7 cyber threats to be aware of in 2023
The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving, and new threats are always emerging. Every day, companies are suffering data breaches and losing sensitive information to cyber criminals. This doesn’t even consider the number of vulnerable personal computers being exploited by malware and viruses daily.
User activity monitoring can help mitigate such attacks so you can stop them before they do any severe damage. Its effect is greatly magnified when the user behind the computer is aware and vigilant. To ensure you’re aware of the current cyber landscape, here are the top seven cyber threats in 2023.
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s data and demands a ransom payment to decrypt or unlock the files. Attackers typically ask for payment in cryptocurrency, and victims have a limited time to decide whether to pay to unlock their machines or pursue other avenues.
Ransomware attacks have risen in recent years and will continue to be a significant threat in 2023. Over the past few years, some of the more notable ransomware strains include WannaCry and NotPetya.
Social engineering may not be technologically sophisticated, but it’s very effective. It relies on psychological tricks rather than technological exploits to trick the victim into doing the attacker’s bidding.
Low-level social engineering attacks include phishing for someone’s personal information through a fraudulent email or malicious link. More sophisticated attacks involve posing as someone legitimate to access a company’s files.
Social engineering attacks are often very successful because they exploit human psychology.
Supply chain attacks
Supply chain attacks may not concern the everyday user, but they are a major threat for employees involved in their firm’s supply chain operations. These attacks target the suppliers of a company or organization. As a result, the attackers can access more than one system as they move from one supplier to another.
Even scarier is the fact that attackers can access other unsuspecting victims if the infection starts from a cloud-based file. From there, the infection can move laterally and wreak havoc on unrelated parties.
Affecting both home and corporate users alike, zero-day attacks exploit vulnerabilities in software that the vendor doesn’t know about yet. These usually more common with newly launched programs, making the infection scale quite wide because all users are equally vulnerable.
Zero-day attacks are often difficult to defend against because no patch is available yet to fix the vulnerability. As a result, software vendors need to work against the clock to minimize the damage; the longer they take, the more damage the infection can do. It’s a classic case of the good guys playing “catch up” with the bad guys. User activity monitoring can be particularly helpful in detecting these types of attacks and can help to minimize the damage that they may cause.
Internet of Things (IoT) attacks
Thanks to the spread of various home devices connected to the internet, Internet of Things (IoT) attacks are increasing in frequency. Devices such as Wi-Fi-enabled refrigerators and wirelessly connected thermostats are often less secure than traditional computers and networks. Attackers like how easy they are to infect; once they’re in, they can easily navigate the network to find their prize.
Everyone knows how commonplace AI has become, so it’s no surprise that it’s also being used to develop more sophisticated cyberattacks. AI-powered attacks can be used to automate tasks, adapt code and develop techniques to evade detection. This advancement makes them more difficult to defend against.
A distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack is one of the most common cyberthreats. Although the daily home user doesn’t have to worry about DDOS attacks too much unless someone’s deliberately targeting you, corporate networks are often the target of such attacks. They’re not destructive, but they can be debilitating for a business.
How to protect yourself from cyberthreats
As alarming as these threats may sound, you can do several things to protect yourself from cyberthreats at work or home.
Keep software up to date
The importance of keeping software updated cannot be understated. From patching zero-day vulnerabilities to keeping on top of upcoming issues, updated software is more challenging for criminals to penetrate. Using outdated software can limit the functionality of the program and leaves your system vulnerable to attacks.
Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication
This advice seems obvious, but it is essential to use a strong password. Avoid using common passwords such as “password1234” and stay away from dictionary words as much as possible. As a rule of thumb, an alphanumeric password is always a good start and it is even better if you can add special characters.
To further protect your login information, use multi-factor authentication to ensure you’re the only one accessing your account. Preferably, For Managed IT Services use one that sends email notifications whenever an authentication code requested; that way, you’ll find out whenever someone’s trying to hijack your information.
Be careful about what links you click on and what emails to open
You might know about the Nigerian Prince email scam. It’s a good lesson on which emails are legit and which ones to avoid. Not everything in your inbox is safe, so read through the subject line first and confirm the sender’s email address before opening it.
If you decide to open an email, don’t click on any suspicious links. Sometimes, hovering over the link will reveal its destination before you even click it.
When in doubt, flag the email as spam.
Invest in cybersecurity solutions
As an individual, reputable antivirus software can protect you from most cyberthreats today; however, don’t let your defense stop there. You can install specialized software such as anti-malware programs. Doing regular scans will help keep your computer secure.
Just because there are a lot of threats out there in the cyber world does not mean you should avoid surfing the web. These threats thrive on vulnerabilities, which is another reason to beef up your network’s defenses. With vigilance and savvy know-how, you can keep the attackers at bay.