In its recent annual Data Breach Industry Forecast, credit reporting agency Experian made five predictions for cybercrime and data breach trends to expect this year. The report based their findings on new and emerging trends in finance and technology, continued disruption caused by the pandemic, increased global connectivity and other factors.
Here are five data breach and cybercrime trends to anticipate this year.
1. Growing Threats to Infrastructure
Cyberattacks are expected to increasingly target physical infrastructure, both public and private, such as electrical grids, transportation systems, supply chain networks and more. One of the most notable recent examples of this type of attack occurred last May, when a criminal hacker group attacked the Colonial Pipeline and disrupted fuel supplies to the East Coast, according to Vox. The attack led to panic buying of gas, fuel shortages and significant price spikes.
Hackers may also target funds disbursed by Congress to rebuild U.S. infrastructure under the $1 trillion infrastructure bill signed into law late last year.
2. Criminals Set Sights on Digital Assets
The more digital assets like cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gain mainstream appeal and legitimacy, the more cybercriminals are going to seek out vulnerabilities and target them for the attack. Watch out for increasingly sophisticated scams that target digital forms of currency and property.
3. Pandemic Disruption and Vulnerabilities
If workers continue to work remotely or a hybrid between home and the workplace, IT infrastructure is required to support these work arrangements. As result, vulnerabilities continue to emerge, and some may worsen this year. The disruption the pandemic has caused to the economy, public life, and supply chains also provide additional opportunities for cybercrime.
4. Natural Disaster Scams
Natural disasters, combined with supply chain issues, make it difficult for agencies and businesses to coordinate emergency responses. Hackers can try to exploit these vulnerabilities. In addition, natural disasters often result in greater charitable giving. Criminals use phishing attempts and create fraudulent organizations to steal money and personal information. If you donate to charity, follow these best practices to avoid charity scams.
5. Scams Target Online Gamblers
As more states legalize online gambling, criminals use phishing scams to target the growing ranks of online gamblers, especially newcomers. These scams may attempt to access gamblers’ personal data or trick them into providing access to financial accounts, like bank accounts or credit cards.
You can’t control everything that happens outside your door, like natural disasters and cyberattacks. But you can take steps to protect your identity and finances. Here are four personal cybersecurity tips you can follow in 2022 to protect your data.