With 2022 filled with events that changed the course of the cyber security industry, some experts say they will only increase in frequency and severity in the coming years. It’s only wise to know what we must watch out for next year. As you know, preparation is better than mitigation.
In 2022 cyber security trends, we saw ransomware take center stage, with roughly $2.2 million taken by ransomware attacks daily. We also witnessed the increased risk of cyber attacks on mobile devices, cryptocurrency, and NFTs.
In 2023, Gartner predicts implementing more data privacy laws, which will cover the personal information of 75% of people worldwide. These include the GDPR, CCPA, and LGPD, among others. And by 2024 and 2025, fueled by the events of 2023, cloud-based security software, cyber security committees, and culture of cyber security resilience will become more rampant.
Let’s look at some of the most critical cyber security trends to keep an eye on.
IoT devices are often used in mission-critical applications, which means that any vulnerabilities in these devices could have serious consequences. While many IoT manufacturers are aware of the need to secure their devices, they may not be aware of all the potential vulnerabilities.
Experts estimate that over 7 billion people are connected to IoT, a number that is expected to rise to 64 billion by the next five years. With this, cyber criminals have more opportunities to conduct attacks and cause data breaches.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced in May 2018 in response to the UK’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR replaces the 1995 Data Protection Act and sets out specific regulations surrounding data protection. The GDPR applies to all businesses with EU or national customers and any type of data, including personal data, processing activities, and storage.
Under GDPR compliance, businesses must take steps to protect user data from accidental or unauthorized access, destruction, alteration, or unauthorized use. They must also ensure that data is quality controlled, accurate, and complete. Lastly, they must ensure that individuals have the right to information about their data protection rights and access.
GDPR is still a relatively new law, which is why it hadn’t had much effect from when it was implemented. In 2023, however, more businesses will adopt the provisions of GDPR compliance requirements.
Geo-targeted Phishing Threats
Geo-targeted phishing threats are those that target a specific geographic location—may it be by country, region, or city. The attacker may use information about current events, local customs, or language differences to make their phishing emails seem more believable.
These attacks can be challenging to detect because they often use information easily accessible to the public. They may also use spoofed email addresses and websites similar to legitimate businesses.
As phishing tactics become more advanced, geo-targeted threats are expected to take center stage in 2023.
Remote Working Cyber Security Risks
Working remotely has become increasingly popular recently, but it comes with cyber security risks. With employees not having access to security software like Virtual Private Network (VPN), two-factor authentication, and the support of in-office cyber security professionals, they are more likely to become victims of cyber attacks at home.
Also, remote employees use their mobile devices to communicate with co-workers and clients via instant messaging apps. As devices store sensitive personal data, they have become prime targets of cyber criminals. Since 2019, there have been 50% more malware attacks on mobile banking apps, a number expected to rise in 2023.
Attacks on Healthcare Sector
The healthcare sector is one of the most targeted industries when it comes to cyber attacks. In 2021 alone, 40 million patient records in America were compromised, which accounts for a 44% rise in cyber attacks in healthcare organizations in recent years. These cyber attacks affected over 22.6 million patients (about the population of New York).
This fact is not surprising, considering the sensitive and personal nature of healthcare organizations’ daily data. A study found that nearly 60% of all ransomware attacks are aimed at stealing patient data, while the rest focus on disrupting operations or taking control of systems.
The most common cyber attack against healthcare organizations is phishing scams, which affected 81% of companies last year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, phishing incidents rose by 220%.
Attacks on the healthcare sector are expected to become more prominent in 2023. The good news is that more healthcare companies are investing in cyber security, with the industry currently valued at $9.78 billion.
A previous study found that 97% of people on the Internet cannot identify if an email is a phishing tactic—making it the cause of most cyber attacks.
But users are becoming more aware of the importance of cyber security. In 2023, user awareness of cyber security will continue to grow, changing how businesses and individuals protect their online information.
One of the most significant changes will be an increase in two-factor authentication (2FA) use. 2FA is an extra layer of security that requires users to provide two different pieces of information before accessing an account. It could be something like a password and a fingerprint or a password and a one-time code generated by a physical token.
Some businesses and individuals already use 2FA, but its adoption will become much more widespread in 2023 as users become more aware of the importance of cyber security. This feature will help to protect businesses and individuals from hackers who try to gain access to accounts by stealing login credentials.
Threats to Higher Education
Cyber security threats to higher education are becoming increasingly common. Just this year, the Los Angeles Unified School District was the victim of a ransomware attack that sabotaged the school’s computer systems and required 70,000 employees and 540,000 students to change passwords, which posed a recovery challenge for the school.
With the increase in online learning, there has been an increase in cyber attacks on universities and colleges. These attacks range from simple denial-of-service attacks to more sophisticated attacks that can steal sensitive data or disable critical systems.
Wrapping Up on 2023 Cyber Security Trends
In 2023, the cyber security landscape will continue to be complex and ever-changing. Mobile devices and cloud services will remain popular targets for attackers, and the number of IoT devices will continue to increase.
The truth is that cyber security can be mysterious, and we might never be able to truly uncover what’s going to happen in the industry next year. But with a good awareness of the expected trends, we can prepare and plan to protect ourselves and our businesses.
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