We live in an era where we have no choice but to be highly dependent on modern digital infrastructure in our day-to-day lives. Today, organizations of all sizes rely on computerized systems and a range of online services to conduct business, manage and store data, and run various critical functions.
In 2022, the United States witnessed an average data breach cost of $9.44 million, marking an increase from $9.05 million in the previous year. Globally, the average cost per data breach, according to Statista, reached $4.35 million in 2022. According to a data breach report by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the average costs are projected to reach $5 million in 2023.
In the ever-evolving digital landscape, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. As technology advances, so do the tactics and techniques employed by cyber criminals.
Staying ahead of these cyber threats requires a comprehensive understanding of the current and emerging cybersecurity trends. To guard against such attacks, it is imperative to implement sufficient security measures, including multi-factor authentication and continuous real-time monitoring. With 2023 well underway, it’s crucial for organizations and individuals alike to be aware of the latest cyber security trends and prepare themselves for the challenges that lie ahead.
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Cybersecurity Trends: The Top 10 Insights
The adoption of a wide variety of new technologies and additional layers of digital security by organizations, according to the Global Cybersecurity Outlook Report, has significantly increased the difficulty of protecting the digital ecosystem and the attack surface available to hackers.
In this blog, we will explore the top cyber security trends that demand attention in 2023. From emerging potential threats to transformative technologies, these trends will shape how we safeguard our digital assets and protect sensitive information.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Cybersecurity
While it may not be possible to manually identify and oppose today’s highly-sophisticated cyber attacks and threats, cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have been game changers for cybersecurity. The significant advancements and high level of security measures available today can be attributed mainly to the progress made in facial recognition, automated threat detection, and natural language processing technology.
Threat detection security systems built around AI and ML can identify weaknesses, predict possible attacks even before they happen, and instantly notify cyber security personnel.
Zero Trust Architecture
Zero trust cybersecurity architecture only authorized users can access, and applications have access to an organization’s assets, especially those stored outside the company’s physical premises, either in the cloud or a hybrid IT environment.
The zero trust architecture incorporates technologies such as network segmentation, lateral movement restriction, multi-layer threat protection, and granular user access control to establish a system of continuous trust evaluation. The widespread proliferation of the remote working model has also led to a growing demand for the incorporation of zero-trust cybersecurity architecture.
The pandemic and the subsequent boom in the work-from-home culture have led to a growing demand for secure cloud solutions. While using the cloud for data storage can be highly convenient and offers easy access to business-critical information from anywhere in the world, it can also increase the chances of being faced with a cyber attack.
Reduced visibility and control, incorrectly configured cloud storage and security measures, incomplete data deletion, cloud migration issues, and vulnerable applications are just a few of the cloud-based threats businesses often face, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. To combat these cybersecurity risks, we now see more sophisticated cloud-based security solutions with streamlined and accelerated security response capabilities.
Internet of Things (IoT) Security
Smart devices, appliances, and homes are becoming increasingly common and add sophistication and convenience to our lives. It is, however, important to remember that these connected devices are part of the IoT, which means that they are perpetually connected to the internet and in constant communication with one another. This leaves these physical devices vulnerable to outside attacks and data breaches.
As the IoT market continues to snowball through 2023, we can expect to see manufacturers of these products incorporating new-age, robust security measures to keep their personal devices and networks secure.
Ransomware and Extortion Attacks
Ransomware attacks, where cyber criminals gain access to an organization’s or individual’s sensitive data and then demand payment not to release this data, have steadily increased over the past decade.
Modern ransomware protection software solutions act as an early warning system to let security personnel know that certain vulnerabilities exist and can also remove the ransomware malware before any real damage is done.
Other ways in which businesses can protect themselves from such attacks include:
- Having a systematic prevention plan in place to handle malicious software and ransomware attacks.
- Assessing risk and having an appropriate response strategy in place.
- Providing employees with training and guidance on protecting their systems from malware.
