As the world moves into 2022, cybersecurity threats continue to challenge us at every turn. The pandemic opened the door for a breadth of vulnerabilities, which threw a wrench into information security protection. As many employees continue to work from home and industries across the board face staffing shortages, the need for tighter cybersecurity has never been more important.

This article discusses emerging cybersecurity trends for 2022 and how your company can prepare for them.

Information Security Officers Grow in Importance

Cybercrimes are constantly evolving, and organizations grapple with new threats and cybersecurity challenges every day. With high-profile attacks producing headlines worldwide, many organizations are reevaluating their cybersecurity framework. As a result, the role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is growing in importance across every industry. Having a dedicated, C-suite professional onboard to address cyber concerns helps ensure organizations have a strategic information security framework that aligns with the organization’s broader goals and objectives. Generally, CISOs are tasked with overseeing information security governance, training, data loss prevention, information security incident investigations, and creating strategies for proactive cyber risk mitigation. A 2020 survey from tech media company the International Data Group found roughly 60% of businesses have a CISO, and 80% of large companies have a C-suite charged with information security responsibilities.

5G Will Increase Vulnerabilities

This past year, the world saw the rise of 5G technology, a high-speed alternative that unfortunately brings a greater risk for data breaches and cyber-attacks. Broader access to 5G makes smart devices more powerful, giving companies more to protect. As businesses rush to adopt 5G, ensuring your cybersecurity is up to par is more important than ever.

One of the critical ways 5G could be a cyber threat is by empowering the Internet of Things (IoT), a term that describes the physical devices connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data, such as phones, tablets, and smart watches. The good news is that 5G will massively improve the performance and reliability of connected devices, allowing them to communicate and share data faster than ever before, and perhaps increase their utility in the workplace. The bad news is that cybercriminals can also take advantage of this enhanced connectivity, so businesses need to ensure their cybersecurity protocols cover the broader scope of devices that could be connecting to their networks.

Staffing Shortages Continue to Impact InfoSec

This past year, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages wreaked chaos on the economy, and it looks as of those issues will continue well into 2022. A large number of workers are voluntarily quitting their jobs, whether through retirement or for opportunities with better pay and flexibility.

The cybersecurity industry is no exception to the labor demand. Last year, the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) released a study warning that a lack of qualified cybersecurity professionals could lead to security risks. It could also potentially cause current information security staff to feel overworked and burnt out, making it difficult to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. The organization surveyed nearly 500 cybersecurity professionals, with 57% confirming the global shortage impacts them.

As companies move into 2022, the job shortage could be an excellent opportunity to hire and train people outside of the IT field, to gather fresh perspectives in the information security industry. Outsourcing parts of the information security function may become more popular as well.  A 2021 IDG study found 62% of companies are outsourcing or plan to outsource information security in the next year. Services being outsourced include security evaluation and security education and awareness training.

Cyber Insurance Rates to Keep Climbing

Last year, the cybersecurity industry received the most significant insurance premium increases in the commercial lines market, up 27% in Q3 compared to Q2 2021, and it looks like that trend isn't going away. The rise of cybersecurity incidents—particularly ransomware—is the number one reason cyber insurance premiums are expected to continue climbing. In 2021, industries across the board saw an increase in ransomware attacks that were more frequent and complex, and there is no sign that those attacks will slow down this coming year.  

To be eligible for lower cyber insurance premiums in the future, companies may need to show they have proper risk control and a solid cybersecurity network in place. This year, focusing on tightening cybersecurity and enhancing strategies to minimize risk should be at the top of every company's to-do list.

Increase in Ransomware Attacks Leads to Changes in Response

With ransomware incidents on the rise, another big trend for 2022 will be how companies and governments change their response to be more proactive. New laws continue to be created for information protection and data collection. Companies will also be forced to reimagine their cybersecurity framework to be malleable for remote work, as it looks to be the new normal. In addition, companies will also need to be more discriminate when making business deals or mergers, looking more closely at the other party's cybersecurity program.

Companies should improve their responsiveness to ransomware this year to combat the threat.

Next Steps

As we move further into 2022, the impact of COVID-19 will continue to be felt across all industries. Companies need to focus on risk control and tightening their cybersecurity measures to stay ahead of cybercriminals.

If you're interested in learning more about the cybersecurity trends mentioned in this article or need help implementing risk control measures, please contact us.

Published on January 18, 2022