We have come a long way since 2022. Some cybersecurity trends stayed the same, some became even more relevant and some are new trends. Here are our top 10 cybersecurity trends of 2023.
1. Remote work and cybersecurity
Since the start of the pandemic, many companies have started letting their employees work from home. Now, this has moved to a hybrid working environment. This means more employees are using company devices in their home offices and they use more cloud environments to access resources. Before the pandemic, it was simple to check and update company laptops and smartphones regularly. This made it easy to ensure these laptops were free of malware and ran the latest anti-virus software versions. Now, there is more chance that your company devices aren’t secured, which can lead to employees falling victim to phishing attacks. These kinds of attacks trick users into divulging information through emails. It’s more likely that employees will fall for this kind of impersonation scam when working remotely in teams where they don’t know each other well.
In the last two years, there has been an increase in remote working and consequently also an increase in the demand for cloud solutions. These solutions offer great services for companies, such as increased scalability and cost efficiency. But these solutions don’t offer secure authentication or audit logging. This makes them a prime target for cybercriminals and it leaves a lot of space for human errors as well. All businesses should think about adopting cloud protection measures.
2. Embedded security for Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things means connecting more and more devices to the network which means more potential doors that attackers can use to get in and access our data. Analysts at Gartner predict there will be 43 billion IoT devices in the world in 2023. This growth of IoT devices has increased the chances for cybercriminals to launch cyberattacks and data breaches. Internet of Things devices can range from smart wearables to home appliances, cars, building alarm systems, and industrial machinery. These devices have often been a cause of anxiety for cybersecurity experts. Because they aren’t used to store data directly, manufacturers haven’t always been focused on keeping them secure with frequent security patches and updates.
This has changed however, these devices did start to store data and often hackers can find ways to use these devices as gateways to devices that give access to the network. Security vulnerabilities such as DoS (Denial-of-service) or hijacked devices continue to plague most IoT devices today. As the number of Internet of things devices increases, so does the threat to your corporate network.
3. Attacks on mobile devices
The technology on mobile devices keeps evolving. Mobile security often beats the security of buggy PCs and vulnerable servers. But phones are still computers and the people operating them are still a weak link. 5G, NFC, and other new mobile technologies make it easier for attackers to hack your mobile device. On top of that, remote working has made employees rely more on their mobile devices to communicate with one another and to connect with the corporate network. Attackers have realized this and started to target mobile devices. These devices store massive amounts of sensitive information. Organizations should add additional layers of security to mobile devices. Hackers’ attack methods are becoming more inventive due to the current rate of digital transformation.
Even the most used browser in the world, Chrome, was found to have serious bugs. 5G is quite new compared to Chrome, so you can imagine there is a lot of research needed to find loopholes to make the system secure from external threats. This might bring forth a plethora of network attacks that we might not be aware of.
4. Cybersecurity awareness
97% of people with access to the internet still cannot identify when an email is a phishing email. Many people will click on a phishing email and become victims of cyberattacks. This shows that there is a huge need for awareness and education to identify theft and network hacks. Thankfully, many companies already go beyond implementing strong firewalls and IT protocols. The most important step in fighting cybercrime is fostering a culture of awareness around cybersecurity issues. It’s no longer good enough to simply think of cybersecurity as an issue for the IT department to take care of.
Developing awareness for threats and taking basic precautions to ensure safety should be a fundamental part of everyone’s job. Companies should train and equip their employees with the skills to fight cyberattacks. They should also focus more on how workers share and handle confidential information. An especially dangerous attack is the phishing attack that uses social engineering methods to trick users. You don’t need technical skills to learn to become aware of these types of attacks and to take precautions to avoid falling victim. Other basic skills like the safe use of passwords and developing an understanding of two-factor authentication (2FA) should be taught to every employee. Every business that wants to build resilience and preparedness over the coming 12 months should foster a culture of cybersecurity awareness as a core element of their business strategy.
5. Cybersecurity and data privacy
Modern data privacy laws will cover almost all the personal information of the world’s population in the future. But now, data is still a leading concern for organizations. Safeguarding digital data should be the primary goal of any individual or organization. Any flaw or bug in your browser or software is a potential vulnerability hackers can use to access personal data. This is why the GDPR was enforced. The GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation is a European data protection law that gives people more control over their own personal information. It has forced companies to rethink data privacy.
Although this law is the brainchild of the EU, it also has major impacts on data protection requirements across the world. Similarly, there is the KVKK, Turkey’s Personal Data Protection act, the LGPD, Brazil’s General Personal Data Protection Act, and the CCPA, California’s Consumer Privacy Act. The general consensus of these laws is that you will manage multiple data protection laws in different jurisdictions and customers will get to know what kind of data you collect from them and how it’s used. This also means you should focus on automating your data privacy management system. You should add all this to your general cybersecurity plan.
6. Targeted attacks on the educational, financial, and healthcare sectors
Geo-targeted phishing attacks
A phishing attack is still one of the most severe security threats on the internet. The majority of the population is at risk of falling prey to phishing. These phishing emails and dangerous URLs are still common on the internet, but they are much more sophisticated now. They are customized, tailored, and geo-targeted. Cybercriminals are becoming better at devising ways to craft polished business emails that can fool even the best eye. This is why businesses should invest more time and energy into security awareness programs.
Another targeted attack is the targeted ransomware attack. In this case, ransomware is used to hack certain industries that rely heavily on specific software to run their daily operations. An example of this kind of attack is the WannaCry attack on the National Health Service hospitals in Scotland, which corrupted more than 70.000 medical devices. In 2022 the number of ransomware attacks was at an all-time high but in 2023, there will be a slight decline in the raw number of ransomware attacks.
