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Evolving Attacks Produce the Year of the Previously Unthinkable

Evolving Attacks Produce the Year of the Previously Unthinkable

In 2022, a host of record-breaking security events took place. Ransomware attacks plagued a chart-busting number of organizations, phishing campaigns were at an all-time high, and major corporations – thought to be bulletproof – experienced significant breaches. To make matters worse, affected parties can now expect to pay a worldwide average of more than $4M, and there’s no indication of this number decreasing in the near future. This year brought many lessons to businesses working to successfully manage their access security measures and produced a host of ‘forecasted’ trends for 2023 and beyond. These include a surge of unlikely breaches, the rise of risky third parties, a lack of user trust intensifying staffing shortages, and more.

So, let’s review a few of the anticipated cybersecurity trends for the coming years.

Organizations’ trust will shift due to risky third-parties 

Historically, businesses have counted on external parties to provide services that they cannot perform in-house due to a lack of needed resources. However, the rise of the connected world resulted in a higher frequency of attacks, making many businesses hesitant to trust new service providers. With the increasing number of external parties requiring access to critical assets to complete their tasks, impactful and evolved risks are destined to rise as well.

As we transition into 2023, company leaders and CISOs will be compelled to ask harder questions about their mitigation processes, strategies, and next steps. In fact, we will see them pay very close attention to the specifics of their security reports and audits, including remote connectivity, security policies, and their employees’ level of access – specifically to uncover potential vulnerabilities and open spots that can let malicious actors get in.

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Zooming Out: Enterprise-Level Cloud Infrastructures

Organizations will also start to understand that they can no longer rely on blind trust and begin taking real action – implementing more secure architectures. Although budgets will remain tighter, leaders will consistently shift to lower-cost activities like de-duplicating user accounts and reviewing access policies, while other cyber hygiene processes will become essential to protect companies’ enlarged networks.

Previously unthinkable breaches will compromise the most trusted brands

In 2023 and beyond, we are going to see an increased amount of more significant breaches. The anticipation is to see well-funded hacker groups go for the ‘whales.’ Companies such as Amazon and Microsoft, which everyone utilizes at a corporate and personal level, will become one of the major targets.

Attackers will primarily focus on exploiting stolen credentials – taking examples from previous years’ attacks like Uber, SolarWinds, and Dropbox. Additionally, the exploitation of credentials will increasingly be the result of vendors that do not hold to the same security standards as the organizations using their services, resulting in both the business and its vendor being compromised. Identity-based security is becoming a main priority for organizations, with a focus on zero-trust as the go-to method of dealing with human-centric and device vulnerabilities. We’ll see the deployment of this technology to tackle hybrid and remote security threats as well.

Regulations will consistently affect security decisions

Gartner predicts that 30% of the nation-states will pass legislation regulating ransomware fines, payments, and negotiations – an increase of 29% since 2021. This uptick means businesses will need to approach their cybersecurity strategies very differently, with heavier compliance initiatives and their personalized needs in mind.

Governmental regulations in the coming year will consistently produce greater pressure within critical industries. However, we forecast that standard regulations will retain some flexibility, as they cannot be “one size fits all,” given the variety of needs among organizations, and the evolving threat landscape. With new threats emerging, companies will need to adapt and respond quickly without the added burden of unnecessary oversight.

The pressure from new regulations will also result in security having an increased impact on the performance reviews for C-level executives. This requirement is already in place and will be further enforced in 2023 and beyond. Employment contracts may also shape some of these requirements, as the security risks have a direct impact on the bottom lines of businesses. With boards now seeing cybersecurity as a business risk rather than simply an IT problem, more executives will have to respond to the maturity of their strategies and plans.

Evolve, evolve, evolve

In the new year and beyond, companies will need to evolve quicker than threats lurking at their door. Meaning, leaders must level up their mindsets, security solutions, and strategies to stay one step ahead of future risks.

The organizations falling behind will not only become a bigger target for malicious actors, but they will also completely lose their industry competitiveness if security is not positioned as part of the company’s goals moving forward.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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