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SAFE Security 2022 Predictions: Cybersecurity and data science will collide, a major phygital catastrophe is coming, and the rise of consumer-based attacks

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual series exclusive.

Cybersecurity and data science will collide, a major phygital catastrophe is coming, and the rise of consumer-based attacks

By Saket Modi, CEO, Safe Security

The accelerated digital transformation needed to enable organizations to continue business as usual throughout the pandemic brought along new security challenges. In the first six months of 2021, breaches exposed the data of nearly 18.8 billion people globally, across sectors. Looking ahead to 2022 and beyond, I anticipate that cyber criminals will continue to gain momentum and launch sophisticated attacks that target critical systems and consumers, all while leveraging even easier access points, like the recent Log4j java vulnerability to create greater impacts.

While there are numerous ways this next year may take shape, I believe the following three predictions should be on top of everyone's watch lists in 2022:

Cybersecurity and Data Science Fields Will Unite.

In the past, there was a disconnect between the cybersecurity and data science fields that traditionally served two distinct purposes. However, they will now come together to help organizations better understand and proactively protect against increasing threats. In 2022, it will be significantly more important for organizations to have a proactive and real-time risk management strategy to predict and prevent breaches using quantitative risk metrics and analytics. By combining forces, cybersecurity and data science will continue to grow together out of necessity, as application creation and enterprise data continue to explode and dramatically expand the attack surface.

The First Phygital Catastrophe is Coming.

Over the past year, we have seen an increase in cybersecurity incidents, many of which were high-profile such as the Colonial Pipeline, Kaseya, and JBS Foods ransomware attacks. However, cyber threats against cyber-physical systems have existed for decades. Organizations across numerous industries rely on cyber physical systems. As a result of the importance of these systems, they are easy targets for cyberattacks focused on disrupting operations.

In 2022, I predict that a central mission-critical application will go down and create a ripple impact across businesses and for consumers around the world. For example, a hack on a major central system like an internet gateway, public cloud provider or a healthcare system such as Epic will impact millions of people and we will see the physical ramifications in our everyday lives. This attack will result in disastrous consequences. Healthcare services could be upended, key digital businesses unable to operate, flights cancelled, food and critical supplies not delivered, and more.

The Consumerization of Cyberattacks Will Rise for Easier Wins.

The attack perimeter is becoming more personal, and the consumerization of attacks will rapidly increase in 2022. Consumers are more connected than ever before across a myriad of devices. This provides cyber criminals with new opportunities to target people at any time. For example, the last iOS update alone had 11 zero-day vulnerabilities, showing the opportunity for hackers to amplify attacks on mobile apps. As a result, we will need to improve consumer cyber awareness to thwart attackers from gaining access to personal data. Consumers will need to take an active role and a proactive approach to protect their information. I suggest harnessing free tools that can not only show if their personal information has been shared on the dark web, but also help to identify security gaps across their devices.

While escalating cyberattacks on businesses and consumers show no signs of slowing down, if data science and cybersecurity tools are combined to help better understand risk, track consumer impacts and predict breaches, we can improve our chances of preventing future threats.



Saket Modi 

Saket Modi is the Co-founder and CEO of Safe Security, a Cybersecurity and Digital Business Risk Quantification platform company. A computer science engineer by education, he founded Safe Security in 2012 while in his final year of engineering. Incubated in IIT Bombay and backed by Cisco's former Chairman and CEO John Chambers, Safe Security protects the digital infrastructure of multiple Fortune 500 companies around the world with its cyber risk measurement and mitigation platform called SAFE. Saket is a part of Fortune Magazine's 40-under-40, Entrepreneur Magazine's 35-under-35, Forbes Magazine's 30-under-30 lists, among others.

Published Tuesday, January 04, 2022 7:36 AM by David Marshall
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