4 Key Cybersecurity Threats for 2022 - Social Media Explorer
4 Key Cybersecurity Threats for 2022
4 Key Cybersecurity Threats for 2022

In 2021, cybercriminals once again used the pandemic against organizations and individual users. We are all spending more time online, creating plenty of opportunities for hackers to get their hands on our personal information, login credentials, and valuable data.

What can we expect next year? It is safe to say the same cybersecurity threats will be a problem for businesses of all sizes and individuals. Online security should be taken seriously, even on your phones and tablets. Using apps like antivirus and VPN for iPhone are recommended.

Let’s take a closer look at the cybersecurity threats we can expect in 2022:

1. Ransomware

According to IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, ransomware is still the #1 cyber threat at the moment. When we take a look at the statistics, 23% of all cyberattacks are ransomware. According to the same study, hackers and hacker groups made $123 million in 2020.

Ransomware is essentially malware, but it can encrypt files. Once it gets inside a network, ransomware will lock everything up. The only way to access the files is by paying the ransom. Once their demands are fulfilled, hackers send a decryption key, and a business is left to deal with the potential consequences.

How to prevent ransomware attacks?

Attackers are always searching for security gaps in a network. Therefore, regular system updates are a must if you want to prevent ransomware attacks. The list includes an operating system, software, and applications. If you don’t have time to do everything manually, enable automatic updates.

If you are running a business, the human factor can do a lot for ransomware prevention. Your employees should know the basics of cybersecurity and how to spot suspicious emails or attachments.

Backing up all your data is another great idea. You can save your backups on a physical device, as well as on a cloud service. It is good to have a response plan too. Preparation will minimize the potential damage in case you have to deal with this type of attack. 

2. Man-in-the-middle

Just like the name suggests, man-in-the-middle (or MitM) attacks happen when a hacker manages to breach a transaction between two parties. Thus, they become the man in the middle. Once they gain access to the traffic, a hacker can steal the data or personal information.

Even though MitM attacks are the oldest cybersecurity threat, they are more common than you think, especially now when internet users connect to public Wi-Fi networks almost daily.

How to prevent MitM attacks?

The answer is encryption. It is the way to fully secure your traffic. If you send a file or an email using a public Wi-Fi network, anyone who knows what they are doing can interrupt it and read the contents. It doesn’t mean that every public hot spot is dangerous, but you have to be aware of the risk.

Individuals can use encryption with the help of a VPN. This service is not only available for computers, but you can have a VPN for iPhone or Android too. When you launch a VPN on your laptop or VPN for iPhone, your traffic is rerouted through a secure remote server and encrypted.

3. Phishing

Phishing attacks have been a massive cybersecurity threat for years now. Hackers usually use email to send fake messages. The goal is persuading a target to open a link to a malicious website and then enter their personal information.

While most think that phishing is easy to spot, many users fall victim to these scams every year. The reason behind this is that hackers are indeed getting better and better at creating websites and emails that look legit. The emails are highly personalized, making it almost impossible to detect any red flags.

How to prevent phishing attacks?

The human factor is crucial if you want to protect your business or yourself from phishing attacks. If a user receives an email from an unknown source, they have to know what to look for. Organizations of all sizes have created various cybersecurity programs in hopes of educating their employees.

Watch out for grammar mistakes and bad spelling. These are easy to spot and should alert you right away. Then there are suspicious attachments, emails containing a link to a website that needs your login information, sketchy-looking email addresses, and so on.

4. Passwords

According to Verizon Data Breach Investigation in 2020, 61% of data breaches happened because of credentials. That number is quite scary, considering how serious this cybersecurity threat is. Poor password hygiene can create excellent opportunities for cybercriminals.

Besides using malware and phishing, hackers can get their hands on login credentials by finding reused passwords or simply guessing. After all, we all leave various clues all over social media that could help cybercriminals figure out a password on their own.

How to prevent weak passwords?

Setting up a strong password is the first step towards increasing your overall cybersecurity. It should be mandatory for all employees within a company as well. Forget about easy-to-remember login credentials and come up with something hard to guess. Numbers, symbols, and uppercase are highly encouraged.

Always enable two-factor authentication where available. Hackers won’t be able to use a password unless they have access to your phone or email. Finally, install antivirus software on your computer and keep it updated. It can detect keyloggers and other malware.

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About the Author

Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

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