A record-breaking year for cybercrime

2022 has only just started, but many of us have already planned out much of the first quarter. Like new year’s resolutions, you likely have goals for your business to achieve in 2022, increases in sales, brand reach or even growing your team – from recent years events you may be looking to make working remotely more effective, or you may be looking to head back into the office. The Covid-19 pandemic has put pressure on more businesses to move into the digital sphere, and this is set to continue into the New Year, but is cyber security on your 2022 to-do list?
Cybercrime rates have been increasing rapidly in the last decade, but the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for record-breaking cyberattack numbers during 2021, and business leaders aren’t expecting this to slow down in 2022.
The UK government’s 2021 Cyber Security Breaches Survey highlights how increased remote working has played a large part in this growth in cyberattacks, reporting that 47% of businesses have staff using personal devices for work whilst at home, but only 23% cover home working in their security policy. With employees working remotely, with home devices and out of the office atmosphere where they can sense-check themselves when suspicious activity occurs means that the gaps in cyber defences have opened wider, and more attacks are getting through.
Increased fear and uncertainty surrounding the virus has also created a space for hackers to hide under the cover of fake NHS emails – in December 2021 there was a widespread phishing email targeted at collecting bank account and personal details by asking recipients to order Covid-19 tests for a new variant. Cybercriminals are getting smarter, and they can use current events and public feeling to their advantage, which, when partnered with improved standards in these fake emails, makes these attacks even harder to spot.

The time of Ransomware

Ransomware in particular is becoming increasingly more prominent, with three times as many attacks in just the first quarter of 2021 than there were in the whole of 2019 (National Cyber Security Centre’s 2021 annual review). Now, technology experts are predicting that this surge will continue in 2022. PwC took a survey of 3,600 business and technology executives from around the world (including 257 from the UK), and 61% stated they expect Ransomware to continue rising in the new year.

So, what can you do?

As with much of the past two years, the first step here is becoming more agile and adaptive. For example, remote working may increase security risk, but if it’s what works best for your business and your team, then you can incorporate this into your security model.
Partnering with Think Connect means that we can work with you in the New Year to design the security plan that works for you, and we also offer services to help you set up more secure and efficient home working solutions. Apply for our free security assessment now, and we will help you to protect your business from growing threat, so you can mark “stronger cybersecurity” off your New Years resolutions list.