Digital security threats are the greatest threat facing humanity at the moment. Yes, you did not misread that. The world’s largest insurance giants, largest IT corporations, largest banks, and even the world’s most powerful governments all seem to agree on the fact that cyber-incidents have overtaken even natural disasters and diseases in terms of the global risk level involved. Adding to that, all of those entities are at great risk from cyber threats. Because of that, trends in the IT world have been reflecting security (not to mention data privacy) more than ever. Protecting digital systems from interference and misconfiguration has thus been huge this decade, and for very good reasons. As systems, platforms, services, devices, and the internet realm itself becomes infinitely larger and more complex, being aware of cybersecurity is becoming absolutely fundamental to our existence. Just one example of some of the bigger issues has been phishing, ransomware, and human error. For that reason being aware about ransomware, or any other form of cybercrime is not only critical for the safety of your entire family but has become a strict industry requisite during this decade.
Of course, protection and threats go hand in hand. Without threats, there would be no protection necessary, and vice versa. For that reason, cybersecurity and cybercrime are very interwoven subjects. So, let’s take a look at what cybersecurity and cybercrime are, and the key cybersecurity trends for this year. The below points should benefit anyone, no matter if you are the CEO of an organization, a one-person business, or just a citizen that uses the internet, as most of us do.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity refers to the security of the “cyber” realm, which is the digital or connected realm we all interact with on a daily basis. You may have heard of this being referred to as “cyberspace” before. This not only encompasses the internet but all devices that interact with it. In fact, cybersecurity applies to the security of any digital device, including those that are offline, as offline devices can also be compromised or misconfigured. Furthermore, statistics show that 5 billion people now have access to the internet, which translates into dozens of billions of devices constantly transmitting data and interacting with thousands of other services online. For that very reason, there are billions of loopholes, vulnerabilities, and opportunities for catastrophic failure or compromise of digital systems that we all depend on every day. Therefore, cybersecurity is a multi-billion dollar sector that aims to address these issues.
What is Cybercrime?
Cybercrime, along with cyber threats, as we mentioned earlier, is the greatest threat to humanity going forward. It is estimated that the cost of cybercrimes will amount to $11 trillion by 2025 as a result of breaches, downtime, supply chain compromise, identity and financial theft, and much more. Just to put it into an additional perspective, a cybercrime attack takes place somewhere around the world every second. There are several forms of it, and several types of perpetrators that orchestrate and conduct various cyber attacks at any given moment.
Cybercrime can also involve illegal activities like illegal online trade on the dark web, illicit sharing of material, and more which has global law enforcement busy and working long hours. To clarify this further, think about hackers. Well, hackers fall into several categories, from low-end scammers that try to dupe social media users into giving over their credentials, to high-end APT groups backed by the government that are a serious threat to humanity and can shut down entire nations’ defense systems.
Cybercrime also alludes to the arsenal of weapons and techniques used to defraud, target, or harm victims in cyberspace. This can mean a host of things, such as; malware, ransomware, phishing, trojans, DDoS, MiTM, worms, keyloggers, software exploits, and much more. To top it off, new forms of these weapons are being developed every day by anonymous, ill-intentioned individuals and groups.
2022’s Cybersecurity Trends
Cybersecurity, as we said earlier, is becoming an enormous, key IT industry. There are thousands of dedicated cybersecurity organizations around the world working non-stop to protect us and our nation’s defenses, with hundreds of thousands of people working on securing cyberspace and developing new technologies. As such, each year reflects slightly different trends and practices.
Going forward, the biggest cybersecurity trends this year will be;
- User Awareness Programs that help bring about cybersecurity awareness and the education of cybersecurity in several sectors
- The fight against email phishing scams, one of the top three cybersecurity threats in the world right now
- Overcoming work from home and remote work cybersecurity challenges
- Toppling issues facing increased cyber threats to the healthcare industry
- Focusing on network intrusions
- Addressing human errors such as system misconfiguration
- Working together to defend against critical ransomware attacks
- Protecting the industry supply chain from cyber attacks
- Cloud security
- IoT Device security
Those are the top trends going forward that reflect where society finds itself in terms of technological advancements, as well as the shortcomings of our capabilities in those fields. While financial services, ICT, manufacturing, retail, and professional service sectors are constantly under attack, cybercrime is also evolving at an incredible pace, depth, and width that is almost exponential at this point. For one, the internet is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it allows us opportunities and experiences like never before, on the other, it presents unprecedented challenges and dangers to us all.
Cybercrime does not only cause financial damage to the world economy, but much worse scenarios can happen and have happened. Cybercrime can permanently damage organizations’ brand reputation, support illegal trade of anything you can imagine, compromise all of our most sensitive information, and worst of all transcend the cyber-physical realm, sometimes leading to the loss of lives. Finally, it is critical that we take cybersecurity seriously and educate ourselves about it as thoroughly as possible because the digital transformation is taking place and there is no other way to defend ourselves than with proper cybersecurity measures and habits in place.