2022 is upon us and, for some, this means the promise of a fresh start. Maybe on an individual level, you're starting a new role, or at a corporate level, you may be ready to take the next step and flourish. Regardless of aims and objectives over the next year, one undisputed fact is that IT will play a role in your day-to-day life.
So how do you ensure you're staying safe online in 2022?
We teamed up with SKOUT Cybersecurity and Barracuda to look at the current cyber landscape and assess what you can do this year to help yourself.
Technology has evolved at, frankly, an incredible pace. You only have to consider the internet for proof of this - as it only really started to gain widespread popularity in the mid-'90s. These days, it's hard to imagine a day working or living without using the internet in some capacity.
But, it isn't just the technology that has advanced. Threats have become more complex, more unique and have the potential to cause harm on levels that would've sounded like the plot to a James Bond movie just a few decades ago.
Let's explore how the cyber landscape has changed already over the last two decades...
When 2020 ended, many thought we would never see another year like it. Then 2021 came along, with more lockdowns, more restrictions and more work from home directives.
In fact, it's estimated that by the time we enter 2025 - which is now only three years away! - cyber crime will cost the world $10.5 trillion.
Rising over $7 trillion in a decade, cyber crime is on course to become the third-largest GDP in the world - just under $3tn behind China in 2021.
But, whilst remote working may have helped in the fight against the pandemic, it also led to a 300% increase in reported cyber crimes in the US alone.
All of which has led Varonis to list the following 2022 Cyber Security trends:
Perhaps fitting, given the last few years, one question we're starting to ask the people we interact with is 'what's your cyber hygiene like?'
But what do we mean by that? Infosec definition of cyber hygiene is as follows:
"In the era of the digital age, we rely extensively on the Internet and storage devices for many aspects of our lives, so the need to be proactive and vigilant to protect against cyber threats has never been greater.
"To achieve security within the domain, we need to adapt a good cyber hygiene strategy, that is, making sure we are protecting and maintaining systems and devices appropriately and using cyber security best practices for anything and everything that connects to the web."
Or, think of it like this - it's no longer just your hands that need to be sanitised!
In short, implementing a routine cyber hygiene procedure for your hardware and software is beneficial for two reasons: efficiency and security.
Regular patching and maintenance are necessary for computers and software to run at peak efficiency. Otherwise, you risk files becoming fragmented or programs becoming outdated.
Additionally, neglecting cyber hygiene only increases the risk of vulnerabilities to an organisation.
With constant maintenance and monitoring, an organisation is more likely to spot a potential issue early and prevent it from getting out of hand.
Well-maintained systems are less likely to be vulnerable to cyber security risks - but it isn't something you should take on alone.
To best try and stay ahead of the curve, we have put together five steps to follow:
The online world is a weird and wonderful place, allowing us to do anything from working remotely to socialising with friends. But it isn't all safe and fun, and we won't have been the first people to have told you that.
By implementing a cyber hygiene plan, you can not only protect yourself but others around you too, ensuring you kick off 2022 in the right - and most secure - way.
If you need more help, get in touch with us, and one of our cyber security experts will be more than happy to help. Don't forget to check out our other Cyber Security blog posts, or our free events, for more information!
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