Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen huge leaps in cybersecurity to combat the explosive rise in cybercrime that has, unfortunately, accompanied the shift from office working to remote working.
Given so many of us have had to work from home, cybercriminals have moved their targets from office buildings to the homes of employees, as there is considerably less security for them to deal with.
When it comes to security, there’s an old saying: ‘the weakest point of any system is the human element.’ People are prone to mistakes, whether due to ignorance, arrogance, or uncertainty.
Hackers no longer had to worry about breaking through firewalls or decrypting files, they could target the weakest point of the system: the person behind the screen.
To this end, hackers have been utilising ransomware, fake messages, phishing, and other techniques to steal passwords or gain access to systems, and they’ve been enjoying more success than ever before.
At least in the US, 2021 was the worst year on record for data breaches. The first nine months of 2021 had more breaches than all of the previous year, as hackers continued to take advantage of people working from home.
In 2022, we will continue to see the cybersecurity landscape adapt to fight these growing threats.
Ransomware has become one of the most common methods for cybercriminals to get money fast. It works by uploading a virus onto a system that locks everything down, so no one can access files, allowing the hackers to ransom them back to the business.
Given how crucial data has become for businesses, no matter what sector or industry they work in, no one can afford to be locked out of their system for long, let alone running the risk of everything being wiped if they don’t pay up.
Cybersecurity experts are predicting we will see increases in these kinds of attacks, as well as subsequent strikes that then target the business partners of the initial victim, using shared files or data as leverage for more money.
Part of what makes ransomware so effective is that if the virus takes hold of a system, usually the target business keeps all their data in one place, meaning it is easily captured almost immediately as soon as the system is infected.
It’s no surprise that some businesses are starting to keep data in multiple cloud systems, meaning if one is ever compromised, they won’t lose everything, making them less vulnerable to ransomware attacks.
While we like to think our passwords are safe, realistically they’re just strings of letters or numbers that could be cracked by any computer, given enough time.
Biometric markers like eyes or fingerprints are far more solid choices for security, and have been in use for years. Given the widespread use of Face ID or fingerprint locks on phones, it’s likely that businesses will move to adopt these as security measures for accessing files, systems, and sensitive data.
These types of security are many times more secure than passwords, and are almost impossible to replicate, meaning hackers should hopefully be locked out for good.
As blockchain grows in popularity, we’ll likely begin to see cybercriminals turn to the technology to hide their identities.
In theory, blockchain could be used to disguise malicious traffic, avoid detection, and extend attackers’ stealth, which would make it harder for defenders to discern criminal activity on the network, and for the authorities to trace them.
Given the huge rise in cybercrime over the last two years, it’s likely that many businesses will increase their budget for cybersecurity, investing in the latest antivirus software, and hiring cybersecurity experts.
Beyond that, to combat the rise of cybercrime some governments around the world are introducing legislation that will force businesses to invest to a certain level of security, which will of course require bigger budgets.
As businesses are part of a vast network of partners, your country’s security is only as strong as its weakest point. Governments are looking to improve their security on a national level through a mass upgrade, hoping to avoid more widespread incursions, or viruses making their way onto government systems.
It’s a good strategy, and we may see more governments do the same in the coming months and years.
Cybersecurity is constantly evolving in response to ever-growing and shifting threats. Given that the vast majority of the workforce is unlikely to ever return to full-time work in offices, cybercriminals will continue to target those working from home, so cybersecurity professionals will sadly continue to have their work cut out for them in 2022 and beyond.
Learn more about how Covid has altered our tech habits, or read more about why cybersecurity is crucial with offices reopening.
Since the coronavirus began its course around the world in early 2020, the pandemic has spread its effects across indust...Read full blog