In today’s tech-centric environment, cybersecurity has become one of the biggest threats to businesses, governments, and individuals. Therefore, staying up-to-date on how hackers are trying to exploit vulnerabilities is no longer something you can put off until the last minute.
Here are some trends that will shape cybersecurity in the year 2023:
Increased use of AI and machine learning
There’s a renewed enthusiasm for AI and machine learning due to the release of generative models like ChatGPT and Google Bard. Their applications are endless, with the potential to solve complex problems in a fraction of the time, and cybersecurity is no exception.
AI-powered cybersecurity will help organizations protect their data, systems, and users from cyberattacks. With machine learning algorithms analyzing data for patterns and anomalies, security teams can have more time to focus on other projects instead of combing through mountains of alerts.
Additionally, companies with AI-based security systems learn over time, allowing them to detect and predict common security threats before they arise. This allows cybersecurity officers to take action before any significant damage is done.
Greater focus on the human element in assessing vulnerabilities
Companies often overlook the human element of cybersecurity, but it’s a major vulnerability for organizations. To help mitigate this risk, it is highly recommended that organizations prioritize employee training and awareness programs.
- Educating employees on best practices for protecting their personal information online (e.g., avoiding public Wi-Fi networks)
- Giving them regular reminders about how to stay safe when using company devices or accessing corporate resources online
- Implement ZTNA as a way to monitor employee activity and identify risks to your data integrity. This will enable you to quickly prevent attacks or minimize the damage in case hackers do succeed in breaching your network.
Increased EDR adoption
One of the most important and effective ways to combat threats to your organization’s data is endpoint detection and response (EDR). It has been around for years, but it’s becoming more important as organizations continue to adopt work-from-home (WFH) and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) arrangements.
EDR relies on a lightweight application installed on each endpoint. It monitors activity on that device, looking for signs of malware or suspicious activity that could indicate a breach. The goal is to stop attacks before they reach your network and compromise data.
The reason EDR works so well is that it embraces a proactive approach to security rather than relying on reactive controls like antivirus software or firewalls. Instead of waiting for suspicious activity–like malware trying to infect your device, this type of tool detects malicious activity as soon as it begins and then blocks or removes it from your system before damage can be done.
Intensified focus on human-centric security design
Human-centric security design is a new approach to designing and evaluating security controls. It prioritizes employee experience over technical compliance by optimizing the effectiveness of existing controls through their usability, improving employee adoption while raising effectiveness.
This approach has become increasingly important as more organizations adopt agile development methodologies that rely heavily on beta-testing early prototypes with real users to identify problems before they become expensive issues later in development cycles.
Emergence of new sources of risk due to remote work
Remote work offers many benefits: employees get to work from home (or wherever), and companies save money by not having to provide office space and the perks that come with it. But as with any type of technology, there are always trade-offs. Employees may expose the company network to network endpoint attacks in this case.
To make sure that your employees’ private information remains safe despite their use of VPNs or other remote access methods, follow these steps:
- Ensure all devices connected via VPN have current EDR systems installed on them. This includes both desktop PCs and laptops used by employees who telecommute regularly.
- Ensure that all employees are educated on the dangers of leaving their computers unattended. This is especially important for those who work from home regularly.
Increased cybersecurity validation
While simulated attacks will not always give you the complete picture of your company’s cybersecurity, they can help you determine which areas need more attention. This is especially important for small businesses that may not have the resources to hire an experienced IT team or security consultant to perform regular penetration tests.
Cybersecurity validation often mimics real-world attacks in a controlled setting where important company data are not at risk. This allows businesses to see how well their security measures hold up against bad actors genuinely trying to compromise company assets.
Data loss protection mechanisms
Businesses work best when they operate on accurate and up-to-date data. Without it, making business decisions will be like driving a car at night without headlights.
So, for forward-thinking business leaders, it’s important to implement data loss prevention (DLP) protocols designed to keep data integrity even in a security breach.
DLP refers to the ability of a business to protect data from unauthorized access or loss. This can include preventing malicious attacks, such as phishing scams, Trojans that harvest sensitive information through email or social media, and unintentional data leaks due to human error.
Here are several of the primary measures of DLP protocols:
Monitoring network activity is one of DLP’s most basic yet impactful measures. The entire system hinges on its ability to track, monitor, and record data movement within a network. Doing so allows DLP to identify when data is transferred outside its allowed parameters.
There are plenty of sophisticated hackers that can mask their actions in order to avoid detection. This is why data encryption typically comes with DLP implementations. Encrypting data allows businesses to protect sensitive data in such a way that even if hackers find a vulnerability to exploit, they can’t read any of it. This is especially useful for financial institutions and other companies that deal in highly sensitive customer information.
While network monitoring and data encryption are focused on preventing data loss, data backup is focused on recovering data after a breach or if crucial data is accidentally deleted via human error. Data backups are typically stored offsite in the cloud or on physical media like hard drives, meaning that if your network is hacked and corrupted, you’ll still have all your data somewhere safe. This allows businesses to recover quickly from breaches by simply restoring their systems from a previous backup.
Mobile as a new focus of attack
Mobile devices have become an integral part of our daily lives. We use them as our primary source of communication and entertainment; they connect us with friends and family; they allow us to check email while on-the-go; they keep us up-to-date with breaking news stories as they happen in real-time; they allow us access information anywhere at any time.
But while this convenience comes at incredible cost savings, some businesses are now forced to rely heavily on their employees using their phones for convenience at the cost of security. So, targeted mobile exploits are on the rise — and they’re getting more sophisticated.
Continued Rise of IoT Security
IoT refers to the connection between physical devices, such as home appliances and wearables, with software applications over a network. This means that every device has an IP address and can be attacked by hackers.
In 2018 alone, there were over 1 billion cyberattacks on IoT devices worldwide–and this number is expected to increase significantly in 2019 as well as 2020 and beyond due to the rapid growth of connected products across multiple industries, including healthcare and transportation systems.
Due to the nature of IoT devices, they are most susceptible to physical vulnerabilities. A security token such as a smartphone or smartwatch getting into the wrong hands, for example, can be used as a “backdoor” to gain access to the network if your organization utilizes Multi-Factor Authentication.
So, as the number of connected devices increases, so does the quality and quantity of IoT security measures.
Heightened ZTNA Adoption
ZTNA is an information security model that requires end users to achieve specific security clearances before being able to access critical company assets such as data and applications. The idea behind it is that users are only granted access to the data they need through a specific application and other parameters. This way, even if one endpoint user is compromised, the rest of the company’s data assets are safe from manipulation
It’s clear that the cybersecurity landscape is evolving rapidly, with new threats emerging every day and organizations scrambling to keep up. As these trends continue into 2023 and beyond, we can expect to see more innovation in the field of security technology as companies work towards building more reliable solutions for their customers’ needs.
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