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Cybersecurity Threats Awaiting 2022

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A lot of names in the cyber realm became infamous ever since the arrival of the coronavirus, with names as delicious and peculiar as ‘LemonDuck’ and the ‘Joker’ malware. In fact a lot of these names seemed to have made their way from the past in a more evolved and threatening manner, toppling companies to the point of making them to call it quits.

According to Palo Alto Networks, the impact of ransomware attacks will reach unparalleled magnitude in 2021, posing a threat to thousands of enterprises around the world and threatening key infrastructure. This pattern is expected to continue in 2022 as well.

Rise of scams fuelled by Bitcoin
The rise and evolution of the ransomware sector will be fueled by cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, with increasing attacks on critical infrastructure and calls for its regulation gaining support. According to the company's assessment, officials will have a difficult time tracking down the hackers because of the network's decentralized nature.

Bitcoin is a decentralized currency, meaning it is not governed by any government or institution. Threat actors frequently demand ransomware payments in cryptocurrency since this method of payment provides anonymity for the ransom demand's destination address. Unlike bank accounts, obtaining a credit card does not require any personally identifiable information.

Norton predicts that more digital vaccination passports will be utilized, citing a “growing requirement for a secure, unforgeable, privacy-protecting set of credentials”

Businesses must concentrate on enhancing their cybersecurity posture and determining their level of preparedness for an attack, as well as conducting exercises to identify any security weaknesses that must be fixed,” the company said, adding that collaboration between cybersecurity providers, cloud providers, and telecommunications providers “will help disrupt successful attacks and impose real costs on attackers”.

Countries’ critical digital infrastructure in the crosshairs
The increased use of smart solutions will generate massive amounts of digital data, which will double by 2022. It’s worth mentioning that the more data generated, the more difficult it becomes to store it safely.

Organizations, according to Palo Alto Networks, should have a strategic approach that provides total visibility into their security architecture. A Zero Trust architecture paired with Artificial Intelligence is recommended by the company (AI). A zero trust architecture (ZTA) is a cybersecurity system that aims to avoid data breaches and keep internal data safe.

Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, containing confidential and valuable data, are on the rise all around the world. These attacks have highlighted that cybersecurity protocols are being implemented at a far slower rate than the rate of digitalization in different countries.

With hackers targeting key infrastructure, “we need to accelerate enhanced global rules and regulatory collaboration”, according to the report. Governments and businesses must work together to develop defenses against complex threats, particularly those that target vital infrastructure through supply chain vulnerabilities, according to the corporation.

Phishing will continue to dominate
By next year, phishing emails and scams might likely evolve. Cybercriminals have shifted their emphasis away from corporate targets and toward people.

To deal with this new reality, companies will need to expand beyond their corporate networks, implement remote work solutions, and provide unified security policy management to remote workers. SASE solutions, which combine security, networking, and digital experience management, will be important in achieving both security and operational efficiency, according to the company.

Identity frauds will rise
Due to the sheer rise of open banking and the exponential rise of Fintech, cybercriminals may have more opportunity to commit identity theft, fraud, and illegal data gathering thanks to bad programming or security misconfigurations.

According to Palo Alto Networks, elderly people should be given special attention since they are new to digital banking platforms and may be more vulnerable to fraud.

“Mitigating tomorrow’s threats will require a greater leadership commitment, collaboration, and effective communication to drive a mindset shift to view cybersecurity as a team sport between governments, enterprises, and individuals”, the company added.

Another prediction by a firm named Norton Labs, stresses that there will be an urgent need of ramping up online security the coming year. The cybersecurity firm anticipates a significant increase in the number of cryptocurrency-related scams, many of which will resemble previous scams. They also expect “new and creative attempts to target this new, larger set of potential victims”.

Electronic identity
As the pandemic progresses, Norton predicts that more digital vaccination passports will be utilized, citing a “growing requirement for a secure, unforgeable, privacy-protecting set of credentials”. In 2022 and beyond, it expects considerable advancement in the field of digital IDs.

More online protest, vigilantism
According to Norton Labs, not all hackers are motivated solely by the desire to steal money. They predict more hacker activists or hacktivists will use their trade to accomplish political goals, as cyber incursion is sometimes a form of protest as well. Many of them reveal information that governments would prefer to keep hidden, and Norton predicts that this trend will continue for the next year.

Scammers will exploit natural disasters to con users
For cybercriminals and scammers, natural disasters are big business, and this tendency will continue in 2022. Scammers harnessed devastating storms, fires, and the pandemic to deceive consumers from giving over money in 2021, according to Norton Labs. Norton anticipates theft involving stolen identities or more direct user-targeted frauds attempting to profit from natural disasters and extreme weather events.

AI, ML will be used by criminals
Cybercriminals will continue to employ artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning for nefarious purposes, according to another forecast. While Deepfake videos continue to increase, Norton predicts “as the technology gets better and easier to use, it will become a useful tool for criminals, scammers, stalkers, and activists”. It expects “more uses of this technology in situations where errors or low quality are acceptable and can explain away some of the current limitations”, it adds.

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