Business Cybersecurity 2022 Year in Review
As 2022 comes to a close, it is time for business IT planners to take stock of the past year and solidify their agenda for the year to come. Part of that effort should include examining the past twelve months of developments in the cybersecurity arena. It is one of the most important areas of focus that any IT decisionmaker should have in their purview. In fact, there is quite a bit of information to digest from the past year.
In this article, we will discuss the most important trends and happenings in cybersecurity during 2022. We will also elaborate on what those trends mean for business IT priorities heading into 2023. Let’s dive in.
Ransomware is Still the Top Threat
Although businesses all over the world are more alert to the threat than ever, ransomware continues to be the scourge of cybersecurity professionals everywhere. Current projections indicate that the pace of ransomware attacks is still accelerating and will reach two attacks per second by 2031. That prediction should tell every business that they must redouble their efforts to combat the ransomware threat if they want to stay safe.
Of primary importance in that effort is user education, which still represents a business’ best chance to avoid a ransomware incident. As it has been for several years running, social engineering and phishing tactics targeting employees continue to be the primary attack vector for ransomware aimed at businesses.
This means that businesses should plan to invest more heavily in cybersecurity awareness training for their employees in 2023. Doing so is a cheap form of insurance against what could be a costly and destructive type of cyberattack. How costly? Recent statistical data suggests that the average ransomware attack costs a targeted business 1.8 million USD. Compared to that, cybersecurity awareness training is a minuscule expense.
The Rise of Open-source Vulnerabilities
For years, the open-source software community has contributed more than its fair share of code to the world’s software solutions. According to the Linux Foundation, open-source software now makes up between 70% and 90% of all modern software solutions. Sometimes, that is in the form of fully open-source software. Other times, it is in the form of shared open-source libraries that proprietary software packages depend on.
This year, however, cybercriminals have gone after open-source code in a big way, after finding multiple vulnerabilities in some frequently used code. A recent review of the threat landscape found that attacks against open-source repositories increased by an astounding 633% year over year in 2022. It is a threat that affects nearly every business’ digital infrastructure, even if they are not using any explicitly-labelled open-source software.
As 2023 begins, businesses should make plans to inventory their software and infrastructure for known vulnerabilities. Then, they should consider investing in a patch management solution to ensure that their software remains up to date with the latest security fixes. Additionally, to protect against unknown vulnerabilities and zero-day exploits, businesses should review their disaster recovery plans and proactive threat defense measures.
Work From Home Remains a Persistent Security Challenge
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic drove businesses to embrace work-from-home procedures in masse, they have represented a significant new cybersecurity challenge. It is also one that did not go away as the pandemic eased. A survey of 1,200 security professionals found that 57% of the businesses they serve still had the majority of their employees working from home some or all of the time.
Cybercriminals and other bad actors have noticed and stepped up their efforts to exploit lax remote access setups. As a result, cyberattacks that exploit remote workers are a rising threat to most businesses. They are also one that will continue to worsen in the years to come.
To respond to the threat, businesses should consider making additional investments in access control systems in 2023. Single-sign-on solutions and other centralized access management tools are particularly helpful in defending remote access threat vectors. Also, businesses should consider deploying encryption to protect their data. This includes securing remote access systems with VPNs and end-to-end encryption throughout data storage systems.
Cloud Data Security Is a Big Concern
As more and more businesses moved to the cloud in 2022, the number and scope of cyberattacks on cloud assets continued to increase. According to statistical data compiled by 451 Research, 66% of all businesses now store between 20% and 60% of all of their critical data in the cloud. That makes for an attractive target for cybercriminals and a massive security challenge for businesses.
The challenge within that challenge is the lack of data transparency that results from multi-cloud use. Simply cataloguing and categorizing data stored in the cloud can become a massive organizational undertaking. That often results in critical data stored in locations where the business is not aware and therefore cannot protect. Add to that the difficulties involved in standardizing security measures across multiple cloud services, and you’ve got a recipe for a data breach.
That makes reclaiming control over cloud data a major priority for businesses heading into 2023. One approach is to migrate all data to a private cloud that centralizes and privatizes control over it. Or, businesses can look to streamline their cloud use by choosing a single managed public cloud solution and letting them handle the rest.
For businesses that cannot, for whatever reason, move to a single-cloud infrastructure, the use of a Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) provider could be a viable solution. Such providers allow businesses to outsource their data management and security operations to a third party while retaining their preferred multi-cloud infrastructure.
A New Year, Similar Challenges
The foregoing cybersecurity challenges that dominated 2022 will continue to remain front and center as 2023 begins. Businesses should begin preparing to address them without delay in the coming year.
As businesses prepare for the new year, it is also important for them to enlist expert help to bolster their IT operations. Outsource IT excels in that role. We offer IT solutions ranging from managed and private cloud deployments to business IT security. We help our clients meet their IT needs in an efficient and hassle-free way. So contact an Outsource IT account manager today to learn how we can be your business’ greatest IT ally.