The digital transformation of business continues to alter the way organizations operate and how they interact with customers, partners, and suppliers. As a result, every company is becoming digital by default—and this also means that cyber threats are increasing in frequency and sophistication. Cyber-attacks increased by almost 20% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to 2021, and it is predicted a sharp increase will continue worldwide into 2023.
The continued attacks on businesses in all sectors mean organizations need to take deliberate action to defend themselves. It is imperative to know how cyber threats are changing, how businesses can mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks, and the future of cybersecurity in 2023.
What is the current state of cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity has become a top priority for business leaders, particularly in recent years as a result of the pandemic-accelerated digital transformation.
However, even as organizations recognize the need for better cybersecurity, many continue to struggle to implement effective solutions.Many organizations report having difficulty in securing critical data because of an inability to hire the right talent and an insufficient budget, two factors that don’t appear likely to change in the near future.
Most companies have also not yet implemented best security practices across their entire IT infrastructure. This can be as simple as having poor password management or using legacy IT infrastructure that has security vulnerabilities that cybercriminals are actively exploiting. This means businesses are not yet fully prepared to deal with the risks of today’s digital business environment.
How will cyber threats change by 2023?
Cyber threats are evolving by nature, and businesses must be prepared for these changes.
This malware dominated as the biggest risk to organizations in the first half of 2022, and the ransomware ecosystem will continue to evolve as criminal groups become smaller and more agile to avoid law enforcement. Small businesses are the most common target of ransomware attacks, as they are less likely to have robust data backup and disaster recovery protocols and are more likely to pay a ransom. Reports from the National Cyber Security Alliance indicate the majority of all cyber-attacks happen to small to mid-sized businesses, and up to 60% of them close within six months after a ransomware attack.
Employees who are unhappy can destroy networks or steal intellectual property and proprietary information, and those who have poor security habits may inadvertently divulge passwords and leave equipment unprotected, putting the company at risk. This has led to an increase in social engineering audits to see if employee security policies and procedures are functioning properly.
According to an IBM 2022 study, 35% of businesses were employing artificial intelligence in their operations and 42% were examining the technology. Artificial intelligence will provide companies in every sector with extraordinary opportunities. Unfortunately, malicious actors are also aware of this.
Data poisoning is a new attack vector in business systems. An AI system that has been poisoned with corrupted data produces results that are skewed in favor of a malicious actor, potentially resulting in false AI conclusions being provided to company decision-makers.
Although IoT technology is becoming more popular, its security standards still need to catch up. The vulnerabilities of IoT technology are well documented, and they are falling behind as the technology becomes more prevalent.
According to Microsoft’s new report on global cybersecurity risks, IoT devices are a major risk because they provide hackers with opportunities to access networks with little security. Poor software development and poor design standards can leave networks open to attack. In addition, insecure storage and transmission of data, as well as a lack of physical hardening, makes many IoT devices an easy target for cybercriminals.
Key takeaways for businesses on cybersecurity in 2023
To better prepare for what lies ahead, organizations will need to proactively protect their critical data and systems. Organizations will increasingly rely on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to identify threats and help mitigate them, embrace a zero-trust approach to cybersecurity, and implement strong governance and risk management practices.
As the threat landscape changes, it will become increasingly important for organizations to be transparent in the way they handle cybersecurity. This will help to build trust with customers, suppliers, and other partners.
Cybersecurity is a persistent challenge, even in the best of times. As threats evolve and new technologies are introduced, this challenge becomes even more significant. Business leaders will need to pay careful attention to how their organizational culture responds to change and security challenges, and they will need to be open to adopting new technologies and techniques as they become available. Take a cybersecurity-first approach with the cybersecurity experts at Aquarius IQ and protect your business in 2023.