Cybersecurity is a critical concern as the threat landscape keeps evolving and becoming more complex. Organizations are already on high alert for sophisticated cyberattacks involving malware, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and more; but it’s still essential to stay informed about the top cyber threats facing the world in 2023. That’s the only way you can update security measures to stay ahead of the threat.
What Are Cyber Threats?
A cyber threat is a malicious attempt to damage or disrupt computer systems, applications, networks, or devices and steal personal information. Cyber threats come from numerous threat actors, including hostile nation-states, advanced persistent threat (APT) groups, organized crime organizations, ransomware gangs, hackers, and malicious insiders.
Cyber Threats to Watch for This Year
The four cybersecurity trends below are likely to be your biggest worries for 2023.
Ransomware is a type of malware used to encrypt or lock critical files on a victim’s computer system. That renders those files unusable, and then the attackers demand a ransom from the victim to release their hold on encrypted data. Ransomware has evolved from a consumer-level annoyance that struck individual computer users to a highly sophisticated attack that today primarily targets organizations in both the public and private sectors.
The scope of ransomware attacks has increased, along with the ransom demands to restore access to affected data. Ransom demands have soared from double-digit numbers to millions or even billions of dollars. Based on that trend, it’s reasonable to expect the phenomenon will persist in 2023 and years to come.
Attacks on cloud security
Cloud adoption continues to increase at a high rate. According to Palo Alto Networks, 69 percent of organizations moved more than half of their workloads to the cloud in 2022, a significant increase from the 31 percent recorded in 2020.
Cloud technology is ever more complicated, so deploying and protecting workloads on the cloud remains a major problem. As more organizations adopt cloud services, the potential rewards for attackers to gain access to this sensitive information also increases.
Plus, the use of cloud services has also increased the number of third-party vendors and service providers that organizations must trust with their data. That will continue to create more vulnerabilities and drive demand for better third-party risk management programs.
Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to dupe victims into sharing valuable information. The attacking message typically mimics trustworthy and respectable sources, such as banks and government agencies or messages from a coworker. Phishing emails can even include malware hidden in email attachments that appear harmless, but the malware is activated when opened.
Phishers exploit human vulnerabilities and use social engineering tactics such as psychological manipulation and cognitive bias – so unfortunately, these attacks work. Phishing and social engineering attacks will likely increase in 2023 because they are effective and relatively easy to execute and gain access to personal data.
Supply chain attacks
The supply chain refers to the entire system that incorporates all the resources, processes, and technology involved in producing and selling a product. By executing a supply chain attack, cybercriminals aim to infiltrate one organization and then move up the supply chain, exploiting the trust in those relationships to gain entry into other organizations’ environments.
The complexity of the supply chain poses a serious challenge to organizations attempting to secure their infrastructure. More than 80 percent of respondents believe attacks on supply chains could become a significant cybersecurity risk by 2024. This means that as organizations continue to outsource critical activities, the potential for supply chain attacks only increases.
Preventing Cyberattacks: Best Practices
Below are four cybersecurity best practices to counter each of the cyber threats discussed above.
Adopt a multilayered approach
Securing against ransomware and other types of malware isn’t a single-step process. Instead, it requires a multilayered approach that includes using anti-virus, malware scanner, incident response, and intrusion prevention technologies, plus other security solutions on devices.
Since ransomware attacks may come from various sources and can infiltrate through different channels, a multilayered approach is critical to protect against these threats. Each layer of defense serves a unique purpose and is built to discover and respond to different types of attacks.
Backup your files
Another best practice to prevent cyberattacks is to have a robust backup and recovery strategy. The purpose of the backup is to give you the capability – via a copy of data – to restore your system to its current working condition in the event of a primary data failure.
Data failures can result from accidental deletion, data breaches, hardware or software failure, human error, and data corruption.
Use two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication (also known as multi-factor authentication) is an extra layer of defense beyond your password. Confirming your identity and protecting access to your accounts using a second factor, such as your phone or one-time-password token, prevents anyone but you from logging in, even if somebody else knows your password. Multi-factor authentication is also required by certain regulations, so you may well have a compliance incentive to implement this step too.
Implement zero-trust policies
Zero Trust is a security framework that assumes a breach is inevitable, and focuses on securing resources by continuously challenging users on the network and restricting access to only what is needed.
Well-developed zero-trust policies and environments give CISOs and information security defenders more opportunities to detect novel threat actors, and more response options that can be quickly deployed to prevent sophisticated threats.
Keep Your Information Secure
ZenGRC is an innovative risk management solution that helps track your cybersecurity risk in real-time. It enables you to simplify vendor assessments and create questionnaires that allow your contractors to give you the insights you need to ensure that their risk management practices align with yours.
Schedule a demo to learn how using Reciprocity ZenGRC can help in protecting sensitive information and enhance your overall risk posture.