By Karmesh gupta, Co-Founder and CEO of WiJungle
With the exponential technology boom, cybersecurity is witnessing a tough battle between hackers and security experts. The constant advances in technology systems are further escalating the intensity and vulnerabilities of cyber threats. On the other hand, tech-savvy criminals are turning more sophisticated in gaining access to improperly secured networks and sensitive data. As a result, new risks are developing every day and the existing threats are constantly evolving at an unprecedented pace.
The paradigm shift in the culture of work also persisted in many organisations developing IT infrastructure. This created more opportunities for cybercriminals to barge into systems and cause more headaches associated with cybersecurity. With the growing use of digital technologies and systems, cybersecurity is on top of the agenda in 2023 for organisations as well as individuals. Here’re the key trends anticipated in 2023:
Evolution of the ransomware ecosystem
The year 2021 and 2022 were known for ransomware attacks, as the world moved to work from home, allowing hackers to get access to data stored on data. In India, around 78 percent of organisations were the victims of malware attacks in 2021. According to the stats, the organisations paid an average ransom of $1.2 million to hackers to save their data.
At the beginning of 2022, the primary target of hackers were data centres and IT sectors. The trend is predicted to continue with a shift in hackers’ targeting of hospitals and government agencies. Furthermore, the demand for asking for money has also changed to cryptocurrencies to maintain their anonymity. It is expected that ransomware attacks will be developed in innovative and new programming languages to make it tough for cybersecurity professionals to detect them.
Rise of cyber threats in small businesses and startups
The increasing number of cyber threats is resulting in organisations investing a large number of resources into the defense professionals needed to fend off the attacks. However, small organisations or startups compete with large enterprises with limited resources and budgets. Simply put, they are at high risk of cyberattacks as economic downturns can prove a difficulty for these organisations to invest heavily in cybersecurity infrastructure.
Knowing the weak points of small organisations, cybercriminals are finding it easy to target these organisations and growing at an unprecedented rate. With this, the priorities for these organisations will shift to investing in security measures to cut down any latency. This will also prove to be significant in earning the trust of customers, regulators and auditors by protecting them from malware or any breach.
Upsurge in mobile device-related risks
According to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting secretary, India has over 1.2Bn mobile phone users and 600Mn smartphone users. The high rate of penetration has resulted in the consumption of a high amount of information and the transmission of data across networks. With the exploding usage, hackers are finding mobile devices a lucrative target. In the past three years, mobile banking malware has increased by 50%, as per recent data.
Considering the surge in mobile device users, manufacturers are prioritizing safety and creating sophisticated tools to mitigate risks. In addition, they are also involved in activities to empower consumers to adopt measures for security risk reduction. These manufacturers are also making users aware of being careful in connecting their devices to Wi-Fi networks that are unsecured and keeping their devices up to date with security patches.
Artificial Intelligence potential in cybersecurity
The number of cyberattacks is growing exponentially, making it difficult to detect before time on the human level. This is where AI comes into play to identify where the most dangerous cyberattack will take place next. AI with integrated Machine Learning algorithms can examine a vast amount of data in real-time which is far more effective than humans can recognise the threat pattern. According to IBM stats – the integration of AI and automation in responding to data breaches can save an average of $3 Mn compared to those who don’t use these technologies.
Having said that, hackers and cybercriminals are becoming proficient with the use of AI too. On one hand, AI algorithms are used to identify networks with weak security and that are likely to contain valuable data connected to the internet while on the other, the technology can be used to create personalised phishing emails in large numbers to trick receivers. Therefore, AI can be referred to as a race between hackers and cybersecurity professionals who try to ensure the newest algorithms are working on their side rather than for opposition.
Apart from the most popular cybersecurity trends, the landscape will constantly evolve, making organisations reevaluate their security strategy and compete with the cyber threat landscape. Furthermore, organisations will also keep their focus on self-educating their users about risks associated with their online activities which will prove to be a step ahead in the changing cyber threat market.