Published 01st April 2022 | Cybersecurity, Security

The Top 5 Cyber Security Threats in 2022

Since the pandemic, trends like remote and hybrid working, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and the increased migration to custom cloud initiatives have all offered hackers and cybercriminals new opportunities.

These increased opportunities present hackers and cybercriminals with an almost unlimited “attack surface”, combined with new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) offer so many tools to hackers to propagate their malware more widely than ever.

So much so that the rapid evolution in threats means that even the most sophisticated organisations may struggle to defend themselves against attack.

In this article we discuss the top 5 cyber security threats to be aware of in 2022, suggesting how you can protect against them.

Top 5 Cyber security threats in 2022

1. Third-Party Weaknesses

Cybercriminals are increasingly using third party weaknesses to gain access to networks. It involves identifying and going after less protected third parties which are connected to the main target in order to exploit vulnerabilities.

Hackers using this method have targeted some of the internet’s biggest businesses with great success. In a significant breach in 2021, cybercriminals were able to hack into 214 million accounts and gain sensitive personal information from LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

How did this happen? The hackers targeted a third-party contractor called Social Arks that worked alongside the social media giants listed and gained access to their networks.

It is widely forecasted that this hacking method will be used more frequently in the future. With outsourcing likely to become the new norm, businesses will rely more on third parties accessing their network.

Ensuring all 3rd party or partner external organisations that have access to your network and systems have taken steps to secure their own online presence.

2. Poor Cyber Security Hygiene

‘Cyber hygiene’ refers to following best practice – even if the methods involved might require extra investment. Examples of good cyber hygiene include using only secured WiFi networks, using multi factor authentication and using a premium secure VPN.

Another simple example is best practice password management.

According to research, around 60% of businesses expect employees to rely on their own memory when managing passwords. Accordingly (and very worryingly) some 42% manage their passwords by writing them down.  Despite remote and hybrid working now being on the increase, good cyber hygiene is at an all-time low.

Staff accessing business networks on unprotected home networks is very common, with many workers using personal devices to access work systems. The problem with this is those personal devices such as laptops are much more likely to be a) poorly secured and b) lost or stolen. It’s no surprise that cybercriminals are targeting home-based workers.

The best approach to improving cyber hygiene is by educating workers to be alert to the threats of working at home online. Providing Cyber security awareness training to get everyone within the business to be more vigilant of suspicious emails and web activity, can be crucial to educating your staff

3. Ransomware

Ransomware isn’t new; it’s been around for years and poses a serious threat to companies all around the globe. Businesses of all sizes are being repeatedly targeted, with the only option following a successful attack being to pay to regain access to systems.

AI (artificial intelligence) development is fuelling this trend. As a result, more powerful and less obvious ransomware attacks are to be expected, putting customer and business information at risk.

One way to help protect against ransomware is to use real time DNS scanning protection from Webroot. This security technology scans websites and links in real time to ensure they’re safe to use, ensuring unsuspecting staff do not accidentally click on malicious websites that could lead to ransomware attack.

However, for more information read how to protect your business against Ransomware.

mobile security

4. Ineffective Cloud Security

As more businesses rely on cloud technology, the risk of sensitive information being comprised via ineffective cloud security has increased. It is estimated that weaknesses in cloud services have increased 150% in the last five years.

Cloud security technologies are available to help combat the rise in cloud vulnerabilities, though some of these tend to be based around detection and response rather than proactive monitoring and prevention. In some cases, this means once an attack is discovered it is too late to mitigate or stop. 

For extra protection with sensitive cloud technology-based systems. You should have proactive endpoint monitoring, which monitors your servers and systems and detects and prevents attacks before they can spread deeper into the network.

5. Mobile Device Vulnerabilities

Remote working has seen an increased use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets – including personal mobile devices – being used for business tasks.

This trend has been noticed by cybercriminals who are capitalising on opportunities arising from lost and stolen mobile devices, as well as employees downloading harmful applications via email or social media.

Mobile device management (MDM) systems are regularly targeted by cybercriminals with the intention to gain access to all devices connected to the network. If they succeed, company data that runs through the network will be at risk.

Employees using mobile devices to connect into business networks, apps and systems must proceed with the same caution when checking email on their phone as they would on a desktop PC. By using a mobile device management (MDM) solution to configure these smartphones and tablets for access to your network, you can ensure the network and data kept on the devices remains secure.

Protect your business against Cyber Security threats in 2022

To help your organisation protect against all these issues, call on the services of cyber security experts Alliance Solutions on 0800 292 2100 and ask us for a full review of your cybersecurity status. Check out our wide range of cyber security solutions and products.

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