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Cisco Reveals Top Cybersecurity Trends of 2021, What to Watch in 2022

Security vulnerability Log4J detected. 3d illustration.

Cisco Talos Incident Response (CTIR) shared insights on the top cybersecurity trends of 2021 and what to expect in 2022 in a report released at the Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference (GISEC).

In the report, some of CTIR's key trends in cybersecurity in 2021 included:

1. Healthcare Organizations Were Top Targets for Cybercriminals: Cybercriminals targeted healthcare organizations more frequently than those in any other industry, CTIR noted. This was due in part to healthcare organizations' underfunded cybersecurity budgets and low downtime tolerance.

2. Ransomware Continues to Threaten Global Organizations: Ransomware dominated the threat landscape in 2021, according to CTIR. There also was a proliferation of ransomware adversaries and an increased reliance on commercially available and open-source tools for ransomware attacks during this time frame.

3. The Global Security Community Remains Concerned About Log4j Vulnerabilities: To date, many organizations have encountered challenges as they try to identify and patch Log4J vulnerabilities, CTIR indicated. As such, the global security community remains concerned about Log4J vulnerabilities and their impact on organizations in the foreseeable future.

And What to Watch For in 2022...

Along with a potential increase in the exploitation of Log4J vulnerabilities, CTIR included several cybersecurity trends for 2022 in its report, including:

1. The Risk of Supply Chain and Third-Party Attacks Will Increase: CTIR said it expects supply chain and third-party risk to continue to pose threats to global organizations.

2. More Cybercriminals Could Use Emotet for Ransomware Attacks: Cybercriminals look poised to revive the Emotet botnet and use it to initiate ransomware attacks.

3. Many Cybercrime Groups Will Shut Down or Rebrand: The U.S. Department of Justice and other government agencies are taking measures to disrupt cybercrime groups, which may lead these groups to shut down their operations or rebrand under new names.

Organizations can implement ransomware protection and secure network analytics solutions to guard against evolving cyberattacks, said Fady Younes, Cisco's cybersecurity director for the Middle East and Africa. In doing so, they can leverage threat detection, prevention and response capabilities to track and mitigate cyber threats now and in the future.

Cisco Engages MSP Partners

The Cisco observations emerge amid the company's continued shift toward MSP-centric partner engagements. During a briefing last week, Cisco Channel Chief Oliver Tuszik emphasized MSPs as the company's fastest-growing route to market. In addition to the Cisco Talos security solutions, the company's Duo and Meraki offerings -- in particular -- each have growing MSP partner footprints worldwide.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.