More companies will likely be returning to the office in 2022 after almost two years of working remotely. Cybercriminals will no doubt take advantage of this trend, so your business must face the new year equipped against a possible surge in cyber incidents. In particular, these are some of the top cyberthreats you need to prepare for in 2022:
Politics sometimes merges with cybersecurity, and nothing proves this better than the existence of nation-state threats. These are cyberattacks launched by a government against another sovereign entity’s infrastructure, military, and businesses, and can range from email scams to information theft to the infiltration of entire supply chains.
A study by HP noted a 100% increase in the incidence of nation-state threats from 2017 to 2020. In a recent report, McAfee and FireEye expressed concerns about increased nation-state operations in 2022. These included targeting enterprise professionals on social media in a bid to infiltrate the victims’ organizations, as well as leveraging existing cybercrime groups to launch damaging cyberattacks.
As nation-state attacks come in many forms, your business needs to implement a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy aimed at multiple types of cyberthreats. Especially crucial is employee cybersecurity awareness training that is focused on proper online behavior, such as what to and not to post on social media.
There was a time when the ransomware scene was populated by the few who had access to and could control the malware, but that’s changing for the worse, thanks to RaaS. In RaaS, ransomware creators allow other cybercriminals to use their products in exchange for money. This enables even users with little technical expertise to launch their own ransomware attacks, vastly increasing the number of threat actors you should be wary of.
In their report, McAfee and FireEye not only revealed that RaaS will be a considerable threat in 2022, but they also noted a budding power shift in many cybercrime gangs. To be specific, lower-skilled gang members are leaving RaaS admins and developers to form their own groups. These groups are focused on a wide range of criminal activities, such as infiltrating computer networks, stealing sensitive data, and launching ransomware attacks.
Installing standard cybersecurity tools like anti-malware solutions and firewalls won’t be enough to combat these threats. You must implement proactive security measures like data backups and 24/7 monitoring to ensure that threats are addressed before they compromise your operations and that you have constant access to your data.
Application programming interface (API) exploits
An API allows different applications to exchange information and functionalities, enabling one to be used via the other. It delivers requests from your end to an application, letting you use the service. For instance, when you pay for an online purchase, the eCommerce site communicates your payment request and information to your credit card provider’s API over the internet. The API will then communicate your data with the provider, completing the transaction.
APIs also allow Internet of Things (IoT) devices to communicate with each other. IoT devices like wearable health monitors, wireless inventory trackers, and biometric scanners have become more commonplace in modern offices. Unfortunately, threat actors can use these devices to “spy” on or steal data from your network. They can do this by exploiting weak APIs or engineering their own interfaces to intercept any data transmitted between your network and the IoT devices in your office or those used by your staff.
Business owners need to let go of the assumption that APIs are automatically trustworthy, even if these come from a reliable source. You need to audit all the APIs used by your business, especially those in IoT devices connected to your network. At the same time, implement API gateways and impose limits on who and which applications have access to your business data. Finally, encrypt all data to protect them from unauthorized access.
Some software can contain security flaws, called zero-day vulnerabilities, that cybercriminals can exploit to access or steal the user’s data, or seize control over the user’s network. One example was detected in 2020 in the video conferencing software Zoom. This vulnerability allowed hackers to execute code in Windows systems without triggering any alarm.
Zero-day exploits prove the importance of obtaining software only from reputable manufacturers. Trustworthy manufacturers put their products through rigorous testing and evaluation, even after launch, to identify possible vulnerabilities. What’s more, these programs are more likely to go through independent testers, some of whom can provide temporary solutions, as in the case of the Zoom zero-day vulnerability. Reliable manufacturers release patches to address known issues in their products. Make sure to install these patches as soon as they become available.
The sense of normalcy that returning to the office brings must not lead to complacency about your business’s cybersecurity. After all, cyberthreats evolve with potential victims’ needs and behavior trends, and can come anytime this year, the next, or beyond. To ensure you’re always prepared, partner with the cybersecurity experts at Fidelis . We can equip your business with the right solutions and help you set up measures to protect your data.
Learn more about data breaches and how your business should respond to them by downloading this free eBook today.