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2023’s Top Cybersecurity Concerns: Addressing the Emerging Threats

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2023’s Top Cybersecurity Concerns: Addressing the Emerging Threats

As technology continues to evolve, so do the threats to cybersecurity. As the year takes shape, it is important to be aware of the latest challenges and issues facing organizations and individuals when it comes to protecting sensitive information.

From emerging threats to increasing regulations, there are a multitude of factors that must be taken into account in order to maintain a strong security posture. Here’s the list of the top cybersecurity concerns for this year and beyond.

2023’s Top Cybersecurity Concerns

In this article, we will explore some of the biggest, top cybersecurity concerns that are likely to emerge in 2023 and beyond, and provide insights on how to effectively address them.

Ransomware Extortion

Initially, ransomware aimed at extorting payments by encrypting data, rendering it inaccessible to legitimate users. Attackers would then demand a ransom for the decryption of the data.

However, the rising prevalence of ransomware threats has spurred security research efforts to detect and counter these threats.

The process of encrypting each file on a target system is time-consuming, which means that the malware can be terminated before all the data is encrypted, thereby saving some of the data. Additionally, businesses can potentially restore their data from backups without having to pay the ransom.

However, some ransomware attacks now employ a double extortion approach by adding data theft to data encryption. In some cases, ransomware operators have foregone encryption altogether and focused solely on the extortion attempt.

These ransomware data breaches are quicker to execute, harder to identify, and cannot be resolved through backups, making them a more potent cyber threat to businesses.

Mobile Malware

Mobile malware is among the top cybersecurity concerns this year. The increasing use of mobile devices has led to a rise in mobile malware, posing a significant threat to users.

Cybercriminals are creating malicious apps disguised as legitimate ones, like QR code readers, flashlights, and games, and distributing them on official and unofficial app stores.

To make matters worse, they have expanded their tactics to include cracked and custom versions of authentic apps.

These malicious APKs are often distributed through third-party app stores and direct downloads, exploiting the trust users have in recognized app names.

This trend is particularly concerning for businesses, as cybercriminals can use it to infiltrate employees’ devices with malware.

Weaponization of Legitimate Tools

Distinguishing between legitimate system administration tools, penetration testing, and malware is becoming increasingly difficult.

Cyber attackers often use the same functionality found in malware in legitimate tools that are unlikely to be detected by signature-based detection software.

This technique, known as “living off the land,” is becoming more common among cybercriminals. By leveraging built-in features and legitimate tools, attackers decrease their chances of being detected and increase the likelihood of a successful attack.

Additionally, the use of existing tools can help to scale attack campaigns and allow cybercriminals to stay up-to-date with the latest hacking techniques.

Zero-Day Vulnerabilities in Supply Chains

Another crazy addition to the growing list of the top cybersecurity concerns is the zero-day vulnerabilities in supply chains.

Corporate cybersecurity is under a significant and transient threat from zero-day vulnerabilities. When a vulnerability is discovered, but there is no available fix, it is called a zero-day vulnerability.

During this time frame, cybercriminals can exploit the vulnerability without any restrictions until the vendor releases a patch.

However, even after the patch is available, businesses do not always apply it promptly. Some cyberattacks target vulnerabilities that have been known and resolved for months or even years. Resource availability, security visibility, and prioritization are among the reasons for these delays.

The software supply chain is a particularly concerning area for zero-day attacks and unpatched vulnerabilities. Often, companies have limited visibility into the third-party, open-source code used by their applications.

Cybercriminals can exploit unpatched vulnerabilities in these external libraries to attack the organization. Additionally, widely used vulnerable libraries create potential attack vectors for multiple organizations.

Risky Hybrid or Remote Work Environments

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a surge in the adoption of hybrid and remote work models. According to Gallup, nearly 60 million full-time workers in the United States can now work remotely at least part of the time.

In 2022, the number of workers exclusively working remotely skyrocketed from 8% pre-pandemic to 39%. While the number is projected to drop to 24% for 2023 and beyond, hybrid and remote work environments remain popular.

Despite the benefits of remote work, such as increased flexibility and productivity, it also comes with added security risks.

Some of the most common threats include accessing sensitive data through unsafe Wi-Fi networks, using personal devices for work, utilizing weak passwords, and practicing unencrypted file sharing. These risks require increased attention to security measures to protect company assets and confidential information.

Vulnerability in the Cloud

Cloud storage has become increasingly popular as a secure and convenient method for storing data. With encrypted servers, built-in firewalls, and consistent cybersecurity measures, cloud storage is often seen as a safer option than storing files on a hard drive. However, like any technology, cloud storage is not immune to risks and finds itself among the top cybersecurity concerns.

The National Security Agency has identified four types of cloud vulnerabilities, including misconfiguration, poor access control, shared tenancy, and supply chain vulnerabilities.

In addition, other cloud vulnerabilities may include insecure APIs and a lack of multi-factor authentication. It’s essential for individuals and organizations to understand these risks and take appropriate measures to mitigate them when using cloud storage.

How to Deal with the Emerging Cyber Security Challenges in 2023

Here’s how you can prepare and tackle these challenges.

Threat Intelligence Sharing

Cyber threat intelligence (CTI) is information that describes the cyber threat actors, their intentions, and their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). Sharing CTI within an industry or between organizations can help to identify and respond to emerging threats more quickly and effectively.

By sharing threat intelligence, companies can gain a broader perspective on the threat landscape, identify commonalities in attacks, and benefit from the lessons learned by others. This enables organizations to anticipate and prepare for potential attacks, as well as respond more quickly and effectively when attacks occur.

Security Consolidation

As IT infrastructures expand and cyber threat actors create and utilize new attack techniques, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly complex. Consequently, organizations require an expanding range of security capabilities to defend against advanced attacks.

However, implementing these capabilities via separate, specialized solutions can negatively impact corporate cybersecurity by complicating the monitoring, configuration, and operation of an organization’s security infrastructure.

To enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization’s security architecture and team, it is recommended to consolidate security by deploying a single security platform with all required security capabilities, thereby improving its threat management capabilities.

Employee Awareness and Training

Human error is a major contributing factor to successful cyberattacks. Phishing emails, social engineering attacks, and other types of human-driven cyberattacks can often be prevented through employee awareness and training programs.

Organizations should invest in comprehensive employee training that covers best practices for password hygiene, safe browsing, and recognizing and avoiding phishing attempts. Additionally, regular training sessions and simulated phishing exercises can help to keep employees aware and vigilant against evolving cyber threats.

Regular Security Audits and Updates

Effective cybersecurity is an ongoing process, not a one-time solution. Regular security audits and updates ensure that the organization’s security infrastructure is up-to-date and effective against the latest threats.

Additionally, regular security audits help to identify and remediate any vulnerabilities or misconfigurations that may have arisen due to changes in the organization’s IT infrastructure or security landscape.

In summary, when talking about the top cybersecurity concerns, companies should focus on security consolidation, prevention-focused security, comprehensive protection, threat intelligence sharing, employee awareness and training, and regular security audits and updates when dealing with the cybersecurity challenges of 2023.

By adopting these best practices, organizations can better protect themselves against the evolving threat landscape and minimize the risks and damages associated with successful cyberattacks.

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