All businesses must make securing their infrastructures and reinforcing cybersecurity practices a priority, especially as we move into the new year. This is a concept that involves securing the network, infrastructure, and data from the countless threats out there. Here are three of the most important issues to keep in mind when building your cybersecurity strategy for the new year.

The Increasing Severity of Ransomware

Ransomware accounted for a massive portion of cyberattacks in 2021 (approximately three-quarters of a billion ransomware attacks to be precise), and with over 100 different strains all over the world, it’s no small wonder that it’s something you should be concerned about in the coming year. Worse yet, ransomware attacks are on the rise, as seen in the fact that there were three times as many ransomware attacks in the first quarter of 2021 than in the entirety of 2019. Some hackers don’t even bother locking down the files and simply put up a ransomware screen to collect their ransom. Clearly this is an issue.

Ransomware is often distributed through phishing attacks and social engineering tactics designed to dodge the powerful encryption protocols and other security measures implemented by businesses. They do so by systemically tricking the person with authentication credentials to hand them over and provide access to the network. Hackers then use these credentials to extort money from victims.

The best way to combat ransomware is to have employees who are trained and tested on how to identify and respond to ransomware threats. If your staff are well-trained and are aware of the dangers ransomware represents, they will be more likely to take appropriate measures to avoid it.

Establishment of Artificial Intelligence for Cybersecurity

2022 will see certain concepts from within the financial services industry for use in fraud prevention become adopted for the purposes of organizational cybersecurity. Artificial intelligence, or AI, is one such concept. It can be used to automate tasks for a variety of results based on a small number of variables. The average human is incapable of this, but the great thing about AI is that these types of operations don’t require immense amounts of computational power.

Where cybersecurity is concerned, AI is most helpful for its predictive power. Hackers are using AI-powered tools themselves to pull off all kinds of heists and attacks, but AI cybersecurity can be used to thwart these hackers and assist cybersecurity professionals with identifying, locating, and eliminating threats.

It wasn’t long ago that AI was dismissed as an effective tool for businesses, but according to a recent poll by Capgemini, nearly 65 percent of all business security professionals consider AI to be essential for the future of cybersecurity. 

Shifts in Regulation

The past several years have seen pushes to consider individuals’ data privacy, and while the United States has yet to pass anything definitive on the federal level, the EU (GDPR) and individual states have ratified legislation to help people keep ownership of their sensitive data. Considering that almost $6 trillion was stolen by hackers and other entities this past year alone, it’s clear that something must be done to protect the user. The next year will surely see penalties for those who are convicted of cybercrime, and regulations will be implemented to mitigate losses. Furthermore, laws will be implemented to keep organizations from paying ransoms when they become subject to ransomware attacks.

Regulations on computer-related crimes are quite lax compared to those of other natures, but we bet that as larger and more notable organizations fall victim to these threats, lawmakers will start to take action to protect assets and punish cybercriminals. Cybercrime is something that will not go away, so the best you can do is prepare to handle it by any means necessary. Reciprocal Technologies can help you take the fight to cyberthreats and implement appropriate security measures. To learn more, reach out to us at 317-759-3972.