8 Top Cybersecurity Threats to Prepare For in 2023
LogicGate | October 28, 2022
Keeping up with top cybersecurity threats is a major part of your business plan. As attackers and scammers get more imaginative, staying in the know about the latest dangers can help you protect yourself, your organization, and its reputation.
It’s important to know that there are attacks that go in and out of fashion for cybercriminals, so you need to know what’s “in vogue” this season to stay safe. So what are the biggest cybersecurity threats right now? This list covers the eight biggest cybersecurity threats to watch for in the new year.
1. Human Error
No matter how you slice it, humans performing routine tasks are one of the top cybersecurity threats facing any organization. In fact, 23% of all data breaches result from human error. No matter how much you lock down your infrastructure, an unsuspecting employee can put it all at risk. Scams like phishing, spoofing, and malicious links and attachments still trick many employees into opening the door to cybercriminals.
To combat this, continue investing in IT security training in 2023. Explain why cybersecurity matters so employees will actually follow your protocols instead of trying to find ways around them. You’ll want more than annual, check-the-box training, though. Coach your team regularly on cybersecurity — you can even use phishing tests to keep your team on their toes.
2. Malicious Insider Attacks
We've established that human error is responsible for a large share of the data breaches organizations experience, but they're not the only threat that originates inside your business. Sometimes, a breach that comes on the inside is intentional: the work of a disgruntled or deceitful employee.
In some cases, this can occur when people with privileged access to sensitive information see an opportunity to exploit that access for their own gain, whether that's financial, political, or some other motivating factor. In others, especially during tough economic conditions like we're seeing now, it can stem from negative emotions harbored by employees caught up in downsizing that can lead some to cause intentional harm as they depart.
The best way to prevent this from impacting your business is to anticipate that it could happen and put measures in place to prevent it. That includes both human and technological monitoring programs to identify bad actors, flag suspicious activity, and immediately revoke access to all sensitive systems once it's clear there is or could be a problem.
3. Attacks Against Critical Infrastructure
Bad actors want to go after bigger, more impressive targets, and nothing excites them more than taking an entire city offline. In 2023, expect to see more attacks on businesses associated with critical infrastructure. An attack of this nature shut down the Colonial Pipeline system in 2021, resulting in soaring energy prices and a multi-state emergency declaration. An attack of this nature also lead to one of the most devastating cybersecurity incidents in history: the NotPetya attack that crippled global shipping in 2017.
Whether you’re in an industry that handles critical infrastructure like energy, healthcare, or banking, or if you're just tangentially related to them, consider how you'll respond when you see these types of attacks against your business, and how you can prepare for or prevent them. In addition to following cybersecurity best practices, you also need to be aware of new CIRCIA reporting requirements if you experience a breach.
4. Cloud Breaches
The cloud makes your data more available wherever you or your colleagues are in the world. But it’s a double-edged sword that could make it easier for attackers to access your information. In fact, 27% of organizations using the public cloud reported a breach in the last 12 months. Some of the largest organizations in the world, like Capital One, Uber, and Facebook, have fallen victim to this type of cyber attack.
This means you’ll want to frequently re-check your cloud configuration, as well as implement multi-factor authentication and encryption.
5. Mobile-First Attacks
Did you know that 60% of cyberfraud, like phishing and stolen passwords, happens on mobile devices? That's right: We're all carrying around one of the biggest cybersecurity threats in our pockets, 24/7. We store everything from our work email to banking information on our phones, and as remote work becomes more common, many of us are co-mingling our work and personal lives on these devices. Mobile devices are a hacker’s wonderland.
Add the importance of mobile device security to your cybersecurity training sessions. Give your team access to a VPN and virus scanners designed for mobile devices.
6. IoT Attacks
Attacks on Internet of Things (IoT) devices increased by 300% from 2018 to 2019, and that trend isn’t slowing down. Chances are, your business relies on connected thermostats, printers, cameras, and lighting to streamline your day. Sure, automating all of this makes things run smoother and more efficiently, but you really don't want to make it smoother and more efficient for cybercriminals to hack your business through your WiFi-enabled cold brew coffee maker.
While we love IoT devices, attackers will continue exploiting them in 2023 to breach your security. Every connected device increases your attack surface, so make sure you’re:
Using a separate router just for IoT
Enabling multi-factor authentication
7. Political Attacks
We have a rocky political landscape going into 2023. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused an all-out war in cyberspace, with alleged hackers from Russia launching attacks against Ukraine and its allies.
Going forward, we expect to see more frequent and sophisticated attacks from pro-Russia groups. For example, pro-Russian group KillNet is allegedly attacking banks in NATO-aligned countries.
It’s difficult to prevent orchestrated attacks, but the best way to protect yourself is to conduct regular penetration testing. A single weakness can give these attackers an opening to do a lot of damage, so seek out vulnerabilities and address them ASAP.
8. Remote Work
Remote work isn’t a new trend for 2023, but cybercriminals are getting more creative with how they target remote workers. Since employees aren’t in the office, it’s increasingly difficult for organizations to ensure security and confidentiality. That's lead to remote work becoming one of the top current cybersecurity threats of the last few years.
Ransomware, phishing, and social engineering attacks are often seen to increase with remote work. To combat this, you should:
Require secure internet connections and use VPNs (no more working on public wifi in coffee shops without backup)
Prohibit password sharing and require strong, unique passwords for all of your systems
Take a zero-trust approach where you assume every device and user is a potential attacker
Make 2023 the Most Secure Year Yet
A proactive approach is the best way to protect your business and plan for cybersecurity in 2023. A single breach can cost you millions in lost data, fines, and regulatory action. Understanding the threats on the horizon will help you account for them in your processes in order to stay one step ahead of attackers.