UK Blames Russia’s Star Blizzard for Years of ‘Sustained’ Cyber Attacks
The world of cybersecurity and cybersecurity trends are constantly evolving. Both security experts and hackers alike are constantly leveraging new technology and innovations in an attempt to outsmart each other.
At the same time, new landscapes are emerging and presenting customers with a range of unique challenges to consider. Everything from IoT to the rise of 5G has a part to play in how companies secure their data. Now more than ever, it’s crucial for every organisation to ensure they have the right defences in place to protect both business IP, and consumer information.
As we move towards a new year of potential disruption in the cybersecurity space, here are some of the trends you may have recognised in 2022.
Increased IoT Vulnerabilities
IoT, or the Internet of Things has been around for quite some time now, helping to connect the devices we use everyday to the opportunities offered by the internet. However, as the world becomes increasingly “smarter”, we’re seeing a rapid adoption of all kinds of new IoT tools. The right devices have the potential to accelerate business efficiency and productivity, while boosting customer experiences. But they also present a range of security challenges.
Within the next five years, experts estimate there will be around 64 billion IoT devices operating around the world. Many of these tools will have vulnerabilities connected to them, which allow criminals to enter networks using underhanded methods. Companies investing in the future of IoT will need to ensure their devices are secure.
The Evolution of 5G
5G, and faster internet connections represent a fantastic opportunity for businesses and consumers alike. With a strong, latency-free connection, businesses can support HD video conferences and meaningful experiences in real-time. However, this landscape is extremely new, which means it may take time for developers and vendors to create security solutions specifically designed for 5G.
In the meantime, companies embracing 5G connections will need to think carefully about how they can protect the data sent through mobile internet. This will be particularly crucial at a time when hybrid and remote work opportunities are growing increasingly popular. Distributed employees will need to take extra measures to protect the data they work with via 5G.
State-Level Ransomware and New Regulations
Geopolitical tensions in the last couple of years have already begun to have a resounding impact on the world of cybersecurity. The conflict between powerful countries in the world today can be enhanced by the use of “cyber warfare” techniques. Even ransomware has begun to accelerate at a state level, providing a fertile opportunity for criminals to gain access to state secrets.
Going forward, we’re likely to see the introduction of new regulations intended to reduce the strain on world-leading governments. These regulations will influence how governments store and manage data on a massive scale, potentially leading to the creation of new tools specifically built to aid security.
Rising Focus On User Awareness
Notably, the majority of cyber attacks businesses and consumers face are enabled as a result of human error. Around 97% of the people who have access to email services today cannot tell the difference between a phishing email and a legitimate message. This indicates a severe and growing need for better awareness and education in the cybersecurity space.
Businesses will need to begin introducing new initiatives intended to help professionals recognise potential threats as they arise. Many organisations are already beginning to think more carefully about how workers share and use confidential data, with access to advanced user control systems. Effective training on a company level should help to reduce the number of issues businesses face in relation to ransomware, phishing, and similar attacks.
Speaking of the rising number of phishing attacks throughout the world today, there’s a good chance the complexity and focus of these attacks will begin to evolve. Currently, phishing is defined as one of the most severe security threats on the internet to date. Not only does it present a significant problem to everyday online users, but also to hybrid and remote workers.
Cybercriminals are now taking advantage of more customised and geo-targeted phishing strategies, designed to make it even harder for users to understand when an email is fake. As such, it will be important for individuals and businesses alike to build comprehensive security awareness programs, paying attention to the geo-targeting trend.
Greater Threats for the Healthcare Sector
While all industries can easily be targeted by cybercriminals in today’s digital landscape, some sectors have been experiencing more challenges than most. The healthcare sector in particular has been a prime target of many major threats in recent years. The cybersecurity sector for the industry is therefore expected to reach a value of around $33.65 billion by 2027.
Perhaps the biggest threat facing the healthcare sector is the risk of a data breach. Over 2021, around 11.7 billion records were stolen or exposed by cyber criminals. This has pushed many business leaders to place a greater emphasis on their digital security networks and environments.
New Risks to Mobile Devices
The evolution of smartphone technology and the rise of flexible working strategies has led to an increase in the amount of time we spend sharing data over mobile connections. Today’s employees regularly use their smart devices for collaboration and communication with other team members. Cyber criminals are recognising this trend, and have escalated their focus on mobile technology.
Companies invested in mobile solutions for employees in a distributed environment will need to add extra layers of protection to mobile devices. This could include using strategies like multi-factor authentication to prevent easy access to a range of tools and software solutions.
Evolving Machine Learning Opportunities
Machine learning and artificial intelligence have quickly become a critical part of the cybersecurity marketplace in the last year. Companies struggling to identify threats themselves are using intelligent tools to help automatically determine when something might be suspicious. Machine learning tools can leverage historical data as a way of separating potentially threatening emails and correspondence from real, authentic messages.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence can also help with automating a range of complex security measures, like adding information to a database, or tracking where information should be located. Some AI solutions can even use biometric data as a way of securing accounts and passwords.
Continued Focus on GDPR
By 2022, GDPR may have seemed like an outdated security concept for a lot of businesses. However, the evidence shows many organisations are still struggling with making sure their data is stored according to European regulations. Notably, while the guidelines are aimed specifically at citizens of the EU, they also apply to any business interacting with those in the EU environment.
The regulations are already having a massive impact on how companies collect and store data. Many companies have been forced to update their data and privacy policies, while introducing new methods to ensure they get permission for collecting information.
SaaS and the Cloud
As companies struggle to rapidly adapt to the changing and complex regulations in the cyber security landscape, many are embracing a more flexible and agile strategy for success. Cloud-based applications for security, and SaaS services are growing increasingly popular, as they’re more capable of scaling with the needs of changing brands.
Cloud solutions offer companies more freedom to how they access and distribute security technologies for the entire workforce. This has made the cloud environment a particularly popular choice among flexible companies with distributed and hybrid workers.
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