Cybercrime is expected to skyrocket globally in the coming years, rising from costing $8.44 trillion in 2022 to $23.84 trillion by 2027. In 2023 alone, it’s projected to take an $11.5 trillion toll on businesses and nations worldwide.
The reason for this dramatic rise is that both our personal lives and businesses are increasingly online, giving cybercriminals more opportunities to exploit.
As a result, cybersecurity is now crucial to every single business — especially for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). No company is too small to be a target of cybercrime.
In fact, 43% of attacks target SMEs and 60% of small businesses that are hit by a cyberattack go out of business within six months.
Cybersecurity Trends in 2023
To safeguard your company, you need to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity. Here, you’ll learn about the top cybersecurity trends in 2023 so you can successfully protect your business assets.
Table of Contents
1. Increasingly Vicious Ransomware
In 2023, ransomware is still the most common threat to cybersecurity.
Hackers will continue exploiting vulnerabilities in core applications like Microsoft (Office and Operating Systems), VMware, and Linux, among others, to gain access to corporate networks. But innovative phishing tactics are now their preferred way of getting a foothold within target companies.
More worryingly, cybercriminals are now targeting small to mid-size institutions rather than large national infrastructures.
According to CSO Online, “In 2022, 76% of organizations were targeted by a ransomware attack, out of which 64% were actually infected.” Plus, over 66% of respondents claimed to be attacked multiple times.
Alarmingly, “only 50% of these organizations managed to retrieve their data after paying the ransom.”
A layered IT security approach coupled with end-user training is no longer a nice-to-have — it’s becoming mandatory.
Over the past several years, ASi Networks has encouraged all of its customers to improve their stance on cybersecurity.
We have three core examples of companies that didn’t take our advice and ended up being hit with ransomware. They spent exponentially more money solving the issue than it would’ve cost them to implement preventive tools and measures.
2. More Sophisticated Phishing Attacks
Ransomware and phishing go hand in hand. According to Chuck Brooks, a globally-recognized cybersecurity thought leader, ransomware via phishing is the #1 threat to both public and private sectors.
Aside from ransomware, phishing attacks are often used to steal personal and financial information and to spread malware.
A study by Lookout revealed that the highest rate of mobile phishing of all time happened in 2022.
That same study also highlighted that the damage phishing attacks can have on businesses is colossal — “the potential annual financial impact of mobile phishing to an organization of 5,000 employees is nearly $4m.”
Worst yet, in 2023, hackers are carrying out even more sophisticated phishing attacks:
- Vishing (voice phishing), smishing (SMS phishing), and quishing (QR code phishing) have increased sevenfold.
- Cybercriminals are using compromised data to send more personalized attacks via social media.
AI and machine learning are helping them put together more polished phishing scams.
- To protect your employees and company from phishing attacks, you could set up a system that automatically silos employee access if the network is compromised or add a 2FA system, for example.
3. Business Email Compromise (BEC)
BEC is often done in coordination with phishing attacks. For instance, hackers can use a compromised CEO email to ask employees to confirm their phone number to carry out a vishing attack.
A study by Trellix concluded that between Q3 and Q4 2022, there was a 64% increase in this type of cybercrime. All in all, BEC attacks have risen 53% year-on-year (YoY) and will only increase in number and sophistication.
Plus, these schemes are now spreading beyond email. Cybercriminals are using cloud-based mobile apps like Slack, WhatsApp, and Facebook to attack companies.
Protecting and backing up email data with encryption is one of the ways you can safeguard your business against this threat.
4. Fraud & Identity Theft
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that consumers lost nearly $8.8 billion to fraud in 2022 alone — a rise of more than 30% compared to the previous year.
From investment to imposter scams, cybercriminals use an array of tactics to defraud victims. In addition, more than 1.1 million identity thefts were reported.
To protect your company and employee identities and accounts, encourage them to use strong passwords and change them often and start using encryption software and a VPN.
