2020 has been a tumultuous ride for both industries and consumers worldwide – a series of twists and turns at every corner imaginable. But amidst this uncertainty, we’ve seen some of the most innovative companies surprisingly thrive, by fundamentally changing the way they operate and doubling down on new data security measures.
As we step into the new year, say our goodbyes and rewrite old security habits, what should companies expect in the upcoming year? On Monday, December 6, 2021, Experian released its latest Data Breach Industry Forecast Report, revealing five key areas that cybercriminals are to exploit in 2022.
According to the report, ”big institutions remain vulnerable, despite spending millions on security, and cybercriminals have plenty of opportunities to exploit weak technologies.”
Thanks in part to the global pandemic, security, compliance, and privacy teams are more strained than ever to secure data at scale – and these challenges are reflected by industry trends. The following are trends we expect to see in 2022:
1. Digital assets
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are becoming more popular and widely accepted as a form of payment across industries. But like how data experienced a radical shift in how it is stored and accessed, from traditional to cloud data warehouses, these digital assets are more at risk of data breaches.
2. Natural disasters
Natural disasters have become five times more common due to climate change, and as online platforms like GoFundMe make it more convenient for people to help those in need, donations have become an easy target for phishing attacks. Cybercriminals have used this to their advantage, disguising themselves as charitable organizations and capitalizing on how vulnerable society can be in times of distress.
3. Remote workers
The shift to remote work has essentially dissolved the security perimeter as multiple devices and VPNS are used to access data from different locations. Personal devices and home wireless networks are especially vulnerable to data breaches. Therefore, companies will need to train their employees on best security practices, to ensure that employees can identify and best respond to phishing or ransomware attacks.
4. Physical infrastructure landmarks
Under the Biden Infrastructure Bill, approved by Congress, trillions of dollars are to be invested in improving and rebuilding the economy’s infrastructure, including better transportation, clean water, and high-speed internet. According to the report, these funds are so large that cybercriminals will attempt to steal them. Fund disbursement “involves so many institutions and processes…that hackers will be probing for weaknesses in the money supply chain.”
5. Online gambling scams
As gambling becomes legalized in more states, those new to online gambling will become first-in-line targets of phishing attacks. The report predicts that gambling using stolen credit card info or accounts and impersonation of legitimate online casinos will become common forms of attack. In addition, since cryptocurrency is expected to be implemented into more online casinos, digital wallets will be at risk as well.
For more information, read the full report here.