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2022 Cyber Security Predictions - Joseph Carson at ThycoticCentrify

December 2021 by Joseph Carson, Chief Security Scientist at ThycoticCentrify

2022 predictions from Joseph Carson, Chief Security Scientist at ThycoticCentrify:

1. The Brink of a Cyberwar – Countries Collaborate to Strike Back

“I believe we are truly on the brink of a full-blown cyberwar, as governments have decided they can no longer stand by and watch their citizens and businesses fall victim to cyberattacks. This means they must and will strike back, which could result in a full-scale cyber war if the ripple effects spread out of control, and more hackers join forces to collaborate and respond. This could result in the introduction of a cyber treaty in 2022 that could force cybercriminals to retreat to an ever-shrinking number of safe havens to operate as countries unite to fight back against cybercrime. Global stability has been on the knife’s edge for several years. The increase in cyberattacks and their magnitude of impact on society means the balance of the force is tipping.”

2. Identity is the New Perimeter and Access is the New Security

“The paradigm shift to working remotely has been accelerating, making the traditional enterprise perimeter almost entirely redundant. In their bid to secure the new perimeter, organizations have had to first wrestle with the challenge of correctly defining it. Factors such as cloud computing, home office networks, endpoints, mobile apps, and legacy on-premise systems have exacerbated this issue. Some organizations have attempted to enforce multiple edge perimeter points, but this in turn becomes a major challenge to manage and secure.

We must look at all touch points across the organization and determine the unifying or common factor. For most organizations this is identity, one of the artifacts that organizations can still control. This means access has become the new security control for the organization’s perimeter. In 2022, businesses must get back in control by making Identity and Access Security a top priority. Privileged access has become the digital polygraph test to verify that identities are authentic before enabling authorization to resources.”

3. Hacking E-Sports – Hacking Becomes a Mainstream Sport

“For years, gamers and streamers have been a growing trend on social media, with audiences wanting to know their secret techniques on how they get to the next level. Popularity is continuing with top gamers raking in millions in both commissions and sponsorships. In the Middle East alone the gaming market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.1% between 2021 to 2026.

Hacking is now following that same path with the world’s top hackers streaming their hacking skills online, showing off new techniques and methods on how to bypass security and get the initial foothold, and then elevating privileges. Hacking gamification platforms are also on the rise as hacking teams compete for L33T status and placing at the top of the leaderboard. This new trend will continue in 2022, and we will see hacking become an EL3T3 Sport, with viewers paying to watch hackers operate live.”

4. Zero Trust Becomes the Baseline – Future-Proofing Security Risks

“Zero Trust has been a trend that has topped cybersecurity priorities for the past few years. It’s becoming an increasingly important framework to not only reduce the known security risks of the past, but also to reduce the security risks of the future. As companies start looking into what Zero Trust really is, it becomes apparent that it is not a single solution you purchase and install, or a task you check as complete. Zero Trust is a journey and a mindset on how you wish to operate your business in a secure way. You don’t become Zero Trust – you practice a Zero Trust mindset.

Companies are looking for ways to reduce the risks from cyberattacks and accept that security must become a living system within the business rather than the old legacy static approach. In 2022, Zero Trust can help organizations establish a baseline for security controls that need to be repeated and force cybercriminals into taking more risks. That results in cybercriminals making more noise that ultimately gives cyber defenders a chance to detect attackers early and prevent catastrophic cyber-attacks.”

5. Cryptocurrency to Get Regulated – The Crypto Heartbeat

“Cryptocurrencies are surely here to stay and will continue to disrupt the financial industry, but they must evolve to become a stable method for transactions and accelerate adoption. In the Middle East, we’re already seeing government initiatives that support the adoption of cryptocurrency; as an example, Saudi Arabia recently announced its intent to launch Ripple’s “On-Demand Liquidity platform” in an effort to make international payments easier. In the neighbouring United Arab Emirates, the country’s Securities and Commodities Authority this year signed an agreement with the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) aimed at supporting the trading of crypto assets in DWTCA’s free zone.

In 2022, more countries will look at how they can embrace cryptocurrencies while also creating more stabilization, and increased regulation is only a matter of time. Stabilization will accelerate adoption, which will undoubtably bear security implications.”

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