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Palo Alto Network’s APAC Security Predictions 2022

by Shah Farouq

In 2021, we saw the sustained acceleration of innovation and digital transformation as organizations continued to navigate the effects of the global pandemic.

Unfortunately, cyberattackers also grew in sophistication, compromising the very foundation of our digital economy.

The impact of ransomware attacks reached an unprecedented scale, threatening thousands of organizations worldwide and even holding critical infrastructure hostage.

Country Manager, Palo Alto Networks, Malaysia, Suk Hua Lim

“Looking back at our predictions from last year, we saw that the data privacy debate was indeed a critical focus.” said Country Manager, Palo Alto Networks, Malaysia, Suk Hua Lim.

“As authorities ramped COVID-19 up contact tracing and information sharing efforts in a race to reopen their borders, the ability of governments to secure and protect citizen data effectively also came under scrutiny in several countries across the region,” she said.

Palo Alto also forecast that the shift to mass remote work would drive businesses and their respective IT teams to speed up IT adoption – with security getting pushed to the edge and simplified.

“In a recent survey, we found that organizations in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) identified maintaining comprehensive security as the top remote access challenge when expanding work-from-home capabilities, leading 80% of them to seek broad, end-to-end solutions to improve their remote security posture.”

“With the pandemic-induced shift in digital behavior and adoption clearly here to stay, the question remains: Are organizations well equipped to deal with the security threats that we will face in 2022,” said Suk Hua Lim.

Palo Alto’s Looks Into Crystal Ball

As 2021 comes to an end, Palo Alto has come up with their own predictions for the cybersecurity trends that will shape the digital landscape for the year 2022.

Head of Systems Engineering, Palo Alto Networks, Malaysia, David Rajoo, shared that the first prediction is the meteoric rise of bitcoin will create a well-funded adversary.

Head of Systems Engineering, Palo Alto Networks, Malaysia, David Rajoo

“Over the past year, the APAC region has seen a variety of cyberattacks, but the one that has truly risen in prominence is ransomware attacks.

“It’s no secret that cryptocurrency fuels the ransomware economy, and its continued appreciation will only spell good news for cybercriminals. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency offers attackers anonymity and protection of their identities.

“As the currency is not tied to any central bank or financial institution, it makes it hard for regulators to trace back to the cybercriminals who have received ransom payments in cryptocurrency will have more funds and resources to launch bigger attacks on critical infrastructure,” he added.

Besides that, the second prediction would be, as physical and digital lines blur, who or what people trust will impact their security even more.

“The ubiquity of IoT devices in our everyday lives has further blurred the lines between our physical and online worlds. Be it smart light bulbs or self-driving vehicles, these devices have vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.

“Web 3.0 will make data breaches and other cyberattacks a lot more impactful, as these attacks are on cars, buildings, and physical lives,”

Lastly, a borderless workforce needs a borderless solution. At the start of the pandemic, organizations were scrambling to put in place remote work systems at scale, and efficiency was prioritized more than security.

“Threat actors of course have not missed out on this megatrend. With our homes now evolving into our workplaces, they have switched their focus from targeting corporate headquarters or branches to attacking individual homes.

“All of these devices can be points of vulnerability if they are not adequately configured and secured,” he added.

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