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Home > Smart Living> Innovation > How will cyber threats evolve in 2022? Here’s what experts say

How will cyber threats evolve in 2022? Here’s what experts say

New predictions from cybersecurity companies point to a meteoric rise in ransomware due to cryptocurrencies and threat to critical infrastructure

FILE PHOTO: Representations of virtual cryptocurrencies are seen in this illustration taken November 28, 2021. According to cybersecurity forecasts, cryptocurrency will fuel the rise and evolution of the ransomware industry.
FILE PHOTO: Representations of virtual cryptocurrencies are seen in this illustration taken November 28, 2021. According to cybersecurity forecasts, cryptocurrency will fuel the rise and evolution of the ransomware industry. (REUTERS)

The year 2021 saw a spate of new cybersecurity threats in India and elsewhere. According to the Acronis Cyberthreats Report 2022, which was released earlier this month and is an in-depth review of cybersecurity trends and threats worldwide, India ranked fourth among Asian countries in 2021 for ransomware detection percentage, which doubled to 7.34% in Q3 of 2021 from 3.65% in Q2 of 2021. The report added that ransomware attacks were at an all-time high worldwide – affecting big and medium businesses, including government, healthcare, and other critical organizations.

The worrisome bit is that it doesn’t stop here. According to other recent predictions from the likes of Acronis, a global technology company, and Palo Alto Networks, an American multinational cybersecurity company, ransomware is just one of the many forms of cyberattacks that could continue to cause disruptions in 2022.

Also read: How to check if that mobile app is spying on you

Bitcoin’s rise will lead to a well-funded enemy: According to Palo Alto Networks, cryptocurrency will fuel the rise and evolution of the ransomware industry, with larger attacks on important infrastructure, while calls for its regulation gain traction. Because of its decentralized character, it will be difficult for regulators to track down the attackers, a Palo Alto Networks blog explains. Ransomware is one of the most profitable cyberattacks at the moment, the Acronis Cyberthreats Report 2022 explains, with no end in sight.

Physical and digital lines are blurring: Increased interactions with smart, intuitive devices with sensory triggers will create tonnes of digital data that will double up in existing physical spaces. Given this hyper-connectedness of networks, organizations need to draw up a strategic approach that will provide complete visibility into the security infrastructure, according to Palo Alto Networks. Companies need to use a “zero trust” architecture, combined with artificial Intelligence (AI, to profile, correlate and contextualize and apply threat prevention tools to each connected device. This would validate every stage of digital interaction, the blog explains.

Countries’ critical digital infrastructure in the crosshairs: There are now more and more cyberattacks on essential infrastructure, with confidential and sensitive data, worldwide. A nation’s essential or critical infrastructure, includes both physical and cyber systems that maintain normalcy in daily life – everything from power grids to the railways or even things like the space network. These attacks have revealed that the implementation of cybersecurity protocols is significantly slower than the rate of digitalization across countries, the Palo Alto Networks blog adds.

Phishing will continue to dominate: Phishing emails and scams could evolve in the new year. According to the Acronis report, malicious emails and phishing in all variations are still at an all-time high. Increased automation could make these attacks more effective. In order to bypass common anti-phishing tools, attacks such as business email compromise, or BEC, will make use of alternative messaging services, such as text messages, Slack, or even Microsoft Teams chat. This goes hand-in-hand with the hijacking of legitimate email distribution services, as for example in November 2021, when the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s email service was compromised and started sending spam emails, the Acronis report explains.

Also read: How to protect your phone from malware and cybercriminals

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