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Review: What Can We Learn From the Cyberattacks in 2022?
The past year has seen a significant rise in cyberattacks. From public institutions to private businesses, no entity was safe from the reach of cybercriminals. As a technology due diligence code scanning solution provider, we've followed the evolution of these threats closely. We now turn our gaze to the past to learn from the cyberattacks of 2022 in France, ensuring that we're better prepared for the future.
The Scale of Cyberattacks in 2022
Last year, the frequency of cyberattacks skyrocketed by 600%, a staggering increase that highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified cyber risks.¹ Public sector institutions, including hospitals and local authorities, faced a surge in attacks, causing disruption in public services and significant financial losses. The private sector was not spared, with companies like Thales, the French aerospace and defense giant, becoming a prime target for groups like Lockbit 3.0.¹
For smaller companies, the damage was equally severe, if not worse. These firms, many lacking robust cybersecurity measures, bore the brunt of the attacks, with 50% going bankrupt within six months of a cyberattack.¹ The scale of these cyberattacks and their devastating impact was a stark reminder of the importance of cybersecurity in the digital age.
Lessons Learned from the Cyberattacks of 2022
From these distressing events, several critical lessons emerge. First, cyber threats are ubiquitous, impacting entities of all sizes and sectors. No organization can afford to neglect cybersecurity, whether they're a small local business, a large multinational corporation, or a public institution.
Second, preparedness is key. Last year, we saw that organizations with a proactive approach to cybersecurity were better able to weather the storm of attacks. For instance, Thales, despite being targeted, could thwart the attack due to their robust cybersecurity infrastructure. They had in place advanced threat detection and response mechanisms that minimized the damage.
The importance of cybersecurity training is another key takeaway. Human error remains one of the main causes of cyber breaches, making regular training and education a priority for all organizations. Cybercriminals often exploit the lack of awareness among employees through tactics like phishing, underscoring the need for continuous, comprehensive cybersecurity training.
Forward-Looking Cybersecurity Strategies
Having experienced the aftermath of the cyberattacks in 2022, both the public and private sectors are taking substantial steps to bolster their cybersecurity postures. In 2023, the public sector, in particular, is initiating a vast program to prepare for cyber incidents. This program includes crisis management exercises designed to increase their resilience against future cyberattacks. Furthermore, hospitals, which were frequently targeted in 2022, will have specific measures in place, further enhancing their capacity to counter such threats.²
The private sector is also redoubling its efforts. Companies are increasingly investing in external data backups to prevent data loss in case of ransomware attacks. They're also prioritizing the "secure by design" approach, ensuring that security measures are built into the system from the ground up.²
A particular point of focus is the security of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). As APIs facilitate data exchange between businesses, their security is critical to prevent potential data breaches. To this end, companies are conducting thorough audits of APIs and integrating intelligent features, like AI, to strengthen their resistance to attacks.
The Road Ahead in the Fight against Cyberattacks
Looking ahead, the fight against cyberattacks will undoubtedly remain a high-priority issue. Cybersecurity is a complex challenge that requires a multi-layered approach, blending technology, training, and policy.
Moving forward, our response to these threats will need to be as dynamic as the threats themselves. This involves staying abreast of the latest hacking trends, continuously updating security protocols, and keeping the workforce educated about potential threats.
In the face of evolving cyberattacks, we should anticipate further integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in our security tools. These technologies offer promising avenues for preempting attacks and enhancing the speed and accuracy of our responses. By leveraging AI and ML, we can step ahead of cybercriminals, detecting and neutralizing threats before they inflict significant damage.
The past year's events have underscored the importance of collaborative defense. In the fight against cyberattacks, sharing information about threats and countermeasures within industries, and with the government, can play a pivotal role in boosting collective cybersecurity resilience.
To conclude, the cyberattacks of 2022 have given us a profound understanding of the scale and complexity of the cybersecurity challenge we face. The lessons learned from these attacks have shaped our strategies, pushing us to develop more robust, forward-looking security measures. While the road ahead is filled with challenges, we are better prepared than ever to tackle them. By drawing on our learnings from the past and harnessing the power of innovation, we stand firm in our commitment to safeguarding our digital world against cyberattacks.
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