Cybersecurity has become a watchword of the 2020s. With the boom in work-from-home sparked by the global health crisis, alongside the ever-evolving role of technology in our daily lives, robust cybersecurity has become a cornerstone of how we work and play. Staying on top of what’s trending – and what’s lurking in the shadows – has never been so important. Today we take a closer look at cybersecurity risks and to watch out for in 2022, amongst the ongoing trends in the industry, and why they matter.
Changing How We Think About Cybercrime
For many average people, cybercrime has been something that happens in cool TV shows and server rooms, not in their daily life. Yet technology is now an integral part of how we live. We’re banking on mobiles in our pockets, using smart tech in our homes, and working on remote Cloud-based servers.
The popular conscience has yet to catch up with this seismic shift in where cyber threats originate from and are targeted to. Are you staying on top of risks in cyberspace? Or do you still assume it’s something only CEOs and tech-nerds need to worry about? In ExpressVPN’s quiz, you can check whether you might be a little outdated in how you view technology in your daily life – it could be a valuable eye-opener for you.
Hacking and Automation
One of the scariest cybersecurity risks to rear its head in recent years comes paired with the rise of the Internet of Things. As 5G networks expand, and our homes get smarter, so does the risk we carry for data breaches and intrusions into our homes. Having a home or office packed to the brim with smart devices is enticing, but the more smart devices we’re running, the greater the risk of exploits and back doors. The more devices communicating on a network, the greater the risk of hackers finding a weak spot. Few of us consider our baby monitor, fridge, or light bulbs as a cybersecurity risk, but it’s time to update our mindset when it comes to cybercrime. 5G is still a new technology, too, which means that we’re ironing out loopholes and opportunities for network attacks.
A lot of this has to lie on the side of the tech companies building the hardware and software, regrettably. However, choosing trusted brands, investing in robust security protocols, and keeping device firmware and apps up-to-date can go a long way to mitigating these risks. Plus, always keep risk and reward in mind, and choose where to invest in smart home appliances instead of chasing what’s trendy.
Cybercrime and Cars
Related to our first point, as cars get smarter, so do the people looking to steal them. Engine timing, airbags, door locks, and cruise control are convenient. However, the more Bluetooth and WiFi enter our cars, the easier it is for hackers to exploit them. Especially as we move forward into the self-driving and autonomous vehicle era. While car theft is the most obvious cybercrime risk for smarter vehicles, it’s worth noting that cybercriminals are also starting to use unprotected microphones to ‘eavesdrop’ and harvest data from automotive sources.
AI: Not Always Intelligent
AI has finally started to manifest the potential we’ve been talking about since the 80s. Everything from Augmented Reality to flat-out AI control is becoming a de facto part of the market. This doesn’t mean it’s free from risk, nor are the security protocols in place always as robust as they should be. This becomes very worrying in the face of AI-augmented security features like natural language processing and face detection.
AI seems set to become a double-edged sword in 2022. We’re seeing it used fantastically to reduce cybercrime, yet criminals are already using AI features to develop smart malware and coordinated attacks that bypass existing security features. Expect to see a lot more focus on AI threat detection systems and instantaneous data breach notifications.
Cybercrime, the Cloud, and Mobiles
Statistics suggest that we now use mobile devices more than desktops. That goes for work and play both. As banking, jobs, and many more critical parts of our lives move to mobile devices, they’ve become an enticing target for cybercrime. With many parts of our mobile OS now using OpenSource code, we fully expect to see a rise in malware and viruses specifically targeting these devices.
Likewise, more of us than ever are working through Cloud-based solutions, especially with the rise in remote work. While the most common market solutions do carry robust security on their end, the end-user is an increasingly attractive target. Human error remains one of the biggest threats to cybersecurity there is.
Targeted Ransomware has become a booming industry, and has become increasingly focused on specific systems, as the recent Wanna Cry attack on medical devices through the NHS proved. Medical systems, corporate systems, and the government need to tighten up cybersecurity and upgrade infrastructure to stay ahead of threats.
Data Breaches and Cyber Warfare
With global tensions ratcheting up, state-sponsored cyber warfare is no longer a Hollywood plot device. From high-profile data breaches to loss of state and industrial secrets, it’s a critical cybersecurity focus for 2022.
Talking about data breaches, the safeguarding of digital data has never been more important. With the EU offering new, strict guidelines on data collection, protection, and privacy since 2018, we expect to see this become an even more critical focus of the cybersecurity world this year.
As you can see, our list of critical cybersecurity trends for 2022 revolves around adapting integrated, automated convenience systems into the wider cybersecurity world. The pressure is on systems engineers to deliver convenient solutions to issues like remote work and automation quickly, which isn’t always synonymous with safety. Both software and hardware solutions need to be smarter, faster, and better at adapting to cybersecurity threats in real-time. This, more than anything else, will be the defining feature of the cybersecurity environment this year – creating holistic solutions that address risks throughout the wider tech intrusion into our lives, rather than a myopic focus on specific software and situations.
As we become more and more reliant on technology to power our daily lives, expect to see a greater call for cybersecurity at all levels of technological development. This is a field that’s going to be booming over the next decade, and one it’s critical to on board in our daily life, too.