Presented by the Privacy and Data Security Litigation Practiced Group

2022 Cyber Forecast: Ever-Increasing Data Breaches and Ransomware Attacks

Released earlier this month, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) 2021 Annual Data Breach Report found that data breaches have increased by 68% in just one year. Over 1,800 breaches were reported in 2021. This number does not even take into account all of the data breaches that were not reported. An alarming number of reported breaches were cyber attacks, including a significant increase in ransomware attacks. As readers undoubtedly know, ransomware attacks doubled from 2019 to 2021, and it is predicted that they will become the number one threat in the data breach field in 2022.

Further, consumer credit reporting company Experian published a recent article in which they identify the top five data breach trends that they see occurring in 2022. They are:

  1. Digital assets will become a much more prevalent target by threat actors. Both cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will be a rich field for threat actors to attack. In fact, Bitmark, a cryptocurrency company, just announced that it had been the victim of a data breach attack earlier this month.
  2. Experian sees natural disasters playing a more extensive role in the data breach field. As more and more natural disasters occur, there is a related increase in online donations. Such donations include a rich supply of Personal Information (PI) and make charitable companies and those related to them inviting targets for threat actors.
  3. Remote workers will continue to make businesses more vulnerable to cyber attacks.
  4. Physical infrastructure landmarks (like electric grids) will continue to be targeted by both threat actors and state-sponsored criminals.
  5. As online gambling increases, threat actors will learn to exploit it as it grows and cyber security does not keep up with the pace of the growth.

As the past has shown, data breaches and attacks show no signs of abating, and we must all prepare to respond to these events. These numbers demonstrate once again how critically important cyber insurance and cyber security is for businesses to survive in 2022. 


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