The global change in working environments brought on by the pandemic has been a godsend for cyber criminals. There’s been endless opportunity to tap into work-from-home systems that’ve been slow to integrate into office security and malware protection. The many ransomware incidents on businesses worldwide are behind the trend to improve cyber security in the new year.

Forbes highlights the five biggest cyber security trends for 2022 along with practical tips on how to avoid becoming victims of cyber crime:

Using cyber security powered by artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence is useful for counteracting cyber crime because it can scan for activity that shows something is out of the ordinary and look for disruptions to familiar patterns. As Forbes says, when thousands of events are taking place every second it’s impossible to monitor them without AI, and so this is where criminals like to strike. Forbes also reports on Capgemini research that found two-thirds of businesses see the value of AI for identifying and countering cyber attacks.

TIP: Start using – or testing – AI as a threat scanning tool. Research finds that nearly three-quarters of businesses will be using or testing AI for cyber security purposes this year.

Managing the growing threat of ransomware

Due to the huge increase in online activity and digital processes that came about as a result of the pandemic, cyber criminals have taken the opportunity to launch attacks on companies that haven’t updated their security systems to cover work-from-home workers. Successful hackers then infect devices with a virus that will encrypt files, and then either threaten to destroy them unless a ransom is paid, or threaten to publish the data publicly, leaving the business vulnerable to big fines under data privacy regulations.

TIP: Keep training your employees. Studies show employees with up-to-date knowledge of cyber security threats have nearly 10 times protection.

Managing the connectedness of the internet of things

The more devices connected to the internet we have, the more potential access points there are for hackers. Forbes analysts say attacks on devices will undoubtedly continue to rise in 2022 so the best we can do is keep auditing the devices we intend to connect to the business network.

TIP: Educate your employees on making risk assessments. Every device that connects to the company network is a possible weak link, and every simple click has the potential to launch malware.

Expecting data protection regulations to catch up with risk

Currently, under most data protection laws, it is only data breach, and loss of data, that carry a hefty penalty. Forbes reports that we could see this expanded to include further penalties that would “cover vulnerabilities and exposure to potential damage.”

TIP: Build consumer trust by having a comprehensive compliance strategy in place – it’ll pay dividends in the long run with regard to brand reputation and data security.

Choosing partnerships in terms of cyber security risk and exposure

Every link in a supply chain is a potential vulerability so good partnerships will be crucial to good IT security. According to Forbes, “businesses will increasingly use cybersecurity resilience and exposure as a determining factor in choosing who they will partner with.”

TIP: Get your data protection compliance in order as this will show your potential and existing partners that you take data and system security seriously.

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