targets. In addition, many governments are still using legacy systems, despite their move to digital. Malicious attackers can use these outdated systems to gain access with ease.
Smishing or SMS-based phishing on the rise
SMS-based phishing is a kind of phishing attack, but treating it as a distinct hazard can help defend against it. Unlike regular phishing, which relies on emails and web browsers to carry out the attack, smishing uses text messaging.
Over the years, email programs have gotten more intelligent at weeding out phishing emails and blocking malicious websites. Google alone has blocked over 1.6 million phishing emails since May 2021. Smarter email features have made it harder for attackers to reach their targets. On the other hand, no comparable service protects text messages, allowing hackers to have a higher success rate using this attack method.
Rise of insider threats fueled by the ‘Great Resignation’ and employee churn
Insiders have always been on the top of most threat lists. But in 2022, this problem is expected to be much worse. The two primary reasons are the ‘Great Resignation‘ and record employee churn. Disgruntled employees with access to company networks and systems will cause problems for IT security executives scrambling to secure their digital infrastructure.
The best way to deal with this cybersecurity threat is to focus on a zero-trust policy, micro-segmentation and strict data hygiene.
While 2021 was a record-breaking year on most cybersecurity fronts, 2022 is slated to have more cybersecurity challenges. Companies will need to be prepared for a multitude of attack verticals. The best way to be prepared is by conducting a thorough penetration test to identify gaps and loopholes in your IT infrastructure. Pentesting also aids in the development of cybersecurity policies that deter cybersecurity threats and prevent attacks.
Packetlabs can assist you in avoiding the new dangers that may threaten your network in 2022.