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Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023 is upon us. So we’re here to explain the most formidable cybersecurity threats continuing to challenge corporations, organizations, and governments worldwide.
If you’re not always on high alert in this current threat landscape, you should be. Take the recent Las Vegas casino attacks for example.
Cybercrime is on the rise and we continue to see traditional methods like social engineering and phishing lead to more sophisticated, encompassing schemes.
Whether it’s malware, phishing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, or another element, we’re here to help keep you educated and aware of the latest cyber threats targeting you and your organization today.
The cloud! It’s revolutionized data storage and accessibility, typically offering robust security measures. However, vulnerabilities persist. The National Security Agency (NSA) has identified four critical cloud vulnerabilities to watch out for: misconfiguration, poor access control, shared tenancy, and supply chain vulnerabilities. Additional risks include insecure APIs and insufficient multi-factor authentication (MFA). So just be aware of how you’re configuring and setting up your cloud storage and be leery of shared tenancy.
Data breaches have become alarmingly common, affecting even giant companies like Yahoo, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Marriott International to name a few. Check out the latest data and analysis in our most recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report deep-dive.
Risky Hybrid or Remote Work Environments
The shift toward hybrid and remote work models has brought immense perceived worker benefits but also increased cybersecurity risks. Inadequate and unprotected Wi-Fi networks, personal devices being used for work, weak passwords, and unencrypted file sharing are common pitfalls in these setups and can lead to data leaks, breaches, or even direct cyberattacks using compromised accounts and credentials.
Smartphones have become as essential as the air we breathe in many day-to-day functions, both in personal and professional spheres, making them prime targets for cyberattacks. Threats include phishing through text messages (smishing), lax password security, spyware, and malicious apps.
Phishing attacks are growing more sophisticated as hackers employ machine learning to craft convincing fake messages. These attacks aim to compromise organizations by stealing user logins, authentication credentials, and sensitive data. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also being leveraged in callback phishing schemes where the target victim is placed on hold to add to the realistic presentation of the attack.
Ransomware attacks continue to escalate, costing victims billions annually. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have fueled these attacks by enabling anonymous ransom payments. Hackers may increasingly target high-net-worth individuals as organizations bolster defenses. Recent attacks serve as prime examples of this growing trend.
Cryptojacking involves cybercriminals hijacking third-party computers to mine cryptocurrency, causing performance issues and downtime for businesses.
Critical infrastructure, including electrical grids and transportation systems, can cause just as much damage, if not more, than a standalone attack on a single organization.
Nation-state attacks and cybercrime syndicates are constantly looking for ways to exploit and crash infrastructure with cyber-physical attacks. Even military systems are vulnerable, highlighting the far-reaching implications of these threats. Continued advancement in the security of our defense systems is of the utmost importance
Nation-states are increasingly using cyber skills to infiltrate governments and critical infrastructure, posing a threat to companies and organizations of all sizes for a variety of reasons.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding rapidly, but this growth brings increased security vulnerability. Hackers can exploit connected devices to create chaos by gaining access to privileged systems, mining information, or a combination of immediate and long-term goals.
Vulnerabilities With Smart Medical Devices and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)
The healthcare industry's digital transformation introduces concerns about privacy, safety, and cybersecurity threats. Remote compromise of medical devices and breaches of patient records are alarming possibilities already turned into reality far too many times. Here’s just one example of the toll a cyberattack can have on a healthcare system, putting lives and surgeries on life support.
Third parties, such as vendors and contractors, pose significant risks to organizations. Data breaches involving third parties are common, emphasizing the need for robust security standards and layers of protection keeping vendors and customers at bay from having too much access or in-depth integrations.
Privacy Concerns - Connected Cars and Semi-autonomous Vehicles
Connected cars present opportunities for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities and steal sensitive data, even penetrating systems to infiltrate sensors and safety protocols. Privacy concerns accompany the rise and interest in high-tech automobiles.
Hackers have mastered the art of social engineering, exploiting human psychology to gain access to sensitive information via authentication credential stealing and manipulation. Education and cyber training and security awareness are vital in combating these tactics.
Cybersecurity Professionals Shortage
The escalating cybercrime epidemic coincides with a severe shortage of cybersecurity professionals. Companies and governments are racing to hire experts to combat the growing threat. The problem? There aren’t enough trained professionals capable of filling the gaps. The rise of automated security systems designed to target and eliminate threats continues to garner attention as well as training all employees to defend courtesy of cybersecurity education and awareness courses.
How You Can and Should Combat Cybersecurity Threats
To bolster defenses, companies are investing in cybersecurity education, adopting new technologies, conducting security audits, and hiring experienced cybersecurity professionals (or firms) to handle the onslaught of constant cyber threats.
The Bottom Line
As we navigate the dynamic landscape of cybersecurity, we must remain vigilant, adaptable, and proactive. During Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023 and beyond, let's unite in our commitment to safeguarding our digital world. Stay informed, stay secure, and together, we can create a more protected environment.
Running simulated phishing tests will determine your employees' susceptibility to social engineering and phishing scams. Train your employees and help them identify spear phishing and ransomware attacks.
As Valentine's Day approaches, we want to keep you safe from falling victim to the deceptive tactics cybercriminals utilize during the season of love.