By Swati Handa, Senior Product leader of Cisco Networking Academy
I'm not a fortune teller, but one prediction is certain: The threat landscape will continue to rapidly evolve and expand as widespread digital transformation across all industries fueled by the pandemic has become a way of life. Over the last two years, the data lost in breaches and sheer numbers of cyber-attacks on companies, government, and individuals have broken all records. Additionally, the sophistication of the attacks has increased as the adoption of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and 5G proliferates.
As organizations plan their cybersecurity strategy for the new year, here are the top four trends to watch for in 2022.
Mobile wallet attacks
According to Gartner, during the COVID-19 pandemic, 88% of global enterprises encouraged their office workers to work from home, which led to a dramatic increase in mobile usage, including increased use of mobile wallets. As a result, cybercrimes will evolve and adapt their techniques to exploit mobile payments' growing reliance on mobile devices. This threat will only grow as the global population adopts mobile connectively, which is projected to reach over 70 percent by 2023.
Deepfake continues to be in the top 3 from last year, I mentioned this in my prediction and see more Deepfake trends continue from 2021. The World Economic Forum estimates that the number of deepfake videos has increased at the astonishing annual rate of 900% this year. Modern whaling attacks aptly leverage deepfakes to fool financial and accounting teams and send millions of dollars to offshore accounts that will likely never recover. For instance, a bank manager in the UAE fell victim to a threat actor's scam. Hackers used AI voice cloning to trick the bank manager into transferring $35 million.
Cryptocurrency is a favored means for many threat actors to monetize cyberattacks. When deployed on PCs or unsecured servers, cryptocurrency mining malware uses computing resources to generate cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoins), which is then sent to wallets controlled by malicious actors. As per Cisco Umbrella, crypto mining generated the most internet traffic over last year. The direct impact of cryptojacking is performance-related. Although it can also increase costs for the individuals and businesses affected, because coin mining uses high levels of electricity and computing power.
Cybersecurity professionals in high demand
There is an unprecedented demand for cybersecurity skills today. In 2021 alone, the industry had a zero percent unemployment rate and a 3.5 million global shortage of cybersecurity professionals, driven by the widespread shift to hybrid work and digitization across all sectors.
There are no signs that the demand for cybersecurity professionals will slow down. For example, in the U.S, cybersecurity jobs are among the fastest-growing career areas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Information Security Analysts Outlook, It's predicted these jobs will grow by 31% through 2029 – over seven times faster than the national average job growth of 4%.
Cybersecurity professionals are needed in every sector – from business and government to education and manufacturing – and span a wide range of roles, including Cybersecurity Analyst, Security Administrator, and Forensic Analyst.
To get started on your cybersecurity career journey and learn the in-demand skills of Threat Management, Risk Management, and Network Firewalls, I encourage you to check out the cybersecurity career pathway on Skills for All. It offers free, mobile-friendly courses aligned to entry-level tech jobs and industry certifications, specifically designed for learner success – no matter where you are on their learning journey. It also connects you to over 725 employer partners worldwide and many more valuable career resources. So start your journey today at SkillsforAll.com.