Cybersecurity has long been an issue for the global business community. A sharp spike in cybercrime during the pandemic pointed to malicious actors working harder than ever to exploit the rapid shift in how businesses operate with the continued transition to digital and cloud-based services. The Australian Cyber Security Centre reported an increase of 13% in the number of online crimes reported in 2021, with Australians being scammed out of $33 billion.
What does this mean for your business and what security measures should be considered for the year ahead?
The amount of data collected by businesses is increasing every day, yet it is estimated that more than half of this vast volume of data isn’t utilised, known as dark data. This leaves network security open to being compromised, as this data is still valuable and can end up being costly if a data breach occurs.
Security experts predict data collection and storage will shift away from big-data acquisition and an emphasis on only storing what is known as ‘right’ data to avoid data loss. The key here lies in automation: artificial intelligence and machine learning offer new opportunities for collecting relevant information and removing this vulnerability.
Increased ransomware attacks
2021 was challenging for a diverse range of industries, which were impacted by ransomware attacks. These industries included healthcare entities, technology companies, manufacturers and financial institutions. From the Colonial Pipeline and JBS beef plants to FedEx’s TNT division in London, attackers targeted these organisations regularly with maximum intent of damaging them financially as well as their reputation.
Cybercriminals are becoming more and more sophisticated, with ever-increasing access to pre-developed ransomware tools, known as ransomware-as-a-service, which execute attacks in return for a cut of the ransom payments. This makes it easier for threat actors to launch their malicious activities without having any technical knowledge. Ransomware attacks are predicted to continue throughout 2022-2023 with the shipping and transportation industries to be the main targets of malicious actors.
Companies will be looking to prevent security incidents rather than relying on detecting or reacting to threats in 2022. The hybrid workplace is predicted to become the norm for many Australian businesses, with employees preferring a mix of remote and face-to-face work. Zero trust cybersecurity strategies offer companies a way of ensuring secure access for remotely located employees who are accessing business resources.
The zero-trust strategy is based on the position that anyone who hasn’t had their identity authenticated and been granted explicit system admission is denied access to any services they’re not explicitly allowed to use. After initially being authenticated, users must give further authentication – such as a fingerprint or voice recognition – to safely access the network. In addition, organisations will block unauthorised users from accessing any applications they’ve not been authorised for using this zero trust strategy.
In recent years, more and more businesses have adopted cloud-based services. Cloud technology has helped organisations reduce costs and meet the needs of their business operations during the pandemic when employees had to continue working remotely.
Cloud computing is widely considered to be more secure than traditional IT infrastructure because it’s not vulnerable to physical threats like fire or natural disasters. However, cloud-based systems are still susceptible to cyber-attacks if robust security protocols aren’t put in place.
Cloud security is important for the success of any company and can be achieved through the use of a multi-layered approach that protects all attack surfaces, including networks, cloud computing platforms, endpoints and mobile devices. Artificial intelligence is predicted to play an important role in these cybersecurity efforts by analysing real-time data to enable threat detection.
A final word on cybersecurity trends
As new and emerging threats are revealed, it becomes difficult to stay ahead of the curve. With cybersecurity becoming a large part of today’s organisations, they must be prepared for any potential threat with an appropriate response plan to remain safe from harm. Cybersecurity may often seem impossible but through proper planning, these attacks can be mitigated or avoided altogether by implementing adequate training along with other measures such as information sharing programs within your organisation.
As organisations move forward into the future, it is vital to be prepared for new cyber threats that are revealed. You can ensure your business is fully protected and ready for anything in 2022 by partnering with the cybersecurity experts at INTELLIWORX, who offer a wide range of cybersecurity solutions to give you peace of mind.