Last editedMar 20222 min read
The underlying principles of cybersecurity have been in place since before digital technology was invented. The way they are implemented, however, often develops over time. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to the main cybersecurity trends of 2022.
The main cybersecurity trends of 2022 can be grouped into three main categories. The first is more sophisticated technologies (both for attack and for defence). The second is leveraging basic weaknesses such as failure to establish and follow secure processes. The third is exploiting human weaknesses.
More sophisticated technologies
On the “attack” side, malware is going to become much more sophisticated. The growth of ransomware is expected to continue. Using artificial intelligence to emulate corporate leaders’ signatures (more commonly known as “deep fake” is likewise expected to increase.
As malware becomes more sophisticated, it will become more challenging to create. There are already signs that cybercrime is moving to an “as-a-service” model. This means that the cybercriminals themselves just buy the tools they need ready-made.
On the “defence” side, however, the security industry is also improving its automated defence systems. For example, it's improving its threat-detection algorithms. On a broader level, it’s also working to educate both businesses and individuals on cybersecurity risk management.
Furthermore, the cybersecurity sector is trying to encourage more people to enter the profession. In particular, it’s trying to engage with demographic groups which are currently underrepresented in the sector. Increasing diversity of representation may help to increase the diversity of cybersecurity solutions.
Leveraging basic weaknesses
Managing cybersecurity risk effectively often depends on establishing and following effective security protocols. Establishing effective security protocols depends on effective cybersecurity risk assessment. Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult for businesses to undertake effective cybersecurity risk assessments.
In principle, there are many reasons why businesses would find it difficult to assess cybersecurity risk. In practice, however, most of them boil down to complexity. For example, businesses might be eager to leverage new technologies. Small businesses in particular may rely on technology to keep them competitive against larger rivals.
The problem with this is that cybercriminals may understand the weaknesses of new technologies much better than businesses (and individuals) do. This is why more “cutting-edge” technologies are often at greater risk of being attacked.
In the context of cybersecurity risks for businesses, the biggest current threats are probably 5G, the “Internet of Things” (smart devices) and mobile devices. With that said, however, there is also a threat from established technologies that have not been updated to protect them from modern threats. Supply chains can also be another point of vulnerability.
Exploiting human weaknesses
Recognising and managing human weaknesses is crucial to effective cybersecurity risk management. In simple terms, businesses can, should and must build strong barriers against cyberattacks. At the same time, however, legitimate traffic has to be allowed through. That means humans have to oversee those automated defences.
This means that effectively, all human staff are keys that can open your cybersecurity doors. Additionally, if you are giving external parties any sort of access to your systems, then you are effectively handing them keys too. For example, something as simple as hosting a form on your website can create an attack vector for a cybercriminal.
For this reason, there is likely to be a huge push towards zero-trust security models. In parallel with this, businesses, even small ones, are likely to be under pressure to demonstrate that they take consumer privacy seriously.
Some sectors may also find themselves under pressure from the government, regulators and/or key stakeholders. For example, the financial sector tends to be at the forefront of new security developments. It was quick to implement multi-factor authentication for customers and is now implementing strong payer authentication.
That said, none of these solutions can replace the need to ensure that human staff are properly trained on cybersecurity. This is particularly important given that cybercriminals are increasingly employing social-engineering strategies such as spear phishing.
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