By Tanja Zimmermann
Cyber threats are seen as the biggest threat to businesses worldwide in 2022. This is the conclusion of the Allianz Risk Barometer 2022. The Defense AI Observatory (DAIO) at Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, Germany, in its DAIO Bulletin No. 1 as of January 2022 finds impressive examples of this. According to the Allianz Risk Barometer 2022, cyber threats are considered the top risk for companies worldwide. In Germany, they are ranked second. Only in the other rankings are concerns about business interruptions, which can be caused by supply chain difficulties, for example. These are followed by concerns about natural disasters or even the current corona pandemic. The study is based on the assessments of around 2,650 risk management experts who were surveyed worldwide. According to the study, the greatest danger comes from ransomware attacks. The latest developments take the form of ‘double extortion’ tactics, combining the encryption of systems with data breaches. Exploitation of software vulnerabilities or attacks on critical physical infrastructure are also seen as crucial. The latter is currently evident in Belarus.
Cybersecurity 2022 – Food supply affected by cyber attacks
According to the DAIO Bulletin, infrastructure in Belarus is increasingly being targeted by cyberattacks. An independent hacker network claims responsibility for the attacks. The target here is in particular the computer network of the railroad system. But this is not a ransomware plot or the theft of data. By attacking the railroad infrastructure, hackers are trying to hinder the Russian army's supplies, especially food supplies, and thus influence current political developments.
Cybersecurity 2022 – even the Pentagon is dissatisfied with its level of security
Are only companies struggling with cyber problems? Far from it. The U.S. Pentagon also concludes that its infrastructure is inadequately protected against cyberattacks. One report, for example, concludes that cybersecurity tests were neither realistic nor rigorous enough. In general, it can be said that the Pentagon is struggling with similar difficulties to those faced by companies. This is because, the Pentagon believes better training of employees is necessary to detect cyberattacks earlier. Also, the Pentagon is increasingly turning to commercial providers for systems, such as cloud service providers. The Pentagon itself can neither monitor nor control these services, and thus shares the difficulties of most companies.
Another notable issue also arises as a result of advances and developments in Artificial Intelligence. One of the ways the Pentagon is trying to address these advancing threats is with a team of AI and data experts. The effort is focused, first, on how data is managed and secured. And on the other, on developing AI algorithms to detect vulnerable infrastructure and cyberattacks.
But there is also a bright spot. For example, as early as 2021, the Alliance Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) concludes that approximately 80 percent of ransomware incident losses could have been prevented. According to the conclusion, it is important for companies to follow best practice recommendations, as this can already reduce a large proportion of cyber threats.