Data Privacy and Compliance
Modern organizations collect and analyze various kinds of data and create plans and business strategies based on their findings. With massive amounts of data being gathered from several sources in today’s business world, data privacy is a growing concern.
Data leaks and breaches can result in disclosing and misusing sensitive business and personal information, causing grave issues for businesses and their customers.
To prevent such data breaches from occurring, companies must work closely with cybersecurity professionals and incorporate measures like data encryption, password protection, multi-factor authentication, and network security to ensure compliance with established data privacy and security standards.
We have billions of smartphones in circulation today, and these devices are being used for business and personal communication, online shopping, making travel bookings, and managing financial transactions. With their widespread use, mobile phones have become highly vulnerable to attacks by hackers and other cybercriminals.
Emerging mobile threats include:
- Targeted spyware created to access encrypted messaging applications.
- The exploitation of critical security vulnerabilities within mobile phones.
- Various kinds of mobile malware.
We can expect to see businesses working closely with security teams to incorporate measures to protect mobile devices from such cyber attacks. These may include continuous monitoring, automated third-party penetration testing, and vulnerability management programs.
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
With the remote working model being widely accepted and adopted, businesses must be able to control and monitor access to their sensitive information and private networks. This can be achieved through identity and access management measures that include multi-factor authentication, access control lists, and the introduction of various authorization policies.
Supply Chain Security
Supplier risk management and data privacy are closely linked, and the growing risk of cybercrime has led to more stringent compliance regulations aimed at reducing the chances of data breaches.
Businesses will have to adopt measures to boost supply chain visibility and accountability, as well as take steps to identify, analyze, and mitigate possible vulnerabilities in the supply chain. Hence we can expect to see a rise in the implementation of supply chain risk management strategies this year.
Cybersecurity Workforce and Skills Gap
While cutting-edge technologies like automation, AI, and ML play a significant role in the cybersecurity industry, the sector also needs a robust human element to use modern cybersecurity tools effectively.
The industry is experiencing a shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals, and the demand is expected to grow in the coming years. This, combined with the lack of adequate cybersecurity training for existing employees at most organizations, is leaving businesses exposed and vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
To bridge this skills gap, business owners need to organize contemporary cybersecurity training programs for employees so that they can use the tools at their disposal to better protect themselves and the organization from cyber criminals.
As consumers increasingly rely on mobile devices for personal and professional communication, banking, shopping, and travel planning, cyber criminals find them a prime target for exploiting opportunities.
Businesses must be proactive in adopting the latest cybersecurity measures to protect their assets while budding IT professionals should take a serious look at a career in cybersecurity and work towards acquiring the relevant qualifications and skills.
With the demand for qualified professionals growing consistently, highly skilled and experienced cybersecurity professionals are among the highest-paid IT professionals today. The time is right to explore a future in cybersecurity, and professionals that opt to do so can expect excellent career opportunities and long-term growth in the coming years.
The New England Institute of Technology offers Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree cybersecurity designed to qualify candidates for various positions in the industry. Reach out to learn more about the range of cybersecurity certifications at NEIT.
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What are the top cybersecurity threats faced by small businesses?
The top cyber threats small businesses face includes phishing attacks, malware, ransomware, and unintentional disclosure.
How does artificial intelligence improve cybersecurity defense?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) enhances cybersecurity defense by providing advanced capabilities in threat detection, incident response, and overall security operations. Incorporating AI into cybersecurity defense can help speed up threat detection and identification, preventing attacks before they happen.
What is the significance of cybersecurity in today’s digital landscape?
Cybersecurity is significant in today’s digital landscape as it protects sensitive information, prevents financial loss, preserves reputation and trust, safeguards critical infrastructure, defends against advanced threats, ensures compliance, and maintains operational resilience. Prioritizing cyber hygiene and security is essential for individuals, businesses, and societies to thrive in the digital age and mitigate the security risks associated with a rapidly evolving threat landscape.