If you’ve been reading the news, you know that cyber threats have become a major problem for companies of all sizes. While attacks may seem to occur overnight, most take days or even months to be discovered. To keep your data safe, it’s important to know which threats pose the biggest risk for modern organizations. Here are the top cybersecurity threats your company will face in 2022.
1. AI-powered Threats
With artificial intelligence being introduced in virtually every market segment, shifting technological advances have brought tremendous changes to cybersecurity. AI and general machine learning have been paramount in creating automated face detection, natural language processing, security systems, and automatic threat detection. At the same time, it is also being used nefariously to develop smart malware and attacks that bypass the sophisticated security protocols that guard data. Fortunately, AI-enabled threat detection systems have the ability to predict new attacks and instantly notify administrators of any data breach.
Ransomware comes in many forms, but its general aim is to force victims to pay a ransom to regain access to valuable data.
Most people are already aware of certain high-profile ransomware attacks. One example was the Colonial Pipeline attack, where nearly $5 million was paid in ransom to regain access to data and files. Similarly, a couple of years ago, the city of Baltimore was hit by ransomware that forced it to stop processing any and all payments.
Usually the final step in a coordinated cyber attack, ransomware is the ultimate payload deployed after attackers gain access to an organization’s network. The first inroads into a network generally involve some sort of phishing, web application or social engineering attack. Once the attackers have a foothold in the network, they can begin deploying ransomware to all the endpoints within striking distance.
3. Social Engineering Attack
A social engineering attack relies on some sort of human or social interaction rather than automated bots entering a computer via the internet. This security threat tends to be especially dangerous for a couple of reasons. For one, humans are much more prone to error than machines. Secondly, these attacks often play on human emotions.
One of the most effective tactics is to have someone believe they are helping another person in need. For instance, an attacker may pose as a family member or fellow employee requesting access to a document or other sensitive data.
While a well-equipped IT system can prevent malware attacks, it can’t stop an employee from freely giving passwords to hackers posing as coworkers. This makes social engineering one of the most dangerous security threats in 2022 and beyond.
4. Unpatched or Misconfigured Systems
Dangerous security misconfigurations arise when a network’s default security values are maintained, or the settings are not defined and implemented. This usually means the configuration settings are not in compliance with industry standards such as OWASP Top 10 or CIS Benchmarks. Bad actors view misconfigurations as easy targets that are not difficult to detect.
Misconfigurations don’t just mean accidental firewall rules. Some of the biggest offenders include broken access control, unpatched systems, sensitive data exposure and outdated components. Attackers can acquire tools from deep web marketplaces to easily scan for these vulnerabilities. Once they have you in their sights, they quickly cause big problems for your company or organization.
5. Credential Stuffing
Credential stuffing occurs when attackers use stolen credentials from one company to access user accounts at a different organization. These credentials are usually either obtained in an unrelated data breach or purchased off the dark web.
The success of these cyber attacks relies on password reuse by a business’s employees. Once hackers obtain a list of passwords and usernames, they can recruit automated bots to log in to services such as AWS, Google, Microsoft 365 or anything else. If hackers are able to find a credential set that works, they can easily gain access to that account (and possibly more) with little to no trace.
These days, a secure network requires layers of protection at every level. If you’re looking to secure your company’s systems and streamline operational efficiencies, Fisher Technology can help. We manage servers, computers, cloud environments, network equipment, mobile devices and applications. We can protect your company from malware and hackers while streamlining your business operations with electronic document automation and innovative workflow solutions. Contact us to learn more.