As we move forward in 2023, cybersecurity continues to be a top concern for many CIOs around the globe. The cybersecurity landscape is fast-changing, stressful, at the same time, downright scary. Several factors are contributing to an increase in cybersecurity threats; the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, rising poverty, and food insecurity play a significant role.
With an ever-evolving threat landscape, it becomes challenging to stay ahead of cybercriminals. Over time, organizations will likely see security threats become more sophisticated and expensive. In 2022, the average cost of a data breach reached $4.35 million. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the top cybersecurity threats facing organizations to defend against them.
The article discusses the top cybersecurity threats and ways to protect against them.
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Top Cybersecurity Threats
Cybersecurity threats have become an inevitable part of our digital lives. As technology advances, the potential for malicious actors to access an organizational network and disrupt operations increases. Since cybersecurity threats can cause significant financial loss and damage to an organization, it is necessary to understand and defend against them.
Here are the top six cybersecurity threats that organizations should be aware of in 2023:
- Malware & Ransomware Attacks
Malware and Ransomware attacks pose a significant threat to businesses of all sizes, as they can cost victims billions of dollars annually. Such attacks work by infecting your network and encrypting it until a ransom is paid to the hacker. Malware and Ransomware attacks can cause a business not only financial loss but also loss of data and reputation.
- IoT Attacks
With the increase in IoT devices, the risks associated with them also grow. Cybercriminals exploit the weak security of IoT devices to gain access and install malware or launch DDoS attacks. These attacks are used to knock out networks by flooding them with traffic. Research predicts the number of smart devices will double between 2021 and 2025, creating more opportunities for cybercriminals to breach personal and corporate networks.
- Misconfigurations & Unpatched Systems
Misconfigurations in security arise when the settings are not appropriately defined and implemented. Usually, this would mean the configuration settings do not comply with industry standards. Misconfigurations are often considered an easy target for attackers, as they are easier to detect. The most common misconfigurations include unpatched systems, sensitive data exposure, broken access controls, and vulnerable and outdated components.
- Credential Stuffing
Credential stuffing is when cybercriminals use stolen credentials to access user accounts of an organization. The attacker might have obtained the credentials either in a breach or purchased off the dark web. Due to ease of execution, such attacks have become common. And with the rise of dark web marketplaces, cybercriminals can simply order a dataset of valid account credentials just like you’d order something from Amazon.
Cryptojacking is a cybersecurity threat in which cybercriminals access victims’ devices, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones, to mine cryptocurrency. The main purpose of this crime is financial profit, but unlike other threats, cryptojacking stays completely hidden from the victim.
Since cryptocurrency mining requires immense computing processing power, hackers can profit by secretly mining cryptocurrency on someone else’s systems. Cryptojacked systems can cause business performance issues and costly downtime as IT teams track and resolve them.
- Social Engineering
Social engineering remains the most common and dangerous cybersecurity threat, as it relies on human error rather than technical vulnerabilities. It is easier to trick humans than to exploit a system’s security. According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations report, 85% of all data breaches involve human error. Cybercriminals use different techniques, phishing scams being the most common, to trick employees into revealing their personal information.
How to Protect Against Cybersecurity Threats?
As cyber threats continue to increase, it is crucial for businesses to take proactive measures to protect their data. Organizations must implement appropriate security measures to defend against cyberattacks. Here are five practical cybersecurity strategies you should consider for your organization:
- Developing cybersecurity policies: The first step to achieving cybersecurity is to build robust security policies to implement in your organization. These may include requirements for password security, email security measures, handling sensitive data and technology, etc. Once developed, make sure to keep the policies updated to cope with the evolving threat landscape.
- Conducting regular security risk assessments: Conducting regular security risk assessments is critical for any organization, as they provide visibility into your cybersecurity posture and threat landscape. These assessments help fix unpatched systems, configure security settings, and identify vulnerabilities. Consider executing risk assessments in your organization at least once a month or two.
- Implementing access controls: Access controls are critical to mitigate security risks in an organization. It involves three processes, authentication, authorization, and audit. Implementing access controls limits the user’s access to information and information processing systems while helping to keep track of who or what can view or use any given resource.
- Creating data backup & encrypting sensitive information: Ensure all your sensitive data is encrypted and backed up. If your data is encrypted, no one can read it even if they gain access to the data. On the other hand, regular backups of your important information save you from data and financial loss, securing you from potential cybersecurity breaches.
- Conduct awareness training for employees: Unaware employees can be the weakest link in your security. Conduct awareness training for your employees to increase their awareness about cybersecurity threats and enable them to identify better and mitigate cybersecurity risks.
Enhance Employee Awareness with CyberArrow Awareness Platform
As mentioned earlier, social engineering is a common way for cybercriminals to access your database using phishing emails sent to employees. Without proper awareness, employees may end up being a threat to the security of your organization. Therefore, conducting cybersecurity awareness training is critical for your organization’s security.
Put your trust in the CyberArrow Awareness Platform to implement employee awareness training. The platform is easy to use and can be customized for your organization as per your requirements. It helps your employees understand the latest cyber threats and methods to mitigate them.
Implement the CyberArrow Awareness Platform and let your employees learn about cybersecurity attacks and ways to prevent them. Contact us to schedule a free demo today.