Is your organization protected against this year’s biggest cyber security threats?
Living in a world of ever-evolving digitization and automation comes with its fair share of benefits; globalization, accessibility, and consumer empowerment are just a few. Yet, at the same time, the more we open the world – and our hard drives – to digital platforms and processes, the more vulnerable we become to threats to our personal information and organizational security.
Cybercriminals are utilizing increasingly sophisticated technologies and methods to infiltrate companies’ servers, wreak havoc, and siphon sensitive information. According to Positive Technologies, 93 percent of company networks can be hacked by cybercriminals. Last year saw a 15.1 percent rise in the average number of cyberattacks and data breaches against organizations. What’s more, 41% of executives believe that their security initiatives have failed to keep up with the digital transformation, due to budget constraints, a growing reliance on external suppliers, and/or increased proficiency on the part of the cybercriminals themselves.
To help you better understand this year’s cybersecurity and cyber threat landscape, here is a list of 2022’s most daunting cyber threats.
Supply chain attacks
Over the past couple of years, global supply chains have taken serious hits. Covid-19 shuttered most of the world, leading to delays in production, delivery, and everything in between. As a result, more and more companies are turning to third-party vendors to help keep their operations running smoothly. The caveat is that cybercriminals are seizing these partnerships as opportunities. They’re infiltrating the third parties and using them as entry points into larger companies that hold the assets and information they seek. No organization is safe, as targets include anyone from small and medium businesses to large corporations and even government entities. Without proper visibility, governance, and protection processes in place, such threats can inhibit the effectiveness of entire supply chains, leading to companies failing to provide their customers with the services and products they want and need.
People are inherently social beings and, unfortunately, when push comes to shove, with enough pressure, they can be swayed to do things they wouldn’t normally think to do. This is the premise behind social engineering. Here, malicious cybercriminals employ psychological manipulations to convince members within an organization to willingly hand over their company credentials, security clearance information, passcodes, or confidential information. Phishing and email or social media impersonation are two major avenues employed. These have recently started incorporating innovative technologies and trends, to make it harder to identify that a scam is taking place, and easier to pilfer companies of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies and lines of code.
External remote service threats
Now that more and more people are working remotely, hackers and other cybercriminals are having a field day, targeting remote work servers, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Virtual Network Computing (VNC), and other remote or hybrid work infrastructure, including via mobile. Once these systems have been breached, they are either used by the hackers themselves, or access to them is sold to the highest bidder (unethical competitors, or other cyber criminals looking to create a ruckus). Unless companies start implementing better protections, these attacks will continue to take place in the same way, with no need for cybercriminals to find more sophisticated avenues for their dirty work.
Human error exploitation
Human nature is inherently flawed. We aren’t machines, and we can’t be expected to operate with machine-grade proficiency and reliability. Covid, economic, social, and geo-political stressors have led to a workforce that’s tired, burnt out, and more likely to make mistakes while on the job. Cybercriminals know this all too well and are always ready to exploit “good old” human error, especially configuration mistakes. These exploitations surge when proper cyber hygiene is not upheld, due to error, or for other reasons, such as budget constraints, or distrust in novel technologies.
The most significant threat of 2021, ransomware comes in many highly-calculated attack types, which will likely continue to threaten the business world through the end of this year. Crypto Ransomware, Lockers, Doxware, Scareware, and Ransomware as a Service are some of the channels they may take, targeting critical infrastructure, especially in high-value situations. “Luckily” for organizations, this is one threat they are well-aware of and familiar with, which means that there’s hope that protective measures will be implemented.
New technological innovations bring with them the potential for new and expanded cyber threats. That said, an awareness of these threats is the first step toward implementing protections against them. At Highroad, we nurture innovative startups who understand and work to conquer the digital landscape, every single day. We make it our mission to ensure they are adequately equipped with the knowledge and connections they need, to stay ahead of top cyber threats, and bring about a safer, future-forward tomorrow.
Need help growing your startup while keeping it safe from cyber threats? Talk to us today!