Consumers and employees will be watching closely in 2022 to ensure that multinational corporations are checking all the boxes when it comes to the environment, culture and social and political issues.

Hackers are also getting more adept at "sniffing out" companies that claim to care about social responsibility, but are in fact plagued by a history of poor corporate social responsibility practices, such as subpar employee relations, product safety concerns and involvement in an environmental controversy.

Research by the University of Delaware's John D’Arcy shows that companies that engage in such "greenwashing" tactics are more likely to draw the ire of hackers, resulting in increased risk of data breach and other types of cyber intrusions.

"It seems that hackers have taken on a role as cyber activists, by targeting firms that are disingenuous toward social responsibility," said D'Arcy, a professor of accounting and management information systems in UD's Lerner College of Business & Economics.