5. Cloud Security
Cloud security is the fastest-growing segment in the IT security sphere — it’s projected to grow by a whopping 27% from 2022 to 2023.
We’re witnessing this rise because the demand for cloud solutions keeps increasing as companies look to use them to expand, modernize, and stay competitive.
At the same time, more than a third (37%) of IT professionals experienced a data breach in the 12 months prior to April 2023 and 47% think that threats are rising in number and severity.
To reduce cloud security risks, make sure you:
- Use strict access controls
- Audit the system often
- Adhere to global security frameworks like the ISO 27017 or ISO 27018
- Train your staff properly — more than half of data breaches (55%) start with human error
6. App Security & Exploitation of Open Source Vulnerabilities
According to Synopsys’ 2023 Open Source Security and Risk Analysis Report, 84% of code bases have at least one open-source vulnerability, and 48% contain high-risk vulnerabilities.
This is a huge problem, considering most software applications rely on open-source code — including in high-level sectors such as aerospace, aviation, logistics, and energy.
One way cybercriminals exploit these vulnerabilities is through zero-day attacks. For example, last February, a ransomware gang used this method to mass-hack 130 organizations across the US.
Some ways you can protect your company against this type of attack include:
- Penetration testing
- Continuously updating and patching your open-source components
- Using a Software Bill of Materials (SBOMS) to map and organize systems
7. Data Breaches
Hackers have found ways to breach multi-factor authentication technologies. The weaker your authentication methods, the more vulnerable you are to the loss of customer data and breaches.
They’re also using automation to upload an unprecedented number of malicious packages into source code repositories so that developers accidentally download them and infect the whole organization.
8. Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks (DDoS) Attacks
In Q1 2023, the number of DDoS attacks increased by 300% YoY.
The number and magnitude of hyper-volumetric DDoS attacks are also rising. The previous world record of 46 million requests per second (rps) was exceeded by 55%, peaking above 71 million rps.
The targets of these attacks include essential infrastructure, such as banks, airports, healthcare facilities, and universities, as well as enterprises of all sizes.
For SMEs, in particular, these attacks result in lost sales, frustrated customers, and a damaged reputation. They’re also used to extort ransom payments.
9. Supply Chain Attacks
Supply chain attacks and self-propagating malware will continue increasing — on top of the 742% rise we’ve observed over the last three years.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all or magic bullet to defend against threats like data breaches, DDoS attacks, and supply chain attacks. Only a holistic and proactive cybersecurity strategy can safeguard your business.
10. Cyber Resilience
When we talked about ransomware, we mentioned that three companies we work with didn’t implement preventive measures and ended up spending a lot more money fixing the problem than it’d have cost to avert it.
That’s one of the reasons why a shift to cyber resilience is needed in 2023 — and we’re not the only ones saying it.
Najaf Husain, the CEO and co-founder of Elastio, believes cyber resilience is the #1 trend in cybersecurity this year. “It’s no longer a matter of ‘if companies will get ransomware’ — it’s when.”
“Backups can and should play an important role in being cyber resilient, but it’s no longer enough to simply create a backup and hope that it’s clean and recoverable,” says Husain.
To shift from a reactive to a proactive approach to cybersecurity, you need to have resilience systems in place that “deeply inspect backups for threats, continually test them, and ensure you can recover to a clean, uncompromised state.”
Protect Your Business. Get a Free Cybersecurity Assessment Today
Cybercrime knows no bounds. Any entity — of any size — can be targeted on any given day.
Big enterprises have systems in place to prevent cyberattacks and to deal with the aftermath, if attacks do happen. Conversely, SMEs don’t have the resources or the level of expertise required.
Worse yet, the majority of SMEs that are victims of cyberattacks go bust within six months.
The only way you can protect your business from cybercrime is to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity.
The experienced team at ASi Networks will partner and collaborate with your current IT team to provide your business with the level of cybersecurity expertise it needs.
Our #1 goal is to help you proactively secure your network round the clock.
Get a free cybersecurity assessment today.