It seems as if the cybersecurity problem grows larger with every passing year. 2021 was no exception to this trend, and there is no reason to think that 2022 will be any different. Of course, the specific challenges and issues will change from year to year. Although such things are hard to predict, we thought that you might enjoy and benefit from our predictions about cybersecurity threats in 2022.
More Outsourced Hacking Tools
When a criminal wants to carry out some sort of cyber-crime, they will often lack the experience or expertise to actually enact that plan. In the past, this factor kept many potential attacks from occurring. However, we are now seeing a lot more people selling outsourced hacking tools and resources on the dark web.
The scary thing here is that virtually anyone can use these tools. The attacker no longer has to be a computer-savvy expert, and that creates a lot more risk for the rest of us. As more and more con artists hear about the huge dividends that cyber-crime can offer, you can bet that the demand for these outsourced tools will only grow in the coming year.
One good example is “ransomware as a service,” also called RaaS for short. Once they have developed a piece of ransomware software, criminals will sometimes try to make additional profits by selling the software on a subscription basis. Another example is the selling of stolen login credentials on various dark web forums.
The Use Of AI Will Probably Expand
Like fishermen, hackers will sometimes cast a very wide net. They only need one victim in order to make a profit, so one failure doesn’t discourage most of them. Instead, they simply move on and try to find an easier target. Although just about any system can theoretically be hacked, some are much easier than others. Like most other criminals, hackers look for an easy payday.
Of course, it can take a lot of scouting and snooping before that easy target is found. That is why AI-automated tools are sometimes used. By utilizing automated software, multiple targets can be scoped at one time, making it so much easier to find a soft one.
A good example of this technique would be the rise of AI-driven botnets. A botnet is basically a web of hijacked computers that are being used remotely and driven by an AI controller. These things make DDOS attacks a lot simpler, allowing one person to do the job with ease. We think it’s only a matter of time before these AI-driven malware tools start being used for more serious attacks.
More State-Directed Attacks
Hackers aren’t always necessarily criminals. First, you have the “white hat” types who use their knowledge for defensive purposes (like penetration testing). Then, you have those hackers who work for a government agency. Such agencies are not going to ignore the most effective means of information theft.
In recent years, this kind of thing has gone from a conspiracy theory to a full-blown and admitted reality. As you can see here, the U.S. military is now looking for hackers and offering them substantial benefits. Numerous other nations, particularly China, have followed suit.
These military programs are usually categorized under the term “cyber-warfare.” This term is used because hacking has become a viable and powerful weapon. We know for a fact that this weapon is currently being utilized in an offensive manner because a few of these military hackers have even been caught. For instance, three North Korean hackers were exposed and indicted last year.
The Cloud Will Be A Crucial Factor
Cloud networks have proven to be very useful tools for businesses, mostly because of the increased inter-connectivity that they can provide. They are also ideal for remote work applications, which is another reason that so many companies are using them. Unfortunately, that blessing can also be a curse.
When a cloud network is not properly secured, its inherently inter-connected nature makes a hacker’s job much easier. All he has to do is get past the perimeter, and everything inside will be easy pickings. Some organizations are even foolish enough to store their most sensitive information there. Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication can do a lot to help, but a lot of people fail to use them.
We think that 2022 will be the year that makes or breaks the cloud. If it cannot be used with sufficient security, it will probably start to fall out of use. Despite its conveniences, the risk might simply become too great. However, it is more likely that organizations will get a lot more diligent about securing their cloud infrastructure. One way or another, we expect big changes in this department.
Doxing Will Probably Expand As Well
We can already see that the authorities are finally beginning to take cyber-crime more seriously. They are definitely paying more attention to these crimes than ever before, and that has led to a lot of high-profile exposures and arrests. As more resources are allocated to deal with this threat, getting away with cyber-crime might become a little harder.
As this process continues, criminals will seek easier targets for easier payouts. That’s where doxing comes into play. If the criminal can obtain some sort of compromising information, it can be used to discourage people from reporting an attack. In some cases, political motivations can also come into play. In many cases, the threat of reputational damage alone is enough to keep a victim quiet.
Of course, there is no way to know if our predictions are true or not. They are based on current trends, but these are just educated guesses. One thing is for sure: Good security requires regular updating so that new threats can be detected and countered. We hope that at least some of these threats can be mitigated before they become disasters. If you would like to know more about any of the subjects discussed above, you can call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.