The year 2021 brought numerous events for IT security. Due to the pandemic, hybrid working models with temporary solutions, were again built up out of the ground in many companies.
Once again, new hybrid working models made it clear how much the corona pandemic has shaped the threat landscape and relentlessly exposed weak points. Cyber attacks continued to develop, and companies have discovered the advantages of cloud applications that potentially – if not properly secured – bring additional risks to IT security. The good news: The increase in decentralized working models has led those responsible for concentrating on a robust, holistic security strategy. Identity security is more important here than ever. The findings of 2021 allow some conclusions to be drawn as to which trends will emerge for 2022.
In the past, cybersecurity teams have focused on hardening to prevent outside attacks. However, attacks based on compromised identities are on the rise. Here, a single weak point is often enough to cause great damage. In these attacks, the attackers use valid login data to control a network. To prevent or detect such attacks, companies should use a zero-trust architecture.
Investing in identity security is now more important than ever as remote workers bring not only their own devices but also their own IT environments. Investing in hardening and monitoring cloud security is also a critical building block for corporate security. The use of cloud services is increasing rapidly. It should not be forgotten that the responsibility for securing and monitoring a cloud environment does not lie with the provider but with the customer. Security-related misconfigurations in the cloud represent an immense attack surface growing every day.
Working Models: Ransomware Will Continue To Evolve
We are now seeing ransomware converging with hacktivism. Companies are attacked with ransomware because the hacker rejects a company’s values, industry or actions. The hackers don’t even ask for a ransom or offer to decrypt the data in these cases. We are also seeing that ransomware gangs can now acquire zero-day vulnerabilities that were previously only accessible to nation-states. Ransomware-as-a-Service will continue to make ransomware available to a larger number of cybercriminals.
At the same time, company insiders are paid to launch ransomware attacks against their operations. The nation-states will continue to invest heavily in compromising identities and corresponding attacks, which are very difficult to detect because this is not classic malware, but rather the system’s functions are used to carry out the attacks.
Working Models: AI-Based Security Will Pick Up Speed
Cyber security teams have struggled to trust AI decisions and warnings in the past. Due to the high requirements in cybersecurity, the numerous warning messages, and the scarcity of resources, companies will be forced to keep learning in the future through automation and AI. It can be assumed that this trend will continue to accelerate. However, cybersecurity teams will require real transparency about the AI algorithms to trust, check and analyze the AI results and the actions taken.
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