With 2022 winding down, it’s no surprise many are looking forward to spending time with loved ones over the extended break. Unfortunately, bad guys often see the closing months of the year as an opportune moment to go on the offensive, with researchers noting a 30% rise in malware assaults and ransomware attacks over the holiday season.

Fortunately, understanding the threats to you and your business is one of the best forms of defense. So with that in mind, here are the five most serious security threats of 2022 – and how to defend against them throughout the new year.

Understanding 2022’s 5 Biggest Security Threats

SaaS Vulnerabilities

Software as a service (SaaS) products are everywhere these days. From ecommerce tools to CRM platforms and content management offerings, SaaS brands are everywhere these days. And because of their plug-and-play nature – often backed by cloud services – companies of all sizes have made use of them.

But for all their convenience, SaaS offerings can also present an additional vector of attack for malicious actors. This year alone, services such as Salesforce-owned Slack and HubSpot experienced breaches that directly impacted their clients. And while both businesses responsibly disclosed the incursions, the bad guys still extracted a significant amount of customer data.

Social Engineering

It’s a well-worn trope that employees are often the weakest link in an organization’s security framework. A Verizon cybersecurity study found 85% of breaches involved a “human element.”

From clicking on phishing links to inadvertently passing along sensitive information over the phone, determined crooks have long exploited the people in the network.

Ransomware as a Service

For the last several years, businesses across the globe have found themselves the target of evermore sophisticated malware, but in 2022, things went to another level with the proliferation of ransomware as a service (RaaS). As the name suggests, RaaS are created by nefarious characters and then traded via the dark web to those who want to blackmail companies, municipalities, and even individuals.

One of the most notorious RaaS products is LockBit, which can not only encrypt databases but also trigger distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, overloading its servers and effectively making them unreachable over the internet.

Poor Work-from-home Practices

Perhaps the biggest change to work in the last few years has been the work-from-home trend. Between 2019 and 2021, the number of home-based employees in the U.S. tripled from about 9 million to over 27 million. While such arrangements can have obvious benefits for businesses and staffers, there are also risks.

Companies can mandate security practices such as two-factor authentication for accessing intranet sites and proprietary systems, but if an employee’s home Wi-Fi router is not correctly secured, that could provide scope for a man-in-the-middle attack. Indeed, staffers who decide to work from coffee shops instead of their couch are inviting even more risk – especially if they don’t make use of a properly encrypted VPN to connect to an organization’s network.

Cloud Service Flaws

As with SaaS offerings and work-from-culture, cloud services have become a major part of the modern work environment. From document collaboration to file backup, cloud products from companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have allowed businesses to achieve levels of efficiency that were not possible just a decade ago.

Nonetheless, with cloud systems holding ever-greater volumes of sensitive data, maintaining secure connections to off-site servers is a constant challenge for organizations. With everything from customer information to employee files held in the cloud, a simple misconfiguration or inadvertently adjusted permission setting can have grave consequences.

iThreat helps to protect your business against security fallouts

Over 25 years, iThreat has helped hundreds of companies recover from security breaches. Whether that’s data loss because of social engineering or a bad guy exploiting an unsecured network to rifle through an employees laptop, iThreat’s SignalAlert has been there to help businesses prevent the worst from happening.

By watching the web in real time, SignalAlert is able to constantly monitor the internet for proprietary information and sensitive data. Whether that’s social media sites or deep web platforms, SignalAlert is there to catch the first glimpse of nefarious activities. And when SignalAlert catches the bad guys at it, you can rely on our decades of experience to help investigate and pull down the information before it’s too late.

Check out SignalAlert today and keep your business safe all year round.