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According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the cost of cybercrime is predicted to hit $8 trillion in 2023, growing to 410.5 trillion by 2025. If cybercrime was a nation state, it would have the third largest GDP in the world. That’s quite a statistic! Of course, it can be tricky to estimate the true scale of cyber crime, as cyber criminals don’t exactly shout about their activities for obvious reasons. However, regardless of what the true scale of cyber crime is, it’s huge and growing.
As we always say in our articles, knowledge is power, especially when it comes to the ever-changing world of cyber security. So, we’re going to take you through the key cyber security threats that can pose a risk to your business, cyber crime trends for 2023 and the steps you can take to secure your business data.
According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022, issued by the government, the most common attack vendor (the method criminals use to gain unauthorised access to systems and networks) was phishing in 2022. Phishing is a social engineering trick that attempts to fool users into sharing their details by pretending to be an official organisation, like a bank or government agency, or other trustworthy contact.
Phishing is commonly perpetrated through emails, which will include a link to a cloned site or malicious attachment. Scammers, nowadays, are capable of creating malicious communications and content that looks so authentic, anybody could fall victim to them. Once the victim has engaged with the bogus communication, they will be faced with a login platform, which the criminal will use to gain information or to log in to the victim’s network, portals or platforms.
The more you know about cyber security threats, the better you can safeguard your business, so let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons cyber attacks can occur within businesses.
Many cyber attacks are a result of an innocent mistake from a user. Whether it’s insecure passwords rendering business devices vulnerable or trusting a link in a phishing email, if your team are unaware of how they could be putting your business data at risk, it’s only a matter of time before a criminal exploits this. The methods attackers are using to attempt to trick users into offering up sensitive information or to force their way into your business’s network are becoming more sophisticated, so arming your team with relevant training and information means they can be on their guard at all times.
Not protecting your business systems with sufficient security measures can leave a pathway that cyber criminals can leverage to gain access to your data. Similarly, not updating your systems regularly and ensuring all programmes and applications are up to date can leave gaps and insecurities that a cyber hacker can take advantage of.
You wouldn’t give a set of keys to your premises to every member of your team, so why would you give them permissions to all of your data, including data that isn’t relevant to them? The more people who have access to sensitive information the more difficult it is to manage securing this information, as there are a lot of entry points that will need to be monitored.
Cyber attacks have increased with the advancement of technology and adoption of cloud solutions, utilisation of online shopping platforms and the expansion of the Internet of Things through smart devices. With technology continuing to advance and our increasing reliance on the internet, cyber attacks will continue to increase and become more sophisticated. Here are some key cyber crime trends we can expect in 2023 and beyond:
You may have heard the term ‘deepfakes’ on the news – it’s an artificial replica of a real person using their image and artificial intelligence. As the technology that enables the creation of deepfakes evolves, they are becoming increasingly authentic. With both individuals and companies uploading pictures of people to social media, it’s only a matter of time before attackers can create realistic avatars of anybody to steal data.
IoT (Internet of Things) devices are prevalent in most homes and businesses and have therefore become a target for hackers as an entry point into sensitive information. Most common cyber attacks occur with a cyber criminal hacking into a device or network. However, in 2023, we may see a rise in criminals launching offences that can jump between smart devices, such as smart speakers, wearable devices and smart phones. There is so much data that can be shared between smart devices, so if they are connected to networks with weak security, this is an entry point that hackers can use gain access to your data.
The frequency and danger of ransomware attacks has increased over the last 12 months and this rise is predicted to continue throughout 2023, both in sophistication and frequency of attacks. This form of attack can be completely detrimental to an organisation, both financially and for their reputation.
OT (Operational Technology) is a type of computing and communication system, made up of both hardware and software, that is used to control industrial operations. It gathers and analyses a range of data in real time to monitor and control equipment. OTs are used across a range of sectors and industries for a variety of uses to ensure different business devices are effectively working together. Like all solutions, as technology advances, so does the sophistication of OT systems, so businesses can leverage them to have more control. Although this is good for business operations, these enhanced devices will become more susceptible to vulnerabilities and exploitation by cyber criminals. With machinery connected to the OT, if access is gained by a criminal, this could lead to dangerous situations where machinery could be weaponised and used to cause physical harm to people.
Cyber attacks are growing more complex, therefore the measures needed to prevent damage to your business as a result of an attack, is also becoming increasingly complex. However, there are several key measures you should ensure are part of your security strategy to reduce the risk of a cyber attack within your business.
Cybersecurity training should always be ongoing to ensure that your team are up-to-date with potential and how to avoid them. Whether it’s implementing in-person seminars at your office or setting online training courses for your team to complete, it’s important that the training covers all aspects of cybersecurity that they need to be aware of, from identifying phishing scams to knowing who to approach if they fall victim to an attack.
Out-of-date software can leave gaps that render your information vulnerable to attack from cyber criminals. Ensuring that you are regularly updating your system, applications and programmes can prevent a cyber criminals taking advantage of patchy software to gain access to your data.
With business no longer being tied to a physical premises, your team will be accessing data from a range of devices including mobiles and laptops. It’s important to keep control over your business mobile devices, by implementing mobile device management solutions that prevent business-critical data from being stolen, hacked or lost via a mobile device.
From maintaining an effective security strategy to finding the right security solutions for your business, we understand how tricky it can be so safeguard your business against cyber security threats. Our team of expert specialists will work with you to analyse your current security solutions and strategy before identifying solutions and steps to bolster your security efforts. Our wide range of products and services, provided by industry-leading brands, like WatchGuard, accompanied by our extensive industry experience means your data is in safe hands.
Call us today 0344 875 8880 or fill out our contract form here and one of our specialists will be in touch soon.