2022’s 10 Biggest Security Trends

By Daniel Young | January 12, 2023 | 4 min read
2022 review

The last couple of years have been disruptive. COVID-19 changed the way we live. People lost their jobs. There was an increase in the divide between poverty and wealth. Politically, we’ve seen an increase in rhetoric on both sides, creating polarized views between people. Many of those trends came to a head in 2022, as frustrations boiled over.

This naturally caused security challenges in the workplace and out in the world.

Here’s a look back at some of the top trends and security news of 2022.

1. Car theft and carjackings

Car theft and carjackings were a problem nationwide in 2022. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported in July that nearly half a million vehicles were stolen in the first half of 2022, equaling an estimated $4.5 billion dollars’ worth of vehicle losses from thefts. Many of those crimes occurred while people were in the vehicles, as some viral videos have shown. What’s behind the theft? In many cases, the motives have been financial; catalytic converter theft drives a lot of car theft. In some cases, however, theft is being driven by viral Tik Tok challenges.

2. Active shooters

Gun violence has continued to be a problem, with 2022 on track (as of this writing) to be the year with the second-most mass shootings on record. According to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, there were 636 mass shootings in 2022, down slightly from 690 in 2021.

3. Escalating retail theft

Retail theft was already bad in 2021 and the preceding years, but it worsened in 2022. More than half of small retailers reported a rise in theft and shoplifting this year. Big chains are getting hit too, with organized retail theft and fraud contributing to nearly $100 billion in shrink.

4. Cargo theft

2022 opened with stories of trains being robbed while they were stopped on the tracks in East Los Angeles. While that particular string of robberies was stopped, cargo theft continued throughout the year. Cargo theft has risen in 2022, with industry watchdogs reporting thefts from truck stops, parking lots, and secured yards.

5. Insider threats

Insider threats were a problem in 2022. According to a recent report, threats posed by insiders accounted for 35% of all data breaches in Q3 of 2022, its highest point so far. In fact, in April 2022 it was disclosed that a disgruntled insider was responsible for the CashApp data breach, one of the biggest breaches of the year. You read more about 2022’s largest data breaches in Circadian Risk’s recent article.

6. Intellectual Property Theft

The theft of Intellectual Property (IP) is an evergreen problem for corporations, and in 2022 it continued to be an issue. In May, a chemist was convicted of stealing trade secrets and sentenced to jail time, while in December an executive at Hytera pled guilty to conspiracy to steal trade secrets from Motorola Solutions.

7. Workplace violence

In December, the first United Nations global report on workplace violence proved what many have known: workplace violence is common. More than 1 in 5 workers worldwide have experienced violence and harassment at work. In the U.S., workplace violence against healthcare workers has risen in particular since the pandemic began in 2020 and it continued to rise in 2022.

8. Road rage

Road rage incidents became headline news in 2022 as poorly behaved drivers assaulted other people on the road including other drivers and cyclists. A concerning part of the trend has been an increase in road rage-related shootings, including the highly-publicized shooting incident involving actress Denise Richards during a road rage incident in November.

9. Violence

While homicides were down, the overall violent crime rate rose in 2022. The increase in tensions and stress related to the pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn appears to be responsible for the violence that’s been causing bursts of aggression between people in public, in the workplace, and in the home. Political tensions are also contributing to this as views become more polarized and tolerance for differing opinions decreases.

10. Hate crimes

An increase in political rhetoric has been contributing to a rise in hate crimes over the last several years, and although the growth in hate crimes was slower in 2022, the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism still saw gains in 2022. According to reports, hate crimes rose in the first half of 2022 by 5%. Reports of violence against specific groups showed that certain groups are experiencing more violence than usual: antisemitic crimes rose in major cities, hate crimes against Asians spiked, and transgender and gender non-conforming people experienced an epidemic of violence.

What can security professionals expect in 2023?

The stresses that are causing violence, theft and other behaviors are unlikely to disappear in the next year. In fact, since 2024 is an election year, tensions are likely to rise further in 2023 as campaigns ramp up. For more predictions, read Circadian Risk’s guide to security trends in 2023.

Security professionals will have to plan to navigate these tensions, and mitigate threats by having plans in place and tools that can help them monitor risks.

To start planning for the next year, request a demo of Circadian Risk today.

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