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Your 2022 cybercrime forecast

03 December, 2021

If you want to make sure that your business has a successful future, it’s essential that you put processes and strategies in place that ensure you hit your targets. With digital solutions now at the heart of virtually every company, it won’t come as a surprise to hear that your online systems must have adequate security to prevent the risk of cyberattacks too.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a significant increase in cyberattacks, largely aimed at the security vulnerabilities presented by people working from home.

More concerning still for SMEs, the weight of attacks have fallen on small businesses that might not have considered themselves to be at risk.

2022 promises more of the same. So, to help your business enjoy a safe and secure 2022, we’ve cast our minds to the future to predict what we think the major challenges organisations will face over the next twelve months. Ready to find out more?

These are the cybercrime threats to look out for in 2022:

Pandemic-related phishing

COVID-19 is, unfortunately, a continued reality going into 2022 and potentially, beyond.

Having already led to a fundamental shift in our working habits, driving many into a work-from-home environment, new variants could yet close offices in the new year, causing further disruption.

Although much of the cybercrime around the pandemic took advantage of reduced security in home office environments, a large portion of attacks looks to capitalise on the fear, uncertainty and doubt generated by the pandemic.

Countless phishing emails sprung up around the pandemic, like fake NHS emails asking people to pay for a vaccination or a test. Indeed, research found a 220% increase in phishing emails around the peak of the pandemic - a figure we might see repeated, should the global health situation enter another perilous phase.

Data breaches

Data breaches, regardless of their source, remain the most costly and disruptive cyber threats to organisations. In 2022, data breaches will remain a significant threat to organisations.

Worryingly, almost a third of all data breaches happen to small businesses, as cybercriminals take advantage of weaker security measures due to smaller cybersecurity budgets caused by a tightening of purse strings. Data breaches can result in large fines as well as cause significant reputational damage to the business brand, so it is important to ensure employees receive cybersecurity awareness training to reduce your risk of breach.

Ransomware attacks

Ransomware attacks, where a target’s data is encrypted and held hostage until money is sent to the attacker, have been a reality for over 30 years now, but their increasing appearance is cause for alarm. Need proof? The first half of 2021 saw a 93% increase in attacks compared to the same period of the previous year!

Ransomware attacks are expected to increase in 2022, which is bad news for businesses. With more and more of us working from home, the gap between the office at work and the office at home is widening and causing issues that organisations are still scrambling to address.

Mobile malware

Another growing concern is mobile malware, targeting company phones and smart devices of people working from home.

Cybercriminals have been utilising machine learning and artificial intelligence to make even more sophisticated malware attacks. With mobile malware, criminals can disable devices and force the owners into paying a ransom to have their mobile re-enabled.

We’ve highlighted just a handful of the cybersecurity threats lurking on the horizon and expected to cause severe problems for businesses in 2022, but they are far from the only concerns going into the New Year.

So, how do you protect your organisation?

With 90% of breaches occurring as a result of human error, by far the most effective way to protect your business from cyberattacks is to ensure that your employees have high-quality cyber awareness training. Bob’s Business provides engaging, cost-effective online training covering essential topics such as cyber awareness.

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Global Cyber Alliance