Looking Back: What Cybersecurity Challenges Did Businesses Face in 2022?

Key Points

  • The year 2022 brought various cybersecurity challenges for businesses in all industries.
  • In 2023, organizations must be prepared to face old and new security threats, such as APTs and AI-based cyberattacks.
  • Organizations must also be prepared to manage the large volumes of data generated in 2023.
  • Businesses must also invest in comprehensive cyber insurance policies that protect them from financial losses associated with data breaches.

The digital world is constantly evolving, with companies of all sizes needing to keep up with the latest tools and technologies to protect their data. As businesses increasingly rely on technology, cyber threats become more sophisticated and powerful. The past year saw an increase in cyber threats targeting businesses of all sizes.

From ransomware to phishing, malicious actors have continued to devise more sophisticated and effective ways to exploit weaknesses in corporate networks and systems. Furthermore, government and industry regulations have continued to evolve in response to the increasing number of cyber threats, requiring businesses to update their security practices accordingly. Organizations need to stay informed about the latest cybersecurity trends and developments.

As we look to 2023, it’s clear that cybersecurity will remain a top priority for businesses, with robust solutions to protect data and systems from malicious actors becoming more pressing than ever. Before we look at what’s ahead, let’s look back at some of the key cybersecurity challenges businesses faced in 2022.

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The Growing Ransomware Threat Landscape

The year 2022 was challenging for many organizations in terms of cybersecurity. The threat landscape grew, with attacks becoming more sophisticated and frequent. The increasingly complex nature of cybercrime meant that businesses had to be extremely vigilant to protect their data and systems from malicious actors. Ransomware continues to be among the most widespread and damaging threats, showing no signs of slowing down.

Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that by 2031 ransomware attacks will occur at a rate of two per second. This alarming statistic highlights businesses’ need to proactively protect their information and assets. Companies need to invest in the right technology, train their personnel to recognize cyber threats, and develop a security strategy to stay safe. Companies must also be continually aware of the risks posed by ransomware attacks, as the damage caused can potentially be devastating and irreparable.

In the efforts to bolster cybersecurity, user education is a primary protection pillar. An effective measure, it continues to offer businesses its best shot at avoiding ransomware incidents. Social engineering and phishing attacks, two other common threats, were also on the uptick in 2022. Hackers used various tactics to deceive and manipulate victims into giving away their confidential information, which would then be used for malicious purposes.

To combat these threats and protect their data, user education is essential for businesses. Companies need to train personnel in recognizing malicious emails, spotting phishing scams, and other security protocols to mitigate the risks of these threats.

Open-Source Vulnerabilities Posed a Threat

The trend of open-source software usage has been growing over the past few years, with companies increasingly turning to this solution to reduce costs and increase agility. It is estimated that Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) accounts for between 70 to 90 percent of most modern software solutions. FOSS has become an essential resource for companies, businesses, and public sector entities regardless of their technical sophistication.

While the advantages of this type of software are significant, it also carries some inherent risks. Open-source solutions can contain vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious actors, and the year 2022 saw an increase in open-source vulnerabilities. Software supply chain attacks were one of the major cybersecurity concerns in 2022, with research showing an alarming 633% year-over-year jump in malicious activity targeting open-source code in public repositories.

This is an average 742% yearly increase since 2019 – a rise that experts believe is largely due to more open-source code being consumed than ever before. These figures demonstrate the need for businesses to remain vigilant in protecting against software supply chain attacks or risk suffering the potentially devastating consequences of a breach. Businesses must take an active role in updating and patching their FOSS solutions and ensuring that they are employing the right security measures to protect their data.

These measures include:

  • Regularly updating software and patching any vulnerabilities
  • Employing reliable source code scanning solutions
  • Ensuring that all users are following proper security protocols
  • Using a secure repository for storing open-source components
  • Integrating secure development processes into the software lifecycle

In 2023, businesses will need to remain vigilant in protecting their data from cyberattacks, including those that target open-source code. By taking the proper steps to secure their open-source components and following the necessary security protocols, companies can reduce their exposure to cyber threats.

