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Cybersecurity in 2022: (Do not fear to) Lift the lid off the can of worms

In '21, we saw numerous cybersecurity events. What does this mean for '22? Instead of a list of cybersecurity trends, making the key point: do not be afraid to lift the lid off the can of worms.

Maria Nordgren / January 13, 2022

“May you live in interesting times” says a Chinese proverb. From a cybersecurity point of view, year 2021 definitely qualifies. We saw a whole bunch of cybersecurity events, threats and attacks, Kaseya probably being the one that stuck most in the minds of everyone. And let’s not forget the Logj4 vulnerability which emerged at the very end of last year.

What does this all mean for 2022? It means many, many things. But instead of going, as per usual, into a list of trends of cybersecurity, I bring forth one key thing that I see applies very strongly going forward.

That is: Do not be afraid to lift the lid off the can of worms in advance. Meaning that when a cyberattack is starting, there is a small window when it is possible to minimize its impact and damage. But to take advantage of this window, one needs to be prepared.

Think about yourself, as an end user of a PC. You have a simple set of instructions what to do when the PC begins to behave in a strange way: pull the network plug. Simple and effective.

Of course, in any given organization, IT environments are inherently much more complex than the one with one user. Nevertheless, what organizations need is a set of pre-prepared clear and simple instructions what to do immediately when a cyberincident is beginning. Preparations and simple instructions would enable utilizing that small window to ‘pull the plug’; to minimize damage and make it possible to be up and running again quickly.

‘Be prepared’ in this cybersecurity context starts with a couple of basic things: risk assessment; a risk mitigation plan; and a rehearsed step by step action plan, including disaster recovery practices. This must be a board level thing, including implementing top-down training sessions so that everyone has the plan, if not in their backbone, at least at a level where everyone knows where and to whom to turn when a cyberincident takes place.

Building and optimizing your mitigation requirements and readiness is not that complex a thing. Make no mistake: it is a lot of work. However, when it has been done, one has a clear set of tools and procedures how to make the most of the short window for mitigation – and a clear picture of what happens when these measures are taken. Without the need to pause to think what needs to be done, and what will the impact across one’s organization and one’s ecosystem, and customers be when the cyberplug is pulled.

As an analogy, in any public building, there is a defibrillator on every floor, with instructions how to use it. In the same vein, every organization needs to have a plan and setup what is the immediate plan of action when a server of PC begins to behave in an extraordinary way.

So: lift the lid off your can of worms in advance. Have a plan what to do, how to do it, what are its impacts, and how to resume business as usual when (and nowadays, it is indeed ‘when’ not ‘if’) a cyberattack comes your way.

Think of it as an investment. Either organize the worms in your can, or in the worst case, you and your customers will be eating them. Cybersecurity year 2022 should be about lifting the lid of your can of worms in advance.

Do you want to know more about how to improve cybersecurity for your organization? 

Cybersecurity guidebook

Maria Nordgren
Tietoevry alumni
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