SecurityBrief Australia logo
Australia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

New year, new rules – understanding the cybersecurity danger areas in 2022

By Contributor
Mon 31 Jan 2022

The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report 2022 was released last week, revealing cybersecurity is the biggest worry for business leaders in Australia in 2022. 

And with good reason. 

2021 saw a maelstrom of high profile attacks, most notably Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods in the USA, with Australian businesses suffering more than $33 billion in total losses from cybercrime, according to the Australian Cyber Security Centre. 

We sat down with three leading experts on cybersecurity for their take on what businesses should be keeping front of mind and how they can mitigate security risk in 2022.

Unification of OT and IT security 

According to Qualys A/NZ chief technology security officer Rahn Wakeley, one of the most important things organisations can do in 2022 to help mitigate risk is to simplify the management accountability of OT and IT security under the CISO role.

"The risk to physical equipment has been apparent for years, but the Colonial Pipeline attack has acted as a wake-up call and a salutary lesson to organisations that use any solution that exposes physical machinery to the internet," notes Wakeley.

He is a firm believer that 2022 will be the year when a single CISO becomes responsible for OT and IT security. "As we move further along the path of the fourth industrial revolution, it's inevitable that we must think of OT and IT under the same risk domain."

Wakeley also predicts a rise in ransomware related to OT assets in 2022 and notes that as cyber insurance providers are scaling back coverage on ransomware attacks, now isn't the time to sit back and hope a breach won't occur.

Critically, he is concerned that it isn't just the financial impact that businesses must consider. "Last year Gartner predicted that we'll see cyberattackers weaponising operational technology (OT) environments to successfully harm humans by 2025, so ensuring critical OT systems are protected really could be a matter of life or death."

The development of new strategies as cybercrime grows 

Leaders in unified physical security software Genetec are all too familiar with the problem caused when OT and IT security are out of synch.

Genetec A/NZ general manager George Moawad notes that this can often lead to the simplest yet most important part of cyber hygiene – ensuring that all IoT devices and on-premise servers are running the most secure version of the firmware that is available – being overlooked.

According to Moawad, new models for cybersecurity will emerge. "As more devices come online and data processing becomes central to operations, businesses will need to remain agile and responsive to the evolving threat landscape. At the same time, their customers will also demand greater transparency about how they are keeping data secure and private," says Moawad.

"All of this will usher in an entirely new model for cybersecurity that relies on continuous verification rather than just hardening networks and systems."

He also notes that "building layers of protection into a security ecosystem won't be enough. Decision-makers will need to implement more offensive cybersecurity strategies and choose partners who offer higher levels of automation to stay on top of potential threats."

The supply chain becomes the new weakest link 

Last year's far-reaching SolarWinds Orion attack has catapulted supply chain security vulnerabilities into the spotlight – particularly those involving the third-party software applications and hardware components that comprise much of today's enterprise IT environments. CyberArk regional director Thomas Fikentscher says Australian businesses should brace themselves for an upswing in supply chain attacks in 2022. 

"Attackers have long targeted third-party vendors across both digital and physical supply chains as backdoors to the networks they were targeting. Historically, many devastating attacks started as a phishing vector, and supply chain attacks were conducted by state-sponsored actors going after high-value or high return-on-investment targets (for example, the Kaseya breach).  

"However, the experiences of the last two years shows that threat actors have become increasingly precise in targeting the weakest links and supply chain security blind spots. Companies have been trying to deploy pragmatic and sustainable security strategies with minimal impact on business operations and the speed of innovation. Still, it's a balancing act that can cause security vulnerabilities."

Fikentscher believes that the biggest lesson from the SolarWinds attack was that the hackers could attack the build and deployment phase rather than compromising the source code. This type of attack had never been seen before, and so it highlights the importance of adopting a security by design mindset when working with software developers and designers.

New Year, New Rules

Without exception, all three executives highlighted that many Australian organisations have also been forced to adopt (or plan to) a highly proactive cybersecurity strategy following the amendments to the Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 introduced at the end of 2021.

With the definition of "critical infrastructure sector" expanded to cover 11 sectors, scores of organisations must now adhere to the Act's requirement, including mandatory notification of cybersecurity incidents and making company directors personally accountable for a cyber breach.

Their key takeaway on this? For better or worse, this key legislative change and the high-profile attacks of last year have thrust cyber risk into the spotlight and into the board room – which they hope will, in turn, drive best practice and Australian innovation. 

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Kubernetes
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Microsoft
Global cybersecurity insurance market worth $11.5b this year
Future Market Insights finds the cybersecurity insurance market is expected to reach USD$11.5 billion in 2022, growing to $61.2 billion in 10 years.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
Remote Working
How zero trust and SD-WANs can support productive remote working
The way people connect with applications and data has changed, users are remotely accessing resources that could be stored anywhere from a corporate data center to the cloud.
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
New Relic
New Relic launches vulnerability management platform
New Relic has introduced New Relic Vulnerability Management to help organisations find and address security risks faster and with greater precision.
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Managed service providers: effective scoping to avoid costly vendor pitfalls
Managed security services are outsourced services focusing on the security and resilience of business networks.
Story image
Apricorn
Data backup plans inadequate, data still at risk - study
The Apricorn 2022 Global IT Security Survey revealed that while the majority organisations have data backup plans in place, data for many are at risk.
Story image
BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implementations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Story image
Qualys
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Training
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
trust
9/10 Aussies to stop spending if personal data compromised
"Based on the patterns we are seeing among Australian consumers, it is evident that trust in a brand is exceptionally important."
Story image
Supply chain
Jetstack promotes better security with supply chain toolkit
The web-based resource is designed to help organisations evaluate and plan the crucial steps they need to establish effective software supply chain security.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
SaaS
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Phishing
KnowBe4 celebrates reaching 50,000 customers worldwide
KnowBe4 has reached the milestone of 50,000 customers, adding nearly 2,500 in the first quarter of 2022 alone.
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Malware
New vulnerabilities found in Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report
“Threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics and these exploits tend to get industry attention, but the threat posed by older and attacks still persists."
Story image
Ransomware
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
VPN
The most common online scams in Australia
No one is safe from online scammers, and many of these scammers have capitalised on the pandemic, using this confusing time to attack more people than ever.
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Infoblox's State of Security Report spotlights Australian remote work hazards
Attackers exploit weak WiFi, remote endpoints, and the cloud, costing 50% of organisations over $1.3 million in breach damages.
Story image
Cybersecurity
BlackBerry offers Kaspersky replacement cybersecurity for the channel
BlackBerry advises that users of Kaspersky software in Australia and New Zealand undertake a rigorous risk analysis of their current security posture.
Story image
Migration
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The 'A-B-C' of effective application security
Software applications have been a key tool for businesses for decades, but the way they are designed and operated has changed during the past few years.