Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats in 2022
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
In today’s digital landscape, 69% of small businesses are concerned about being the victim of a cyberattack. Due to increasing cyber attacks, businesses are vulnerable to data breaches, financial loss, and reputational damage. That’s why, as a business leader, it’s essential to prioritize cybersecurity to protect your company’s valuable assets, including customer data, financial records, and intellectual property.
Indeed, the threat of cyberattacks is real and increasing. In 2022, 76% of organizations were targeted by a ransomware attack, out of which 64% were actually infected. In other words: Organizations of all sizes must be proactive in identifying and mitigating these threats. Cybersecurity is no longer an issue that only impacts large businesses.
In this article, we will discuss the top 5 cybersecurity threats of 2022 that businesses are likely to face and provide practical tips to help you protect your company’s sensitive information. These threats include ransomware attacks, mobile security flaws, cloud vulnerabilities, IoT (Internet of Things) weaknesses, and industry-targeted attacks.
The cost of cyber attacks in 2021 saw a nearly 200% increase compared to the previous year. If these ransomware attacks continue at the same rate, global costs of cyber crime could reach $16 trillion by the end of 2023. Ransomware is a type of malware that infects a victim’s computer system, encrypts their files, and demands payment (often in cryptocurrency) in exchange for the decryption key needed to regain access to the data.
Ransomware attacks can be devastating to businesses because they can disrupt operations, cause data loss or corruption, and lead to significant financial losses. In some cases, businesses may be forced to pay the ransom to regain access to their data, which can be a costly proposition.
Recent ransom amounts in the US have varied from $5,506 to an unbelievable $40 million. Additionally, paying the ransom does not guarantee that the attacker will restore the data or refrain from attacking the business again in the future.
To protect against ransomware attacks, businesses should take a proactive approach for the top cybersecurity threats from 2022. These steps include:
- Implementing robust backup and recovery procedures
- Regularly updating and patching systems
- Training employees to be vigilant against phishing emails and other social engineering tactics
Mobile Security Flaws
Mobile security is a growing concern for businesses as more employees use their personal devices to access company data and systems. 54% of companies agreed that their mobile devices are the least secure of all of their systems. Cybercriminals have also shifted their focus to mobile platforms, with 40% of mobile devices being vulnerable to attacks. Criminals are targeting users through various tactics such as malware and phishing attacks.
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The consequences of lacking mobile device cybersecurity can be severe. In fact, 21% of companies that were compromised said that an unapproved application had contributed to the breach, while 46% of organizations had at least one employee download a malicious application. Malware installed on a mobile device can compromise data, steal sensitive information, and even gain access to corporate networks. These types of attacks can lead to financial losses, damage to reputation, and legal liability.
To secure mobile devices, it’s essential to ensure that they have the latest security updates installed. Companies should also use strong passwords, enable two-factor authentication, and encrypt data stored on the device. Employees should be educated on safe mobile device usage, including avoiding public Wi-Fi networks and only downloading apps from trusted sources.
84% of organizations noted their reliance on data stored in the cloud is increasing. Cloud vulnerabilities can have serious consequences for businesses, including financial loss, reputational damage, and legal consequences. Notably, 30% of businesses fail to apply adequate cloud security controls. If sensitive customer information is stolen or exposed, it can result in a loss of trust and credibility with customers and partners, as well as regulatory fines and legal action. This is of particular concern given that roughly 90% of data breaches target external cloud servers.
In addition to the above, another vulnerability with cloud storage is the potential for misconfigured settings, which can lead to unauthorized access to data. For example, if a company’s cloud storage is configured with weak or easily guessable passwords or if the data is not properly segmented, an attacker may be able to gain access to sensitive data. 63% of data breaches are accomplished by leveraging a weak or stolen password.
If a business relies heavily on cloud-based services and those services are disrupted by a cyberattack, it can lead to significant operational disruption and lost productivity. On average, it costs businesses $955,429 to restore normal business after a successful cyber attack. Businesses should be aware of the risks associated with cloud storage and take proactive measures, like partnering with a managed IT provider, to ensure the security and integrity of their data.
IoT (Internet of Things) devices are often used in businesses to increase efficiency and automation. However, more than half of all IoT devices are vulnerable to attacks. These vulnerabilities can have significant effects on business operations and security. For example, an attacker may compromise an unsecured IoT device and use it as a gateway to gain access to the entire network.
To secure IoT devices, it’s essential to adopt a risk-based approach that considers the potential impact of a breach. This includes identifying and assessing potential risks, implementing strong access controls, and monitoring IoT devices for suspicious activity.
Regular security assessments and audits can help identify vulnerabilities and ensure that information security protocols are up to date.
Industry-targeted attacks refer to cyberattacks aimed at specific industries or sectors. The most targeted sectors worldwide are healthcare, education/research, ISP/MSP, communications and government/military agencies. Cybercriminals may target these industries for financial gain, intellectual property theft, or political motives. Such attacks have increased 600% due to the COVID-19 pandemic and can have significant financial and reputational consequences for businesses, leading to loss of revenue, customers, and valuable data.
For example, a cyberattack on a healthcare facility can result in the theft of sensitive patient data, including personal and medical information, leading to violations of privacy laws and massive financial loss. On average, in 2021, a single breach in the healthcare industry cost $9.23 million.
To prevent industry-targeted attacks, businesses must implement strict security protocols, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and data encryption. They must also train employees to detect and report suspicious activity, including phishing emails and social engineering attacks.
Protecting Your Business Against the Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats of 2022 & Beyond
Cybersecurity threats are becoming increasingly complex and frequent, and businesses of all sizes need to prioritize cybersecurity in order to protect valuable assets, including customer data, financial records, and intellectual property. The top 5 cybersecurity threats from 2022 that businesses are still likely to face are ransomware attacks, mobile security flaws, cloud vulnerabilities, IoT weaknesses, and industry-targeted attacks.
By staying informed about the latest cyber threats and implementing strong security measures, you can help ensure your business remains protected from cybercriminals seeking to exploit your weaknesses. With the right approach, you can minimize the risks and protect your business from the potentially devastating consequences of a cyberattack.
By following this article’s practical tips, businesses can minimize the risks and protect themselves from the potentially devastating consequences of a cyberattack. Fusion Managed IT provides a full range of managed IT services in Greenville and beyond, including 24/7/365 monitoring and rapid incident response, to ensure your business stays secure.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your business – learn more about how our comprehensive IT services can safeguard your organization.