6 cybersecurity predictions for 2022 by Norton Labs

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Get ready for more hacking, more scammers, and more online security needs

If you’re ready for a quiet year on the cybersecurity news, you won’t find it in 2022. Here is a snapshot of some of the cybersecurity trends we expect in the new year.

· Cyber ​​activism will gain momentum.

· Scammers target people suffering from natural disasters.

· Online consumer tracking will take a turn

· Crypto fraud will increase as more users shop.

The next 12 months promise a lot of work in the world of cybersecurity. Here are our six predictions for the top cyber trends of 2022.

Prediction # 1: Democratization of Cryptocurrencies Leads to “Oh No” Moments for Consumers

Many companies enable the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. Now that some of these companies are regulated and listed on NASDAQ, trust and transparency in these companies are increasing and the barrier to entry for the use of cryptocurrencies is lowering.

This will likely lead to more casual investors who don’t fully understand the nuances of how cryptocurrencies work. Scammers have used these misunderstandings to separate people from their coins and with this new group of new users we expect a huge increase in the number of scams out there. They will likely look like some of the old scams [1], but we also expect new and creative attempts to target this new, larger group of potential victims.

[1]https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-how-to-cryptocurrency-scams.html

Prediction # 2: Online consumer tracking is about to take a turn

Tracking user behavior online has fueled the internet economy for years through targeted advertising and personalization services. This has received mixed feelings from users – some like targeted content, some don’t – but it has also raised numerous privacy-related concerns among consumers, technicians, and lawmakers.

Consumers generally don’t mind some cookies, at least those known as first-party cookies. These cookies are limited to one website you are visiting. If you visit an online clothing store that you log into frequently, a cookie can remember your login information so you don’t have to re-enter it on the website.

However, third-party cookies are more problematic for consumers. These cookies are known as tracking cookies because they follow you as you move around the internet. For example, these could be the ones who send targeted ads to the websites you visit. Their goal is to convince you to return to websites that you have visited in the past or to purchase products that you have recently shown interest in.

As a result, some consumers feel that tracking cookies are an example of companies spying on them. Big tech companies notice this and respond. Recent developments in this area such as Google’s announcement of FLoC [1] and the increasing popularity of server-side tracking / tagging indicates that the online tracking landscape is evolving. Some governments have also passed laws to impose civil and criminal penalties on companies who fail to inform consumers that their websites are using cookies.

During research conducted by Norton Labs
[2] for the purposes of Norton AntiTrack [3], we were able to observe this fast-paced ecosystem of trackers whose current coverage of the internet and user behavior is breathtaking. [2]

We assume that developments around online tracking will continue in 2022 and beyond, both technically and legally. In the meantime, privacy conscious consumers can rest easy by relying on Norton AntiTrack to keep them safe from online tracking.

[1] https://blog.google/products/ads-commerce/2021-01-privacy-sandbox/

[2]

https://www.nortonlifelock.com/blogs/norton-labs/online-trackers

[3]

https://www.nortonlifelock.com/blogs/norton-labs/norton-antitrack

Prediction # 3: Your digital identity will grow. Hello, eID?

To work from home? Are you talking to your doctor about Zoom? Do you order your groceries and takeaway orders from your laptop screen? You’re not alone. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the entire planet to work, communicate, take care of their health, and conduct a multitude of remote and online transactions.

You may have already had to use your mobile phone to take a picture of your driver’s license and then email or text that picture to verify your identity, open a bank account, or apply for a job. In the wake of the ongoing pandemic, more widespread use of digital vaccination records is expected.

There is now a greater need for secure, tamper-proof, and privacy-sensitive credentials that can be reliably and easily issued, transmitted, and verified. Recent developments in computing such as blockchain technology, modern cryptography, and advances in secure hardware provide a solid foundation for developing the next generation of identity standards.

At the same time, governments around the world are pushing for advances in the development of electronic identification – or eID – that allows citizens to quickly and easily prove their identity. We expect rapid advances in the world of digital identities in 2022 and beyond.

One thing is certain: life is becoming more digital.

Prediction # 4: Expect More Protest, Vigilance, and Terrorism

The main goal of cyber criminals is to make money. You could run phishing campaigns to steal your credentials or tech support scams to keep people off their money.

But the motivation to hack isn’t always that simple. Sometimes cyber intruders tend to be used as a form of protest. Hacker activists or hacktivists use their craft to achieve political results. They do this by disrupting governments, spreading fear, or exposing information.

Hacktivism and cyber terrorism were alive in 2021, revealing information that governments would have preferred to keep secret. We anticipate that given their range and potential impact, these attacks will continue, if not increase.

Prediction # 5: Disasters will be a disaster for your wallet when scammers follow the money

Disasters have always been big business for fraudsters. We don’t expect this to change in 2022, but we do expect more disasters and more money to be moved.

We have already seen that fraudsters never waste a good crisis and that fraudsters take action after devastating storms, fires and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Whenever money flows from insurance companies or the government to victims of natural disasters, there is someone trying to take advantage of that situation, either by fraud with stolen identities or by cheating on people directly.

If the trend continues and there are more and more natural disasters and extreme weather events, we expect more scammers willing to make money.

Prediction # 6: Artificial intelligence and machine learning will make life easier for everyone, including criminals

Artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning are becoming accessible to more and more people. Having access to easy-to-use tools makes it easier to do many things, including manipulating some forms of media and extracting value from large data sets.

Deepfakes: Deepfake videos caused a buzz in 2018 when Jordan Peele put words to Barack Obama’s mouth, and this year people on TikTok were treated to several very compelling videos of a young Tom Cruise. While it is still difficult to make really realistic videos, every year it becomes easier and more accessible. And that also applies to image and audio deepfakes.

As deepfake technology continues to get better and easier to use, it becomes a useful tool for criminals, scammers, stalkers, and activists. And that means – even if we’re not there yet – that one day it may be more difficult to believe your own eyes and ears.

In the meantime, we’ll see more uses of this technology in situations where errors or poor quality are acceptable and we can remove some of the current limitations. So next time you’re chatting with a new romantic partner stuck on a remote oil rig with a poor connection, you might want to think twice.

Personalized attacks based on large data sets: With all of the data now available from various security breaches and scraps, criminals could create personal profiles to determine who is more likely to fall for certain types of attacks or scams, the techniques that are most effective based on their experience with similar people, and create messages targeted directly to them based on services they are known to use.

For more information on Norton’s cybersecurity projections for 2022, please visit: https://www.nortonlifelock.com/blogs/norton-labs/2022-cybersecurity-predictions

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