As a business in 2022, cybercrime cannot be ignored. It’s something that could impact any business of any size, as well as the everyday individual. With more digital footprints than ever before online and businesses moving to a digital way of working, it’s giving cyber criminals more incentives to attack the vulnerable.
It’s been predicted by Cybersecurity Ventures that the damage related to cybercrime is projected to hit $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. The threat is very much real for anyone who can be exploited for their information, whether it’s theirs or that of their customers.
10 Cybercrime Threats to Watch Out For in 2022
In this guide, we’ll look at the severe impact cybercrime can have on a business and what cybercrime threats to look out for in 2022. You’ll also understand what preventative measures you can implement to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime this year.
What is cybercrime?
Cybercrime can be broken down into two categories, cyber-dependent crimes, and cyber-enabled crimes.
Those that are cyber-dependent are committed to using a computer or via computer networking and other forms of communication technology. These are anything from phishing scams to malware attacks.
Read more on cyber-enabled crimes
With cyber-enabled crimes, they’re usually traditional crimes that have been enabled by the use of the internet. Examples of these might be child exploitation or bank fraud. You can read more about fraud in the world of banking.
Both types of cybercrime can be damaging in their own ways. For a business, both can put an organization at risk, especially if knowledge of how to protect yourself from it, isn’t well known.
The damages caused by cybercrime to businesses
How can cybercrime be damaging to businesses? Ransomware is considered to be 57 times more destructive in 2021 than it was in 2015. There are many ripple effects that come from cybercrime that damage some businesses beyond return.
One of the major damages done to businesses that are subjected to cybercrime is reputational damage. If you’re not careful, you could lose a lot of customers if the data that’s been stolen or breached has been the target. For some businesses, the amount of preventions they put in place to protect sensitive data is minimal.
If customers discover not much was done to help prevent the crime from happening, then trust can be lost as a result.
With cybercrime comes legal trouble. If you’ve been careless about data storage and sticking to privacy laws that are in place to protect your customers, then you could face legal trouble from those you were meant to be protecting.
Legal battles can be costly and if you’re a small to medium-sized business, it can be another situation that’s hard to recover from.
The most impactful damage that comes with cybercrime is the financial cost. The cost of having to recover from any fallouts with customers and clients to putting in the security needed to protect your business from future damage.
There’s also PR and publicity management that will need to be handled to reduce the general damage to the business, again very costly!
5 cybercrime threats to watch out for in 2022
What cybercrime threats should you be looking out for in 2022? There is a considerable amount of threats currently in existence but there are a few that seem to be used more so than others and some newer methods to watch out for.
- Mobile phone attacks.
Mobile phones are one of the most used devices nowadays as most of us tend to operate on a daily basis from our mobiles. Whether that’s on the go or in the office, mobile phone attacks are occurring on a more common basis due to their lack of security.
In 2021, the number of unique mobile internet users stood at 4.32 billion. This indicated over 90% of the global internet population uses a mobile device to go online.
With more people making payments via mobile wallets and storing their confidential information on these devices, they’ve become more of a target as a result. These mobile attacks are most likely to impact those who have company phones in particular or use their personal phone for work purposes.
- Large-scale data breaches.
Data breaches on a larger scale are expected to be the focus of hackers in 2022. Whilst they can often be harder to infiltrate, there are still some businesses that don’t care much for the security of the information they keep of others.
As a result, these attacks are going to be costly for those that fall victim, especially with some of these businesses having a considerable amount of data. It means ransom demands will increase, costing businesses a lot of money to recover said data.
- Attacks on IoT devices.
One of the rising concerns for businesses when it comes to cybercrime is the potential attacks that can occur on IoT devices. There are a lot more devices now like your smart microwave or smart robot vacuum that operate on the WIFI and therefore become a danger to businesses. Why? Well, they’re being used as a way in for hackers to access the work servers.
In 2022, we could certainly see a lot more attempts via these devices, especially as they’re not so easily protected as they could be.
- Continuation of attacks on hybrid working businesses.
With the pandemic still in everyone’s minds – even if it’s at back currently – the continuation of attacks on hybrid working businesses is one that’s going to happen throughout 2022 and beyond. Hybrid-working businesses are still not as secure as they could be, especially when staff is working from home using the very basics of internet security.
A way of combating this would be to provide more secure measures for the employee’s own home security but that cost is not always available for some businesses.
- Misinformation campaigns.
There is a lot of information that’s communicated inaccurately and as a result, it’s led to many falling victim to scams and phishing attempts. In 2021, a lot of these misinformation campaigns were focused on the pandemic in particular and vaccinations that focused on changing public opinions.
These campaigns are going to continue as there is always plenty for hackers to exploit in the current news and any future news that might come about.
How to prevent cybercrime in your business this year
Preventing cybercrime is the best way of helping protect your business this year. Here are several ways that you can help secure your business from harm.
Strengthen passwords and two-factor authentication
A good way to help secure your accounts and sensitive information is to keep them under lock and key. Strengthen your passwords by regularly updating them and having separate passwords for each account you hold.
Two-factor authentication is also highly effective in protecting your accounts, especially in the case where someone has your password to hand.
Educate and train your employees
Education is one of the best ways to help prevent hackers from sniffing out the vulnerable. If you’ve got a team of employees that know what hackers look like in how they appear online, then that’s half of the problem tackled.
A lot of these hacks and infiltrations will occur via human error and while this can’t be fully prevented, it can be tackled through employee training.
Invest in security measures
There are plenty of security measures you can take as a business as they don’t need to cost the earth. Some companies outsource their requirements to managed IT companies who can help with security issues or they consider upgrades to their current security packages in place.
With more invested into security, the greater peace of mind your business has that it’s doing everything it can to protect your business and its customers too. It also prevents more fallout if and when it does happen with customers who might want to take legal action against you.
Be careful with your data
Your data is very important, whether it’s owned by the business or it’s information from your customers that’s being stored in a database. With many privacy laws now in place to protect users and their control over their own data, it’s always good to be careful with the data you’re storing.
Make sure you’re only asking for the data you need and to purge any data that you no longer require. Regular data audits are worthwhile to check you’re complying with current data laws in place.
Watch out for cybercrime threats in 2022
Cybercrime threats are very much present and will continue to occur so long as there are victims who’ll fall for them. Make sure to stay well informed on any updates to methods of attack by cyber criminals and do all you can to prevent it from happening to your business in 2022.
1. Reputational damage
2. Legal trouble
3. Finacial costs
4. Mobile phone attacks
5. Large-scale data breaches
6. Attacks on IoT devices
7. Misinformation campaigns
8. Eavesdropping & Surveillance
9. Software Piracy
10. Data Diddling
11. Salami Slicing Attack
13. Cyber Stalking
14. Cyber Bullying
15. Identity Theft
16. Child Soliciting & Abuse
19. Exploit Kits