Remote and Hybrid Working Presented New Cybersecurity Challenges

The year 2022 saw the number of remote workers rise as more companies adjusted to the changing business landscapes. With the increasing need for flexible, secure solutions to enable remote workflows, companies invested in innovative technologies that provide secure access to corporate networks, applications, and data.

Companies also adopted protocols prioritizing secure remote access while maintaining compliance with industry regulations and standards. These included virtual private networks (VPNs), secure remote access solutions, and cloud-based collaboration tools. More companies also saw the need to implement comprehensive security measures to protect their networks and data even when accessed remotely.

However, the shift towards a remote and hybrid work culture opened up new security risks. Some challenges that businesses faced in their remote and hybrid work landscape included:

  • A lack of visibility into employees’ devices and activities
  • An increased risk of phishing attacks due to remote working
  • Weak or outdated security solutions
  • The need for additional authentication requirements to access corporate data remotely.

Businesses had to take steps to ensure that their remote and hybrid working solutions were secure and resilient while ensuring that their employees had the necessary security training. Organizations had to invest in the right security technologies to protect their data, such as multi-factor authentication and secure remote access solutions. They also needed to ensure that their cyber security policies were updated to reflect the new remote working environment and that employees were adequately trained to protect themselves from cyber threats.

Cloud Security and Automation Cybersecurity Threats Gained Momentum

The cloud has become an integral part of many businesses IT infrastructure, providing an effective way of quickly deploying new applications and services. However, the increased reliance on cloud-based solutions has led to new security risks that organizations must be aware of to protect their data. In 2022, businesses had to contend with protecting their data while ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and standards.

Organizations had to invest in the right security technologies and solutions, such as cloud access security brokers, identity and access management platforms, and automated incident response systems. They also needed to ensure that their cloud infrastructure remained secure, including encryption technologies, monitoring tools, and secure coding practices.

The increased reliance on automation was another major challenge in 2022, with businesses having to ensure that their automated processes were secure. This included implementing the right security protocols, such as secure logging and monitoring solutions, access control mechanisms, and automated patching. Organizations also had to ensure that their automated processes were properly tested and validated to help prevent any potential security vulnerabilities.

While cloud and automation solutions can effectively protect businesses’ data, they also require expertise and knowledge to ensure that they are properly implemented. Organizations had to ensure that their IT teams were properly trained and skilled in using these technologies and being up-to-date with the latest security trends and threats. Those that failed to do this left their businesses open to potential security risks.

What Cybersecurity Challenges Will Businesses Face in 2023?

The past year has seen organizations invest heavily in their cybersecurity strategies, with businesses having to contend with various security challenges. In 2023, businesses will face the challenge of protecting their data while managing a distributed workforce. As more employees work remotely, organizations must ensure that their data is secure and not exposed to cyber threats.

Additionally, the increased reliance on cloud-based technologies and services means that businesses must pay closer attention to their security protocols and ensure they are up-to-date with the latest cloud security measures. Organizations must also be aware of the potential dangers associated with third-party vendors.

Companies have grown accustomed to utilizing external services such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers and relying on third-party applications to streamline their operations. Organizations must ensure that their vendors use the right security protocols and implement necessary safeguards when handling data.

2023 will also bring new threats, such as advanced persistent threats (APTs), designed to remain undetected for a long period and can cause serious damage when unleashed. Businesses must focus on incorporating preventative measures that can help protect their networks from these sophisticated cyber attacks.

In addition, businesses must be prepared for artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) based cyberattacks. Cybercriminals are increasingly turning to these technologies to bypass traditional security measures. Therefore, businesses must stay up-to-date with AI and ML-based security solutions to protect their networks from malicious actors.

Wrap Up

With so many digital assets, organizations must be prepared to invest in cyber insurance policies that can help protect them from the financial losses associated with cyberattacks. Organizations must also be prepared to handle the massive volumes of data generated in 2023. With the increasing reliance on data collection and analysis, businesses must be able to properly manage their data to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. With the right strategies and tools, businesses can successfully manage their cybersecurity risks and remain secure for years.

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Jeremy Kushner BACS IT

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