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By Clare O’Gara
Wed | Apr 15, 2020 | 5:30 AM PDT

When it comes to the threat horizon for 2022, we can expect digital and physical worlds to collide even further.

This is according to a new cyber threat assessment forecast by the Information Security Forum (ISF).

Emerging security threats organizations will face in the next two years

According to the ISF, quick adaptation is going to be essential for maintaining cybersecurity through the year 2022.

This is what Steve Durbin, Managing Director for ISF, says about it:

"By 2022, organizations will be plunged into crisis as merciless attackers exploit weaknesses in immature technologies and take advantage of an unprepared workforce. At the same time, natural forces will wreak havoc on infrastructure. Invasive technologies will be embraced across both industry and consumer markets, creating an increasingly tumultuous and unpredictable security environment.

Organizations will have to adapt quickly to survive when digital and physical worlds collide. Those that don't will find themselves exposed to threats that will outpace and overwhelm them."

This sounds like a recipe for cybersecurity burnout, doesn't it? Check out a new organization that is tackling the Top 10 Reasons for Cybersecurity Professional Burnout.

Speaking of lists, here are the top three themes ISF identifies in its report,Threat Horizon 2022.

Cyber threat #1: invasive technology disruptions

"New technologies will further invade every element of daily life with sensors, cameras and other devices embedded in homes, offices, factories and public spaces. A constant stream of data will flow between the digital and physical worlds, with attacks on the digital world directly impacting the physical and creating dire consequences for privacy, well-being and personal safety."

Cyber threat #2: neglected infrastructure cripples operations

"The technical infrastructure upon which organizations rely will face threats from a growing number of sources: man-made, natural, accidental and malicious. In a world where constant connectivity and real-time processing is vital to doing business, even brief periods of downtime will have severe consequences. It is not just the availability of information and services that will be compromised—opportunistic attackers will find new ways to exploit vulnerable infrastructure, steal or manipulate critical data and cripple operations."

Cyber threat #3: crisis of trust undermines digital business landscape
"Bonds of trust will break down as emerging technologies and the next generation of employees tarnish brand reputations, compromise the integrity of information and cause financial damage. Those that lack transparency, place trust in the wrong people and controls, and use technology in unethical ways will be publicly condemned. This crisis of trust between organizations, employees, investors and customers will undermine organizations' ability to conduct digital business."

Do these predictions seem alarmist to you?

The ISF's Steve Durbin admits they are designed to get the attention of leaders in IT and cybersecurity, for a specific purpose:

"What our latest Threat Horizon report does is reflect that yes, digital and physical worlds are combining, but much more importantly, reflects that we're going to have to change our overall thinking about the way that we deal with the risks that emanate from some of these threats."

Cyber threat podcast episodes

Speaking of dealing with threats, you may be interested in some COVID-19 threat related resources available on recent SecureWorld podcasts. 

Trend Micro has already discovered some 900,000 coronavirus related cyber threats, and we spoke to Myla Pilao about it:

Also, we interviewed cyber attorney Alex Urbelis, who uncovered a sophisticated cyberattack against the World Health Organization during the COVID-19 pandemic response. He sees more threats on the horizon. Listen below or on your favorite podcast platform: