At the end of last year, we made a prediction. It was one that we wished wouldn’t come true even though we were virtually certain that it would: that cybersecurity and hacking would continue to be even bigger topics in 2022.

So far, we’ve (unfortunately) been proven correct. That isn’t a surprise in and of itself – credit card theft, denial of service attacks, phishing, and ransomware have all been on the rise for years. What is astounding is the way we are beginning to think about these sorts of crimes.

To get deeper into our meaning, let’s take a look at a pair of trends you might have noticed lately.

State-Sponsored Cyber Crimes

It has long been known that certain governments are willing to encourage hackers to target businesses based in the United States or look away when they do. However, the conflict in Ukraine increased fears of Russian attacks on the West, suggesting that criminal action could be used as a tool of national aggression.

This isn’t just an abstract concept. It means that someone who is trying to break into your website could have access to bigger budgets and stronger equipment than they had in the past.

Professional Ransomware Negotiators

It was inevitable. With ransomware attacks affecting even the biggest companies, small agencies have sprung up promising to help negotiate smaller payments. The ethics and standards can be questionable, and some of the “negotiators” might be tied to the criminals themselves. Still, the fact that there is even a cottage industry around the specialty is somewhat amazing.

Similar businesses exist in places where executives and VIPs are regularly kidnapped in person. We take it as a sign that this particular business model if you can call it that, is maturing.

What Do These Trends Mean for Businesses?

Obviously, these aren’t the only cybersecurity trends we could have written about. However, these two are particularly striking because they point to a couple of realities that most of us would rather not accept. The first is that hacking attempts are getting more sophisticated and professional. Second, these types of crimes have become big enough – in terms of the money they involve – that side industries are popping up around them.

Take those realizations together and you’ll come to the easy conclusion that online data security is going to be an enormous concern for years to come. The problem isn’t going away, and the companies who ignore it are going to find themselves struggling to keep up.

Introducing Managed Security Services

To help our clients stay a step ahead of criminals (and competitors), Fantastic IT recently rolled out new packages of services that include managed security services. What that means, essentially, is that you can have us look after firewalls, encryptions, daily backups, email security, and more for a low monthly or yearly price.

The big lesson we’ve gotten from the first half of 2022 is that it pays to be prepared. Contact us today so we can get to work on protecting your business from known and unknown threats.