Cybersecurity threats are real. Every minute of every day, cybercriminals are hatching up elaborate plans to infiltrate your PC, Mac, or mobile. These hackers are hellbent on stealing sensitive information, holding you to ransom, and disrupting commercial activity. An effective way to protect yourself against these threats is to stay informed. Keep up to date with the latest website security updates and ensure a robust security solution is in place. It’s important to know what cybersecurity threats exist in 2022 and how to protect yourself against them.
Cryptocurrency Mining Malware
Cryptocurrency mining malware is a type of malware that hijacks your computer’s resources to mine cryptocurrency for the attacker. This malware can dramatically slow down your computer and use up a lot of electricity. Cryptocurrency mining malware spreads through malicious websites or email attachments. To guard against this type of malware, you should avoid clicking on links from unknown sources and only download attachments from trusted sources.
Social Engineering Threats
Social engineering threats rank among the most pervasive hacking techniques cybercriminals use today. It’s not so much about technical errors as human vulnerability. By hoodwinking people into thinking that they are logging into an authentic platform, users unwittingly give up their username/password combinations. In 2022, we have seen a sharp uptick in social engineering threats, courtesy of impersonated emails, phishing attacks, and new-age technologies. Estimates suggest that crypto-related social engineering attacks rose markedly in 2021, which will continue in 2022.
Ransomware is malware that holds you to ransom. Encrypting your files holds them hostage, until you pay a ransom to the attacker. This type of attack can devastate businesses, resulting in critical data loss. Ransomware spreads through phishing emails or malicious websites. To protect yourself, ensure a robust backup solution is in place. Be very careful when opening emails or clicking on links from unknown sources. In 2022, we have seen the increased sophistication of Ransomware attacks. Cybercriminals are now subscribing to Ransomware as a service. These providers claim a percentage of successful ransom payments for executing attacks. Statistics indicate that recovery costs from Ransomware attacks rose from an average of $761,000 in 2020 to $1.85 million in 2021. We can expect those figures to double in 2022.
Despite our best intentions to create watertight operating systems, device software is error-prone. There are many exploitable configurations in software; that’s precisely the type of loophole that hackers need to infiltrate systems. In 2022, we have seen a sharp increase in the number of errors employees make, allowing cybercriminals to exploit these loopholes for nefarious purposes. Geopolitical tensions vis-a-vis Ukraine and Russia, the ongoing impact of COVID-19, and supply chain bottlenecks have created an atmosphere conducive to errors. In addition, the sheer number of mental health concerns has ballooned out of control in 2022, and many IT experts don’t understand how cybersecurity resources function. These configuration errors have led to poor security testing activity.
IoT devices are increasingly popular, but they are also becoming a major target for hackers. These devices are often poorly secured, making them easy targets for attacks. Cybercriminals can use IoT attacks to launch DDoS attacks, steal data, or gain access to other devices on the network. To protect yourself against IoT attacks, you should only purchase devices from trusted manufacturers and ensure that they are adequately secured.
Similarly, the sheer number of remote workers now operating in the global workforce presents many security challenges. Employees routinely use weak passwords such as names of people, pets, or memorable dates instead of randomly generated alphanumeric codes. Public Wi-Fi connectivity for remote workers is another major security challenge. Servers are at risk by working from libraries, hotels, airports, coffee shops, and other public access Wi-Fi points. According to stats, as many as half of IT workers routinely reuse passwords across accounts, which is higher than regular individuals who don’t reuse passwords across different workplace accounts.
Data breaches occur when sensitive data is pilfered from a company or individual. This data usually includes credit card numbers, social security numbers, and passwords. Data breaches can be devastating for businesses, resulting in the loss of customer trust and damage to reputation. Protect yourself against data breaches by effectively managing organization and security systems. Considering that consumer-created data doubles every four years, and much of that data is never analyzed or used, it stands to reason that data breaches are a lucrative avenue for criminals to explore. In 2022, we can expect cybercriminals to target the Right Data, not simply Big Data.
Phishing attacks – pronounced fishing – are a type of social engineering attack in which the attacker attempts to con the victim into revealing sensitive information or downloading malware. Phishing attacks spread through email or social media. To protect yourself against phishing attacks, you should be cautious when clicking on links from unknown sources and never reveal sensitive information to someone you don’t know.
Malware is malicious software designed to damage/disable computers. Malware can be used to steal data, delete files, or gain access to sensitive information. Malware spreads through email attachments, malicious websites, or infected advertising. To protect yourself against malware, you should only download attachments from trusted sources, avoid clicking on links from unknown sources and use a reputable security solution. Malware attacks are on the rise in 2022.
Malicious websites are websites that have been infected with malware or that are designed to trick users into revealing sensitive information. Hackers can use these websites to spread malware or phish for information. To protect yourself against malicious websites, you should use a reputable security solution with web filtering capabilities and only visit websites you trust. Consider that in 2021, almost half of the companies polled had experienced a significant security incident with malware downloaded onto mobiles. In 2022 hackers are using complex software to target mobile device management systems. These MDMs are connected through the IoT to an extensive network of mobile devices. This connectivity allows hackers to infiltrate everyone at the company simultaneously.
SQL Injection Attacks
SQL injection attacks are a type of attack where the attacker attempts to execute malicious code on a database server. Hackers use this type of attack to steal data or access sensitive information. SQL injection attacks spread through malicious websites or email attachments. To protect yourself against SQL injection attacks, you should only download attachments from trusted sources and avoid clicking on links from unknown senders.
Cyber Espionage is a Growing Concern in the Business World
Cyber espionage is stealing trade secrets or other sensitive information from a company or individual. Nation-states or other groups often carry out this type of attack with a specific goal in mind. To protect yourself against cyber espionage, you should have a robust security solution and be aware of the signs of an attack.
Now that you understand what threats are out there in 2022, you can confidently take all the necessary precautions to safeguard your browsing activity. Follow safe and secure online practices and use a reliable security solution to protect your devices against the latest threats.