The Top Ten Cybersecurity Predictions for 2022

Published on 10 Dec 2021

Bridewell Consulting, a cyber security consulting firm, has released its biggest cyber security forecasts for 2022. Compiling data from its staff of consultants and its 24/7 security operations center in 2021, the corporation warns of threat automation, higher hazards for distant employees, and a spike in nation-state assaults on the UK's essential national infrastructure.

The year 2022 will be remembered as the year of the remote risk.

With distant and hybrid work continuing to grow in popularity, we anticipate a significant increase in mobile cybersecurity threats. Cybercriminals' tactics will change and adapt to take advantage of the increasing dependence on mobile devices and remote work. Social engineering will continue to be the primary attack vector for malware, hacking, and ransomware deployments in 2022, with advances in deepfake technologies making assaults more technologically plausible. Phishing volume has already exceeded that of 2020, and in 2022, we'll see an increase in update-themed spam attempts designed to fool remote workers into believing they're valid updates, including those used to tailgate staff members into confined spaces under the pretense of becoming a new recruit employed during the lockdown.

Automated Ransomware

Human-operated ransomware would be the most serious cyber threat to businesses in 2022. In contrast to traditional resource ransomware attacks, we will see an increase in the number of malicious hackers with a high level of aggressive security knowledge gaining access to organizations and surveying the surroundings for an extended time before attempting to launch a potentially catastrophic attack on data and systems. The threat posed by human-operated malware will only grow as wormable variations including WannaCrypt and NotPetva become more prevalent. Furthermore, automation will play a critical role in the growth of modern ransom and malware assaults, with machine learning as well as artificial intelligence (AI) being utilized to eliminate some of the errors that organizations make while responding to contemporary threats.

The Number of Hired Hackers Will Rise

Over the last several years, organizations like as REvil as well as DarkSide have emerged and vanished after highly publicized assaults on a variety of companies. In 2021, we saw a number of hacking organizations emerge, make a significant effect, and then depart almost as swiftly as they arrived, just to repeat the process just several months later. In 2022, we may see more of the same, with a focus on large-scale operations against wealthy targets including supply chains as well as cloud providers in order to maximize ransom value and payment. Additionally, managed services including third-party vendors will face increased risk. Phishing-as-a-Service will become more prevalent on dark web forums, which will result in an increase in attack volume.

Zero-Trust Would Become The De-Facto Approach To Cyber Security

In 2022, when hybrid working becomes more prevalent, Zero-Trust will become crucial. Inadequate cloud setup will continue to result in security breaches, and enterprises will utilize the Identify, Authenticate, Authorize, and Audit architecture to isolate individuals and devices from information, applications, infrastructures, and networks (IAAA). More CIOs and CISOs will implement system-wide Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) that incorporates stronger criteria for conditional access and is backed up by session data and telemetry to provide a thorough audit log for real-time detection of a policy violation. Enhanced Detection and Response (XDR) may also become the preferred solution for Zero-Trust, providing quick detection and response to threats spanning endpoint, networking, web and email, cloud, and, critically, identity.

Businesses Will Use Hybrid SOC Architectures To Bridge Skills Shortages & Facilitate Consolidation

As the cyber skills shortage worsens and enterprises lack the depth of knowledge and technical skills necessary to develop the advanced capabilities required to run cloud-native modern Security Operations Centers (SOCs), we expect to see an increase in the number of organizations adopting hybrid SOC models that combine the cyber expertise of in-house team members with the knowledge and experience of a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). Businesses will use providers to close defensive gaps while building in-house expertise in technologies and approaches such as EDR, XDR, plus intelligence-based attack detection. Hybrid SOCs would also be utilized to consolidate security technologies, in response to the board's rising need to save security expenditures, increase ROI, and enhance efficiency.

The Proliferation of 5G & Linked Devices Will Exacerbate IoT Security Threats

In 2022, 5G will continue to be deployed internationally, increasing the number of connected devices inside organizations, notably in the industrial IoT. Manufacturing and Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) will continue to be the most vulnerable industries to security threats, as more factories and facilities become networked and as more businesses rely on Internet of Things (IoT) devices for remote measurement and monitoring of operations. As use expands, we anticipate the development of further regulatory advice and standards to improve IoT security.

Organizations Will Concentrate Their Efforts on Detection & Reaction Rather Than Prevention

As attack velocity and complexity increase, demand for managed security services like managed detection and response (MDR) would skyrocket. No longer a luxury reserved for major corporations, by 2022, we anticipate all businesses to prioritize reaction above prevention and adopt monitoring systems to notify on early symptoms of a possible breach. Security Orchestration Automated Response (SOAR) technologies, like Microsoft Sentinel, will be crucial in helping to enhance efficiency in conjunction with MDR. While traditional anti-malware software, as well as spam blockers, will continue to be critical, they will increasingly be supplemented with proactive measures like MDR, attack detection, and computer hacking to ensure that any vulnerabilities are quickly found and fixed.

Threats To Critical National Infrastructure Will Increase

CNI will confront greater engagement from nation-state organizations, which are anticipated to emphasize green energy objectives in light of the global emphasis on sustainable infrastructure development. Additionally, the oil and gas industry will face increased targeted assaults from hackers-for-hire attempting to target high-value earning businesses.

Digital Change Will Be Fueled By The Cyber Security Revolution

In 2021, digitalization became a need for organizations, partly due to Covid-19. The most egregious error we saw in 2021 was a neutralization reaction to security transformation, in which security was addressed only later. By 2022, we anticipate seeing a reversal of this trend, as mature businesses attempt to use cyber security modernization as a catalyst for digital transformation. Cyber security will transition from a compliance activity to a business imperative, with CISOs and CIOs collaborating immediately with the CEO to establish an adaptable and configurable security architecture that ensures cyber security is as robust as possible before expanding the attack surface.

Consolidation of Cyber Security Firms Will Begin

Microsoft and Google would then evolve into cyber security leaders. Microsoft has already pledged a significant commitment to expanding its cyber security offering, while Google has also taken significant measures to enhance its security capabilities, due to the company's dominance in the collaborative industry. As these businesses continue to develop their expertise, we anticipate that conventional cyber security providers will begin to lose market share as they battle to compete with the global giants' visibility, coverage, and collaborative advantages.


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