Top 10 Cyber Security Threats in 2022
Like everything else on the internet, cyber security threats evolve at an astonishing speed. From automated ransomware attacks to cloned websites, hackers and scammers have upped their game in recent years to make our lives more difficult.
On top of everything, the advent of home-working has brought brand new cyber security threats to be reckoned with. Let’s have a look at the top 10 cyber securiity threats in 2022.
A blanket term for any sort of malicious software, malware exploits security holes in a computer’s operating system or server. It comes in different forms, from spyware programs that monitor your browsing habits to trojans that open a backdoor for attackers.
However, all forms of malware have one point in common — the user always downloads or installs them unknowingly. Popular sources of malware include peer-to-peer file-sharing programs (such as torrents) or downloads of free software. Once the malware is installed, cyber-thieves will use it to extract personal data for financial benefit. You can get rid of malware with specific software, but as usual, prevention is better than cure.
The word “crypto” has become unavoidable in 2022, and hackers have also made sure to co-opt it with this innovative cyber security threat. Basically, cryptojacking is the use of other people’s devices to mine cryptocurrency — profiting off someone else’s computer or online server. If you think this doesn’t sound as dangerous as other forms of cyber-attacks, think again. Because mining demands an incredibly high amount of processing power, cryptojacking can seriously slow systems down and cause unnerving performance issues.
Internet of Things attacks
The Internet of Things (IoT) is exactly what it says on paper — physical objects that make use of the internet. The broad scope of IoT makes security issues even more challenging. Because of their limited computing capacity and short development cycle, IoT devices often lack built-in security systems, making them extremely vulnerable.
Attacks on IoT can lead to distressing real-life consequences. Smart appliances can suddenly turn against you and turn your life upside down. For example, hackers might be able to access smart locks and expose your home to burglars. Other common IoT attacks include the manipulation of smart thermostats or kitchen appliances.
With most cyber attacks, it’s your computer that you want to prepare against a potential threat. But with a social engineering attack, what needs preparation is not the computer but its user. In short, social engineering involves manipulating computer users into performing certain harmful actions or divulging confidential information. By exploiting human error to access private information, these attacks drive users into unwillingly disclosing sensitive data such as credit card details or passwords.
Phishing is probably the most common form of this kind of threat. By copying a website’s HTML code, hackers pretend to be a legitimate business and trick users into divulging sensitive information. The UK has seen an alarming increase in phishing during the pandemic, with hackers impersonating trusted services such as Royal Mail or the NHS.
There is only one way to avoid this kind of cyber-attack — training your staff.
Two years after the start of the pandemic, it’s fair to say that homeworking is here to stay. This radical change of the way we work won’t come without its own cyber security issues. With millions of workers meeting online through Zoom and other video-calling platforms, criminals have taken to hijacking these calls. From damaging a company’s reputation with obscene or divisive comments to acquiring sensitive information, zoombombing has proven to be a fruitful avenue for hackers.
A denial-of-service (DoS) attack occurs when the perpetrator disrupts or blocks the normal functioning of a computer or an entire server. Sometimes, this can be very simple. Flooding is one of the most common DoS attacks — the aggressor oversaturates a server’s capacity, rendering it unusable. Suspiciously long load times for easily accessible files or sudden losses of connectivity can be signs of a DoS attack.
“Cloud” is one of those inescapable buzz words that has now become part of our daily lives. In recent years, companies and private users have embraced the cloud as a digital storage room, freeing up space in their devices. But the cloud comes with a caveat — security. The most common risk associated with cloud infrastructure is unauthorised access, which can easily lead to a data breach.
Frustrated by the high-security levels in big companies, hackers have started targeting small businesses. In the UK, one SME is hacked every 19 seconds, with the average cost for a data breach for SMEs standing around £16.1k.
Unprotected mobile devices
Following the pandemic, more and more people are using their personal phones for work. This can be extremely dangerous, as these personal devices have not passed the strong security tests to which office equipment is usually subject. Contrary to popular belief, smartphones are as vulnerable to cyber security threats as desk computers. For example, the spyware Pegasus allows hackers to target an iPhone’s microphone and camera, as well as read texts and collect passwords.
A man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack occurs when the hackers insert themselves between two parties who believe to be communicating with each other in complete privacy. In other words, it is effectively a new form of eavesdropping.
MITM attacks are usually linked to unencrypted or poorly protected Wi-Fi access points. By connecting to the same router, attackers can easily detect the weak points in a computer’s security system and intercept sensitive information. With more employees working from libraries or cafes than ever before, MITM attacks are becoming more popular every day.
How to protect yourself from potential cyber threats in 2022
At CyberGuard, we offer a range of services that will protect your business from cyber threats. From Pen Testing to Managed SIEM, we provide security solutions up to date with the fast-evolving world of cyber security.