Cyberthreats are continuously evolving, as cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to obtain, exploit, or withhold data. But by being up to date with the latest cyber risks, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can prioritize their efforts on protecting their organization against known and emerging threats.
The new year is the perfect time for SMB leaders to make business resolutions and reevaluate their cybersecurity strategies and tools. Here are some cybersecurity threats you should prepare for in the upcoming year:
With many SMBs implementing remote or hybrid work setups, the need for securing remote devices and connections is more pressing than ever. In particular, you should beware of phishing scams that affect your distributed workforce.
Phishing remains the top cybersecurity concern in 2021, with 43% of data breaches this year involving some forms of phishing. And because this type of attack is so effective, experts predict that cybercrooks will continue to launch even more sophisticated phishing scams in the coming months.
In 2022, it’s imperative that every business has anti-phishing tools in place. Business leaders should also invest in cybersecurity training for their workforce to help employees spot and handle phishing attacks.
Cryptojacking, a cybercrime that involves the unauthorized use of other people’s devices to mine for cryptocurrency, is expected to become more common in 2022. There are three reasons why experts believe so. First, there are billions of potential cryptojacking targets, with many devices already infected. Second, cryptojacking has a relatively high direct payout for minimal effort, making it an attractive new revenue stream for hackers. And third, because cryptojacking entails establishing a foothold within devices, it can easily evolve into more malicious attacks, such as data exfiltration or botnets-for-hire attacks.
Moreover, cybersecurity experts warn businesses about crypto-malware, or malware specifically designed for cryptojacking. As attacks become more sophisticated, it won't be long before these start infecting entire networks with malware designed to take down organizations. It’s therefore crucial for SMBs to implement safeguards, such as installing anti-cryptomining extensions and ad-blockers on their browsers, while training their IT team to detect cryptojacking. If your organization doesn’t have a well-equipped IT department that can thwart cryptojacking attacks, consider partnering with a cybersecurity expert like XBASE Technologies.
Ransomware infamously shot to prominence because of NotPetya and WannaCry, and reports show that the number and cost of ransomware attacks have been steadily rising annually since then. Experts even predict that ransomware damage costs will reach up to 265 billion USD (328.38 billion CAD) by 2031.
Ransomware will be a critical threat to business in 2022, especially because of the intensive digitization companies went through — and are still going through — due to the pandemic. To combat ransomware attacks, implement anti-malware and network monitoring tools that can aid in the early detection of ransomware. Your organization also needs to be proactive and build ransomware response plans. Consider investing in Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) to ensure business continuity even if your systems get infected with ransomware.
Related article: To mitigate ransomware damage, you need an effective backup and recovery plan
Cyberattacks involving AI and IoT
Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to contribute positively to cybersecurity, but its pervasive, rapidly evolving nature makes it an ideal tool for threat actors as well. As AI becomes more advanced, every aspect of people’s lives that's touched by technology becomes increasingly susceptible to security breaches. What’s more, AI can be used not only for reconnaissance but also for uncovering vulnerabilities that could be exploited by threat actors.
Meanwhile, cybercriminals have already demonstrated that they can hijack thousands of consumer-grade internet routers to carry out distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on vulnerable Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The increasing availability and affordability of such devices, coupled with the fact that users rarely change their default login credentials, gives IoT-based attacks high success rates.
And as we continue to see more businesses and homes transform into smart spaces with more intelligent appliances and gadgets installations, there will also be an increasing number of entry points that hackers can exploit.
These are just some of the cyberthreats your business should look out for in 2022. If you need help with creating effective cybersecurity strategies or implementing comprehensive security solutions, drop our specialists at XBASE Technologies a line.