Cyber Security Trends around Ransomware and Cyber Insurance in 2022Globally, cyberattacks on organizations have grown by 29 percent, according to the cybersecurity firm, Check Point. During the first half of 2021, the number of ransomware attacks increased by 93 percent. Check Point’s report also highlighted the growth of cyberattacks on organizations across all industries, including government, financial, healthcare, and other critical infrastructures. There was also an increase in ransomware attacks. According to Check Point, the increase in ransomware attacks was in addition to the theft of sensitive data from organizations and threats from cybercriminals to publicly release the data unless a payment is made. Cybercriminals are now targeting organizations’ customers and clients as well as their business partners and demanding payments from them as well. In 2021, we also saw an increase in supply chain attacks, including the attack on SolarWinds. In 2021, cybercriminals adapted their practices and techniques in order to exploit the rapid shift to remote and hybrid workforces, targeting the supply chains and networks of organizations to achieve the highest level of disruption. Check Point also predicted that the uptick in ransomware attacks would continue to grow. There will continue to be a rise in cyberattacks despite the government making it a priority to limit these types of attacks. Cybercriminals are expected to evolve and there could be the creation of new ransomware gangs to increase the number of ransomware attacks. As the world continues to adjust to the new normal, how will businesses and organizations approach cybersecurity in 2022? How will these businesses and organizations find the most value from their cybersecurity strategies? The cybersecurity landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, and business leaders must adapt to effectively manage these changes. All industries have experienced a rise in ransomware attacks, increased cyber insurance premiums, and compliance and regulatory changes. As we prepare for everything 2022 has to bring, we will share the top cybersecurity trends around ransomware and cyber insurance, and what business leaders can expect in 2022 and beyond.
More Businesses and Organizations Will Rapidly Adopt a Zero Trust ApproachZero trust is now mainstream, and there are many good reasons for this. The uptick in ransomware attacks, cloud adoption, and remote and hybrid work has more businesses and organizations realizing that they need to revamp their internal and external security postures. This must start with implementing zero-trust policies. In 2022, we expect to see more progress made in this direction across all industries, especially regarding the authentication of users and devices. Businesses and organizations that anticipate concerns about ransomware in 2022 should look at zero-trust security solutions. Traditional security solutions such as firewalls and antivirus were once the go-to solutions for putting an end to threats before they made their way into a network, but these solutions are no longer sufficient.
- Zero-trust solutions use a different approach; zero-trust solutions block everything and only allow what has been approved. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) was the first example we saw of this type of solution, and it has become the standard in which most businesses and organizations with remote workers operate.
- Application Whitelisting (AW) takes the next step by bringing zero-trust inside a business or organization’s network. Application Whitelisting will stop any application or process that has not been pre-approved. This is the only security solution available that’s 100 percent effective at stopping ransomware in its tracks. Ransomware prevention is evolving almost as fast as the threats they are trying to put an end to. Along with zero-trust policies, the ransomware prevention trends include Dark Web Monitoring and Employee Cybersecurity Training with Phishing Simulations.
More Intense Cyber Threat LandscapeIn 2022 and the coming years, businesses and organizations must focus on cybersecurity basics to protect against cybercriminals. Moving forward, prevention will be the key to this. Once a ransomware attack or other cyberattack has taken place, businesses and organizations will scramble to respond with their reactive solutions. Businesses and organizations must take a proactive approach to focus their efforts on cybersecurity fundamentals. Looking to 2022 and beyond, we will likely see more organizations proactively avoiding cyberattacks by doing the following:
- Securing their hardware – Making sure the latest security patches and complex passwords are implemented. Using 2-factor authentication where possible. Also, businesses and organizations must ensure that BitLocker device encryption is enabled on all your Windows 10 or Windows 11 devices and that remote-wipe is enabled on any mobile device that may be lost or stolen.
- Encrypt and Backup data – Businesses and organizations must make sure they prevent physical access to critical data. Not only will access to physical data must be prevented, but leaders must render the data useless if it somehow falls into the hands of a bad actor. Data encryption is the best fix for data breaches. If a business or organization becomes the victim of a data breach, data encryption would make the data inaccessible.
- Perform a network security scan – Network security scans should be run periodically on a network to determine what devices are attached and where security gaps and vulnerabilities may lie.
- Educate and train employees – Employees are often considered the weakest link when it comes to workplace cybersecurity. If employees are considered as a weak point of security, you must ensure they receive the proper training and education if you want to maintain a heightened level of awareness of cyber threats. A cyber security training service can be used to send out fake phishing attempts if you want to test your employees.
Changes to Cyber Insurance Premiums Will Bring DisruptionThe popularity of cyber insurance continues to grow, and it has become a way for more businesses and organizations to manage their risks. By taking out a cyber insurance policy, businesses and organizations can alleviate some of the effects of cyberattacks if they are attacked. Many cyber insurance policies have to be renewed in 2022 and the cyber security landscape has changed significantly since many businesses and organizations took out their policies. Cyber insurance carriers are raising premiums, and some premiums have reached as high as 300% at renewal. Many cyber insurance carriers are also lowering coverage limits on industries that have been hit the hardest hit by cybercrime. For some cyber insurance policies, ransomware coverage is being removed. What will this mean for some businesses and organizations? This means that some losses due to ransomware attacks or payments made to cybercriminals will not be covered. There continues to be a debate around paying cybercriminals, but this may no longer be the case moving forward. Moving forward, cyber insurance may no longer be the lowest cost option for protecting a business or organization against ransomware attacks. In 2022, premiums will rise. This means that many organizations will invest more in their internal security resources as opposed to paying external providers that may not provide the coverage that is needed after facing a problem. Organizations have to be more thorough in their planning when it comes to security, especially around ransomware. This includes preventing issues from being exploited by removing gaps and vulnerabilities. This also includes implementing a backup and disaster recovery approach. In 2022, we anticipate seeing more cyber insurance carriers ordering businesses and organizations to implement fundamental cybersecurity best practices before they can cover a business or organization, and they will monitor the business or organization to ensure that they are abiding by those best practices. Cyber insurance is now a requirement for most businesses and organizations these days. Cyber insurance policies will provide the support needed in the event of an infection, but prevention is always the goal.
Final ThoughtsThe cybersecurity landscape will be faced with major challenges in 2022 and the coming years, as ransomware attacks and other cyberattacks are increasingly targeting the most vulnerable. Some of the best-constructed and best-defended infrastructures were victims of ransomware attacks in 2021. This has shown that there is still a long way to go when it comes to cybersecurity. If the events of 2021 have shown us anything, it is that businesses and organizations should not be surprised by disruptions or caught off guard when it comes to protecting their infrastructures and networks from cyberattacks. Businesses and organizations must implement a multi-layered cybersecurity approach. Business leaders need to have a cybersecurity approach that is not only proactive and can prevent potential attacks, but one that is also responsive when attacks do occur. While there are certainly more trends and predictions for 2022 and beyond, and there is no guarantee that any of those trends and predictions will actually make their way into 2022, there is something that we do know for sure—cybersecurity is more important than ever. The threats will not only expand in complexity but in breadth. More business leaders are eager to adopt customized cybersecurity solutions, provided that their solutions will help them better manage the challenges of tomorrow. Prevention and cyber preparedness will be essential in 2022 and beyond, as leaders will be forced to take more responsibility and accountability for their own security. Contact Baroan Technologies today to find out how we can make sure you are prepared for 2022.
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