This doesn’t mean cybercriminals are doing nothing. They will keep professionalizing their operations and will target higher value targets. These targets include the educational, financial, and healthcare sectors because they work with highly private personal data. The ransomware attack has a severe impact on the people affected and renders organizations non-operational for days or weeks. Other consequences of this attack are a high cost and loss of reputation. You should do everything to avoid this attack.
7. Government-sponsored attacks
Around times when there is war or governmental elections there is a surge in cyberattacks. Cyber espionage and sabotage are used to undermine other governments or to access secrets. It’s likely that companies and non-governmental organizations will find themselves targeted by attackers who are acting on behalf of a governmental body. The WannaCry ransomware attack was believed to be perpetrated by hackers affiliated with the government of North Korea. This has made many governments suspicious. Security agencies around the world believe hundreds of thousands of attacks on servers can be traced to foreign governments.
You should be particularly careful if your organization is connected to your government in 2023 because more than 70 countries are due to hold governmental elections. This will trigger attacks by hostile foreign interests in the shape of cyber attacks on IT infrastructure. Cyber warfare will become a key element in armed conflict in the future. We’ve already noticed in the war between Russia and Ukraine that digital is almost as important as the fighting on the ground.
8. Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Artificial intelligence will be a huge trend in 2023 both for the defense and the attackers. It has become increasingly tricky for human cybersecurity experts to react to all cyberattacks and predict where the most dangerous attacks will take place. Artificial intelligence comes into play here. Machine learning algorithms can examine the data moving across networks in real-time far more effectively than humans ever could and learn to recognize patterns that indicate a threat.
Unfortunately, this means that hackers are also growing increasingly proficient at using AI. They use artificial intelligence to identify systems with weak security or systems that are likely to contain valuable information. AI can also be used to create a large number of phishing emails designed to trick receivers into divulging sensitive information. This way, attackers are becoming increasingly good at evading automated email defense systems that filter out this type of email. Artificial intelligence can even be used to clone the voice of senior executives and authorize fraudulent transactions. It’s literally a race of good against bad. Investing in AI solutions isn’t a bad idea. It makes various processes simpler, more efficient, less costly and it helps prevent similar attacks in the future.
9. Automotive hacking
Modern vehicles come with many advantages like seamless connectivity for drivers, cruise control, engine timing, door lock, airbags, and advanced systems for driver assistance. However, technologies like Bluetooth and WiFi open these vehicles up to several vulnerabilities or threats from hackers. Automated vehicles are going to be used more in 2023. This also means that there will be an increase in microphones being used for eavesdropping. Even more dangerous are self-driving vehicles. These vehicles require even stricter cybersecurity measures.
10. The adoption of Zero Trust network architecture, Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), or Network Isolation from Jimber
Traditional security solutions and virtual private networks (VPNs) are becoming a thing of the past. They were created at a time when there were no cloud computing tools and employees still worked at the office. Traditional networks work with a security edge that allows all employees inside of this perimeter. This is an ideal environment for insider threats. It also means that once a hacker has gotten access to one computer, it’s really easy to get access to the rest of the network. The problem with VPNs is that their servers are vulnerable to outside threats because they are constantly exposed to the internet. Once a user has access to the network via the VPN, they can access any corporate resource on their network. This allows users to access applications they may have no business accessing. Hackers use this vulnerability to leverage compromised accounts. This way they can move laterally to gain unrestricted access to all corporate resources.
Organizations will need more secure network security solutions. ZTNA is one of those solutions. It stands for Zero Trust Network Access. The most important principle of zero trust as a service is to never trust devices by default. This zero-trust framework is a solution that provides secure remote network access control for applications, data, and services based on clearly defined perimeters. In 2023, more people will choose a solution like ZTNA or something similar. Companies will also source most of their cybersecurity solutions from the same vendor in 2023. Company directors want optimization and consolidation. That’s why SaaS (Software as a Service) will become the preferred delivery method. Learn about ZTNA in our blog about zero-trust architecture.
Our Network Isolation ensures secure access to your corporate network because it only gives privileges to those who need to access your hard-to-protect resources such as applications, data, and devices instead of full access to the network.
This means that access to applications is denied by default so it has to be explicitly allowed by a software-defined parameter. That’s why Network Isolation is perfect for remote and hybrid work with cloud solutions. Our solution monitors each connected device to secure the application access and prevent data exfiltration. It enables access to internal and external applications from any location and any device.
Thanks to these software-defined parameters you can also easily trace the privileges of users and prevent insider threats. This principle also works against targeted ransomware because only authorized users can access internal resources. Network Isolation reduces third-party risks.
Network Isolation can be compared to ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access). This means you trust nothing and verify everything. It provides better security and micro-segmentation. The micro-segmentation reduces the places threats can move to and attack from. Network Isolation constantly authenticates every user and device. Our solution prevents application discovery on the public internet. This allows users to access applications while protecting organizations from data exposure, malware, and other attacks.
Protect your documents and passwords from insider threats using the Digital Vault. With our application, you can easily and securely log in to the digital vault without using a password. Thanks to our encryption only the owner of the phone is able to access and edit the documents. Even if a hacker would gain physical access to the server the files are hosted on, they still wouldn’t be able to decrypt the files. Or when other users gain access to the system that is hosting their own vault, they also still can’t reach the files in your vault.
Browsers are a huge entry point for malware like ransomware. Any flaw or bug in your browser or software is a potential vulnerability hackers can use to access personal data. Browser Isolation builds an extra layer of security between the internet and the computers within your company. We often call this a ‘container’. The container contains all web traffic so it’s not exposed to cyberattacks. A virus or cyberattack is contained in the isolated Jimber container and is removed as soon as the session is closed. Malware is never able to enter your system.
Want to know more? Get in touch with our team.
Other topics that might interest you:
What is zero trust architecture?
The ransomware attack: what it is and how it works