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How Scammers Might Shift Their Cyber-attack Strategies in 2022 Featured

With data breaches at an all-time high, some recent reports detail how the nature of the threat could evolve in the rest of the year ahead.

Scam road sign 464653 1920Last year’s incidents may signal that criminals are turning their attention from identity theft to identity fraud, as Security Boulevard reports.

“Many of the cyberattacks committed were highly sophisticated and complex, requiring aggressive defenses to prevent them,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “If those defenses failed, too often we saw an inadequate level of transparency for consumers to protect themselves from identity fraud.”

The nonprofit recently reported that the total number of data breaches hit a record 1,862 last year, up 68% from 2020. The same report also found a 5% decline in the total number of victims.

James Lee, chief operating officer of the ITRC, told BankInfoSecurity that attackers have shifted their focus from “massive accumulation of data” and are now “very targeted in the kinds of information they want, and then what they do with it.”

Meanwhile, VentureBeat reports that cybersecurity’s task for 2022 will be thwarting weaponized ransomware. According to Ivanti’s Ransomware Spotlight Year End report, ransomware vulnerabilities surged 29% in one year, making them the fastest-growing attack strategy. A separate report by SonicWall tallied a 148% increase in ransomware attacks around the world in 2021. Srinivas Mukkamala, senior vice president of security products at Ivanti, urged organizations to “patch weaponized vulnerabilities without delays.”

Cyber risks have become so significant that they recently joined the World Economic Forum’s list of threats to the global economy, alongside climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and a fellow newcomer, space. As NPR explains, the forum’s Global Risks Report notes how attackers are using more aggressive approaches to go after more sensitive targets, while the crypto boom has helped hackers cover up their ransom earnings. The report was co-authored by Marsh McLennan with Zurich Insurance Group. Marsh risk management leader Carolina Klint said, “We’re at the point now where cyberthreats are growing faster than our ability to effectively prevent and manage them.”

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