Image: © AFP/File Fred TANNEAU

Looking into the cyber-crystal ball, Nick Tausek, Security Solutions Architect, foresees that cyberattacks on companies engaged in social justice will increase in 2022. This could be to the extent that attempts increase by a double-digit percentage. He responds to questions posed by Digital Journal.

The reason why Tausek is making this prediction is based on trends discerned from 2021 data, as he observes: “This year we have seen an increase in both internal and external actors breaching companies such as Epic and Twitch for “ethical” reasons versus purely financial intentions.”

So, what is next? Tausek says that in 2022: There will be a significant increase in hacking for a political or social cause. Most organizations in this position will fail to adequately respond to the threat of exposure by focusing only on “clamping down” internally to prevent leakage rather than addressing problematic business cultures that make employees want to go rogue.”

To address these issues more regulation is likely to be required. Tausek predicts further that the U.S. government will attempt to regulate but this may not be successful, given the moving target.

Another area of regulation that could emerge is against social media companies. Again, this brings with it multiple challenges.

The appetite for this is based on recent events, explains Tausek. For example: “Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony before Congress in October cast a spotlight on the need for social media regulations. Many see the latest allegations of widespread negligence as the final straw.”

Some action is required, given the size of the social networks. Tausek notes: “Social media companies like Facebook that carry large fractions of the world’s communications, from personal messaging to business traffic, can no longer be trusted to self-regulate.”

This means “the need for greater transparency into social media companies’ moderation practices has been clearly highlighted to Congress and the general public.”

Other measures required, Tausek argues include the need for the personal “insurance that they are not being influenced by entities hostile to the United States, such as when Facebook sold political ads to accounts that paid in Russian rubles leading up to the 2016 election.”

However, despite the desire, Tausek sees political appetite waning: “Although numerous pieces of legislation will be proposed in the House and Senate after the conversation was reignited, the flame will quickly die out in 2022 as political gridlock keeps Congress from officially taking the oversight process into their own hands to curb disinformation tactics.”

The public backlash could be severe, however. Tausek  cautions: “This will have the effect of further sowing distrust, anti-vaccine information, and social discord, as misinformation and disinformation run rampant on the most popular platforms.”