If 2022 has taught us anything, it’s this: we should not take cybercrime lightly. The data doesn’t lie – over the last year, victims from all over the planet have reported 2.8 billion malware attacks and 236.1 million ransomware attacks. Try as we might, we cannot stay ahead of cybercriminals’ ingenious creativity. Unfortunately, 2023 isn’t looking much brighter.
By the look of it, awareness is our only hope. Keeping pace with the latest cybersecurity news and knowing what to expect is the best way to stay protected in the following months. With that said, these are our most significant cyber safety vulnerabilities in 2023.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years: AI is finally here. In crucial aspects, it’s just like older generations have imagined it – what started as a fun and exciting experiment by humans is turning into a dystopian scenario.
In 2022, AI showcased a vital system vulnerability called the Log4j. According to JFrog, a California-based tech expert specializing in preventing software bugs, Log4j is “extremely dangerous due to many factors,” including the ability to weaponize AI remotely. For example, Log4j allows remote attackers to enter an AI application and poison its system with false data.
That can have terrible consequences wherever AI is used to back up difficult decisions. Businesses experimenting with artificial intelligence rely on its algorithms to help them strategize. AI is supposed to remove human bias and be objective and reliable, but it’s dangerous to assume that an algorithm cannot make a mistake. Log4j proves that AI is as corruptible as we are.
Even though all tech experts are familiar with an attack called SolarWinds, the general public is less likely to notice an occurrence like that. Unfortunately, it was a massive one. What’s even worse than the sheer scale of this attack is how easily anyone can aim it at any business, agency, or institution at the end of a supply chain or involved in one in any way.
The scary notion is that the victim of the SolarWinds attack was not just any business, agency, or institution but multiple government departments. That tells a lot about the current state of our cybersecurity measures – if anyone can hack the government’s state-of-the-art security systems, what chances do the rest of us have to keep ourselves protected?
Theoretically speaking, the Internet of Things is a brilliant idea that could help us build a more innovative world. However, for the time being, that’s only in theory.
Real-life applications of IoT networks and devices seem limitless, but that’s a two-edged sword. IoT is everywhere, and that’s already a significant security problem for every household, business, and industry sharing the network.
When many IoT devices share the same network, one unpatched device is all it takes to compromise its security. That can be a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) computer, a USB stick, or even a smartphone. It can be even more covert than that, as some top-notch IoT devices come with legacy flaws that can be infected with malware, ransomware, or worse.
IoT presents a massive challenge to cybersecurity experts and will continue to put businesses and institutions at risk in 2023. Network segmentation is a possible solution, but it requires implementation with expertise and discipline that most users still don’t have.
According to an IBM study, 95% of cybersecurity breaches result from human error. One of the biggest problems that IoT advocates face is that most users don’t bother or don’t know how to change the default password on their IoT devices. In the business context, poor security is a dire consequence of insufficient training and personal responsibility.
That will continue to be a big target for social engineering, malware, and ransomware throughout 2023. Network segmentation can again be an effective tool, enabling company networks to employ a zero-trust policy and limit access to problematic employees.
Cloud computing has been reliable for years, but its greatest strength could eventually be its downfall. The many benefits of migrating to the cloud, including but not limited to remote accessibility and data security, are turning cloud solutions into tech stack staples in many industries. However, the more businesses migrate to the cloud, the less secure this environment is.
Right now, the biggest cloud-related security threat stems from various vendors’ inconsistent data privacy terms and agreements. In many cases, vendors have access to cloud residents’ data and the right to share that data with third parties.
How to practice cybersecurity in 2023
As we’re setting off into another year full of cybersecurity promises and pipe dreams, it’s essential to know that there is one thing we can control – our own devices. The next time you decide to postpone a security update, remember that a cybercriminal cannot resist a vulnerable system. Also, stay in the know and spread awareness. Let’s be more responsible in 2023.