8 Cybersecurity trends to be aware of in 2022/2023

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This blog was written by an independent guest blogger.

The last couple of months were devastating for cybersecurity. Cyber threats intensify each waking day, and criminals seem to be getting more sophisticated and better at beating the system. 

For instance, the first six months of 2022 saw a whopping 40% increase in cyber-attacks from the previous year, with Ransomware being declared a state-level weapon. These attacks are causing severe disruptions to everyday lives, affecting essential services such as medical care, schools, etc. For instance, an attack on Lincoln College in the US resulted in the college closing its doors after 157 years.

Needless to say, cybersecurity threats and attacks aren’t slowing down or going away anytime soon. As the risk of cybersecurity attacks continues to grow, so have the trends predicted for cybersecurity in the next year. 

Here are some of the most critical cybersecurity trends you need to keep an eye on.

User awareness

Surprisingly, about 97% of people with access to the internet still cannot identify when an email is a phishing email. This is why many people will readily click on a phishing email, and thus become victims to cyberattacks. 

This shows that there is a huge need for awareness, and education is crucial to identify and prevent costly identity theft and network hacks. Thankfully, many businesses today go beyond implementing strong firewalls and sophisticated IT protocols by augmenting their IT personnel’s capabilities through training to equip them with the skills needed to fight cyber-attacks.

Some institutions use classroom and web-based to promote and train cybersecurity awareness. Companies are also focusing more on how workers share and handle confidential data. For instance, many organizations are now putting a lot of effort into educating their employees on how to protect themselves from identity theft.

After all, research shows that about 80 percent of data breaches can be avoided by practicing and implementing simple cyber hygiene. 

Geo-targeted phishing threats

Phishing is still the most severe security threat on the internet to date — and a majority of the population is at a high risk of falling prey to this threat. Phishing emails and dangerous URLs are still common on the internet, but they are now customized, tailored, and geo-targeted.

Cybercriminals are taking the time to research and devise ways to craft polished business email compromise attacks that can fool even the best eye. 

Therefore, businesses, and individuals alike, should invest time and effort into comprehensive security awareness programs to protect their data and ensure website safety

GDPR compliance

The general data protection regulation is the decade’s most notable developments in IT across the European Union. The law is the brainchild of the EU, but it’s already having major impacts on data protection requirements across the globe. 

The law imposes standard data security law on all EU countries and requires all organizations selling to EU residents to comply with its regulations regardless of their location. As such, GDPR provides uniform data protection to all consumers in the EU regions. 

Since the GDPR is still fairly new, it hasn’t fully taken root, and most companies are still not ready to ensure compliance. However, companies worldwide are slowly adopting the changes to accommodate the new regulations. 

IoT attacks by cybercriminals

According to Oracle, there are currently more than 7 billion connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and experts anticipate this figure to expand to 22 billion by 2025. This rapid growth of the IoT has increased the chances for cybercriminals to launch cyberattacks and data breaches. 

This is why security vulnerabilities such as DoS or hijacked devices continue to plague most IoT devices on the market today. As IoT connects the real world with the virtual, home invasions are added to the list of IoT’s most terrifying potential risks. In fact, studies show that compromised routers and cameras account for a big chunk of IoT assaults worldwide.

Therefore, as the number of internet-connected devices increases, so does the threat that malicious actors can exploit to access a company’s vital infrastructure. As such, businesses must prepare and plan for this cybersecurity trend that will become more prominent in the coming years.

Need for cloud security

The last two years have seen an increase in many trends associated with remote working. For instance, there has been a huge increase in demand for cloud solutions, with many companies seeking to take a space on the cloud. 

Cloud services offer great opportunities to companies, such as increased scalability and operational and cost efficiency. But these services do not offer secure authentication or audit logging, making them a prime target for cybercriminals.

Therefore, all businesses should pay attention to and consider adopting inventive and predictive cloud protection measures, such as penetration testing, to combat cybercriminals. Predictive security can help identify attacks that bypass other endpoint security measures.

Attacks on the healthcare sector

Recently, the healthcare sector has been a prime target of many cyber threats. This is why many hospitals and health organizations are investing heavily in cybersecurity. By 2019, the industry was valued at about 9.78 billion, which is expected to increase to $33.65 billion by 2027. 

Data breaches are the leading threat in the healthcare industry. In the last three years alone, about 11.7 billion records have been stolen or exposed by cyber criminals. Consequently, healthcare organizations are increasingly putting more emphasis on their digital security requirements and pushing growth for the healthcare sector’s cybersecurity market. 

Mobile device risks

Mobile technology is rapidly evolving; today, one can use their mobile devices to do plenty of tasks remotely. For instance,  the rise of remote working has made employees rely more on their mobile devices to connect and communicate with one another. These small devices can store massive amounts of sensitive personal data.

Cybercriminals have recognized this and have escalated their targeting of mobile devices. For example, research shows that 6 out of 10 children aged 8 to 12 are exposed to cyber threats through their mobile devices. 

Organizations must guarantee that their data security teams add additional layers of protection to mobile devices. Due to the current era of accelerating digital transformation, hackers’ attack methods are becoming more inventive.  

Keeping track of these trends will allow you simplicity in managing your remote employees while protecting your company data. 

Machine learning

The recent evolution of cyber threats has made the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) more proactive. Many organizations are adopting the power of technology to automate several aspects of their cybersecurity efforts, such as threat detection. 

If well utilized, ML can help simplify various processes, which makes them simpler, more efficient, and less costly. For example, ML can help develop patterns and manipulate large data sets into algorithms. 

Therefore, incorporating ML hence enables cybersecurity systems to assess attack trends and understand the habits of cyber criminals. This helps to prevent similar assaults in the future and decreases the time required for cybersecurity professionals to do basic duties.