The past year has been quite challenging for IT and security professionals, as threat actors capitalized on the rapidly changing environment created by accelerated digitalization and cloud transformation. Cybercriminals will likely learn from this year’s successful strategies and retool and pivot them into next year’s campaigns to wreak even more havoc.
Today’s threat situation requires that factories set up an ever-expanding attack zone. It doesn’t matter where the data resides; whoever tries to access it is people or machines. Most importantly, there is a need to reduce the risk of data extraction.
Here are a few threats that are on the horizon in 2022, and it would be wise to start preparing for them now:
Compromised Identities Continue to Fuel the Cyber-attack Engine
A study ‘Identity Security: A Work in Progress’ by the Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA) found that data-based violations were widespread (94% of respondents in a survey experienced identity-related attacks) and could be significantly prevented (99%). However, many organizations still lack critical patent-related security controls, and a few forward-thinking companies that have begun implementing appropriate access controls are generally focused on human users. This is flying in front of the truth. With digital conversion programs taking over DevOps, cloud conversions, Internet of Things (IoT), etc., the total number of non-human identities far exceeds human users.
Next, organizations could expect compromised identities to continue fuelling cyber-attacks by 2022, with non-personal accounts becoming a growing segment. This reduces the need for cybercriminals to “hack” – instead, they can enter using weak, stolen, or fraudulent credentials.
Ransomware Attacks Evolve to Multifaceted Extortion Schemes
Recently, there has been an uptick in ransomware that directs device firmware directly. In the past, ransomware used to focus on the main startup record to gain control over the devices and prevent them from running correctly. New versions may use the firmware to disable data storage capabilities or damage the firmware itself. 2022 will see further growth in this offensive strategy.
In the past year, there has been a new trend in which ransomware attacks hide in organizational systems, extract data and threaten to release it publicly if the ransom is not paid. The practice is part of the ransomware attack version and is expected to have a huge balloon by 2022, as it usually guarantees a large payment.
Remote working Era Creates New Threats
As it is clear that remote/hybrid work culture is here to stay, IT security professionals should find out how to allow secure and robust operation anywhere to minimize their risk exposure in the future. The challenges that organizations face in this context in 2022 relate to the following: visibility and control, the growing need for application persistence, and user experience that drives employee satisfaction and attrition.
By 2022, organizations need to take a closer look at their long-term strategy to support this new culture of working from anywhere. Finally, they should balance the need for security, visibility, and control and high availability with good user experience. Emerging technology dealing with storage space and secure and continuous network access is a good foundation as firms become accustomed to a new work environment.
While it might be overwhelming to look at the critical threats on the horizon one needs to prepare for, focusing on these predictions for 2022 will help security leaders strengthen their security posture and minimize the organization’s risk exposure. In the end, it all comes down to addressing the most imminent threats facing the organization.
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