editor ’ s question
or our 2022
F predictions , we wanted to go beyond the usual hot topics and buzzword lists that normally pass for insights . While it ’ s important for our customers to prepare for more of the same when it comes to things like skills gaps and the use of cloud and AI in cybersecurity , we believe they don ’ t need domain experts to inform them of the obvious .
We prefer to focus on the future shape of the threat landscape and what current threat research tells us about risks that may be just over the horizon .
RansomOps replaces ransomware
Ransomware has swept the region anew since the pandemic created more complexity in infrastructure and a disconnect between remote-working employees and the IT function .
According to recent Cybereason research , 63 % of UAE businesses paid bad actors between US $ 350,000 and US $ 1.4 million following ransomware incursions in the two years prior to June 2021 .
In 2022 , when clear leaders in the XDR field have been established , the role AI should play in cybersecurity will become more defined .
Relatively simple repurposed malware strains have been replaced by RansomOps . Cartels like REvil , Conti and DarkSide are conducting comprehensive campaigns in which the payload is just the final link in an attack chain .
Against this backdrop , 2022 will demand a refocusing of anti-ransomware tactics away from the encrypting malware itself and onto the Indicators of Behavior ( IOBs ) associated with RansomOps , allowing the defending organisation to circumvent encryption entirely .
Supply chain attacks will reach further
Cybereason research into espionage campaigns such as DeadRinger and GhostShell reveals different approaches to the well-known SolarWinds incident , with similar outcomes .
By gaining access to telecommunications providers , state actors were able to monitor communications for customers of those operators .
In 2022 , criminal gangs will adopt the successful strategies of the state actors seen in DeadRinger and GhostShell .
LIOR DIV , CO-FOUNDER AND CEO AT CYBEREASON
This will likely lead to a reassessment of risk profiles by companies that are suppliers of digital services , as well as similar reassessments by their customers of how to establish trust in their supplier .
The Microsoft risk
Microsoft ’ s dominant role in the OS , cloud and applications market means much of the cybersecurity threat domain is focused on the company ’ s offerings . As more and more organisations migrate to Microsoft environments , understanding the risks will be essential .
Lines blurring between cybersecurity and national security
In 2022 , criminal and state actors will likely collaborate and align objectives for optimal impact . In response , regional governments are likely to escalate their preparedness strategies through entities such as the Computer Emergency Response Team for the UAE ( aeCERT ) and Saudi Arabia ’ s National Cybersecurity Authority ( NCA ).
Standardisation of XDR
Hybrid work models , 5G rollouts and the increased experimentation with IoT will lead to a connected world that will be difficult to protect .
However , the productivity and convenience benefits of the technologies it provides will ensure its prevalence and therefore demand measures such as Extended Detection and Response ( XDR ).
While the cybersecurity industry is in broad agreement on its importance , there is not a uniform definition on what XDR does or should do . In 2022 , when clear leaders in the XDR field have been established , the role AI should play in cybersecurity will become more defined .
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