Cybercrime: A Clear and Present Danger

In 2021, it felt like cybercrime had gotten more expensive for businesses and individuals. The cost of data breaches has risen a lot in the last few years. On average, each incident saw costs rising by 10%. In 2019, breaches averaged $3.86m, but 2021 has proved that data breaches are more expensive than ever, costing businesses $4.24m, from $3.86m in 2020, on average, according to the IBM Cost of a Data Breach 2021 report.

There were cases of large data breaches and hackers infiltrating their servers to steal company files or money.

For example, it is important to note that all of the previously mentioned costs incurred over an organization’s lifetime are still a relevant starting point for effective data protection. One must also bear in mind that one of those costs – likelihood and cost of litigation – has recently seen an astronomical increase as well.

Cybercrime issues didn’t just emerge in 2022.

So, What Are Emerging Cyber-Risks and Threats? 

As we monitor recent cyber-attack trends, one of the most alarming revelations is that most businesses are not taking security seriously. Side effects of a potential global pandemic have begun to spread at an alarming rate. With more people affected by the daily threat to their security, important data titbits are being collected from people around the globe on systems like mobile and IoT devices that hackers rely upon to target larger organizations with ransomware.

Be it blocking over 13 billion suspicious emails, targeted attacks on ICRC servers (leaking data information of more than 500,000 people from across the world), collective observations of ransomware big game hunting or the recent DDoS attacks on Ukrainian banks and government sites hallmarking Hybrid warfare.

Since the times of unbelievable Nigerian prince emails to the Colonial Pipeline ransomware and Ukraine cyber-attack incidents, the dawn of the new internet age and widespread reliance on technology by businesses and consumers alike, there has been an escalating clear and present danger from cybercrimes staged by organized crime syndicates, hacktivist groups, governmental agencies, etc.

The number of BEC attacks is on the upswing, and healthcare providers are being taken for some major cash, but they’re also putting patients’ personal information at risk.

Cyber-criminals are a lot like trained assassins. They both can carry out their missions in a very effective manner. Still, you will notice that cyber-criminals tend to be more resourceful in accomplishing their goals as the attacks become more sophisticated.

It goes without saying such malicious actors (in tandem with cyber-attacks-as-a-service) are akin to people in business; they show a clear preference for certain techniques and interests, with noteworthy shifts in their tactics of attack, like how they know exactly what they want to get out of individual incidents and they know how to make it happen by targeting newly vulnerable technology (credential harvesting and IoT devices, etc.).

So, what are the cybersecurity issues that plague this never-ending incident?

Although there are numerous forms of cybersecurity issues and data 

  • The organization which isn’t security conscious and
  • The organization that fails to see a breach coming

Four Sophisticated Cyber-Attack Trends

Take a look at some of the top trends of cybersecurity attacks that are expected to cause sophisticated new threats.

  1. Ransomware Extortion 

    The popularity of ransomware has swiftly eclipsed criminal acts involving the extortion of a ransom from individuals, corporations and even governments.

    Ransomware threats are progressively evolving and becoming more and more sophisticated. Targeted organizations undergo time-consuming and costly delays due to the inability to access their systems or data.

  2. AI and Machine Learning 

    Cyber-attackers use advanced tools to help them launch various types of cyber-attacks. They perform reconnaissance on a target or company through artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate various attack stages. The Emotet malware-driven phishing campaign utilized ML, boosting its effectiveness.

    By automating the process of researching and sending personalized phishing emails that were also automatically connected to previous attacks, they could throw more cautionary email threats into a whirlpool of deceit.

  3. The Internet of Things (Leading to Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Loss) 

    The IoT is making strides in terms of popularity. Still, it’s also gathering much negative press because cybersecurity experts are discussing their unease and amazement due to the new technology’s direct risk to cybersecurity.

    For example, “Has anyone ever stopped to think that hackers can use smart fridges and kettles to access networks?”

    From there, we could have potentially dangerous cybercrimes in which hackers access our valuable data across different devices like computers or phones.

  4. WFH, Cloud Data and the Widening of Cyber-Attack Surface

    As we increasingly work outside the office building, more and more people are often working remotely. This has created new and challenging cyber-attack surfaces due to greater use of public clouds, highly connected supply chains, etc.

So, What’s The Way Forward?

Hackers are incredibly ingenious in many ways. They work hard to find ways to infiltrate data files and devices, and you’ll likely need to deal with a cyber-attack soon as a business owner. You’ll want to make sure you have the right security systems in place so that hackers won’t be able to get access through your facility’s network.

In 2022, virtually all companies can expect to face sophisticated attacks that target every part of their IT infrastructure, especially where they are vulnerable.

So, what can be done to stay proactive?

Responding to a cyber-threat in the modern age requires you to be able to rapidly respond to threats that strike throughout your entire network infrastructure. One proactive way is to empower your first line of defense using web application firewalls like AppTrana WAF.

Web application firewall (WAF) is like your own immune system. It’s the first line of defense between you as an online user and outside threats, smells, sounds and even sensations that are sometimes harmful to your business. WAFs work around the clock to shield an application from malicious threat actors, botnets and bad traffic that could otherwise cause damage or harm to your product.

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