Cybersecurity: Threats, Trends, and Best Practices

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As technology evolves, so do cyber crimes, especially now that many people are online. Cybersecurity is vital as it safeguards an organization's confidentiality, integrity, and reputation.

Unfortunately, the landscape for cyber attacks is ever-evolving, meaning what may have worked yesterday might not work today. 

It becomes crucial for those who work in the cyber security field to stay up-to-date on the latest threats, trends, and best practices. Having the latest and top cyber security certifications can also be an added advantage.

In this article, we look closely at the following:

  • What is cybersecurity
  • Latest threats and trends
  • Best practices to prevent cyber attacks

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting electronic information from computer systems, networks, and mobile devices for malicious purposes. 

Cybersecurity_ Threats, Trends, and Best Practices

In 2022, cyber costs were around $8.4 billion and may exceed 11 trillion dollars in 2023. These costs will increase by almost 150% from 2022 to reach $20 trillion by 2026.

Top cybersecurity threats in 2023

Cyberthreat means an intent to access information illegally for malicious use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction. Here are the most common cyber threats to protect your information against.

Phishing

Phishing is a type of social engineering technique where attackers attempt to get confidential information such as usernames and passwords through emails, messages, or websites. Phishing requests come from legitimate sources.

Malware

Malware, or malicious software, is a collective term for destructive software installed in a system, network, or server without the owner's authorization. 

The software includes viruses, trojans, spyware, worms, and adware. Malware intends to destroy or disable the system.

Ransomware

Ransomware is malicious software that attackers use to access and encrypt files on your computer and demand money in exchange for the decryption key.

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks

DDoS attacks attempt to overwhelm a website or network with traffic, blocking user access.

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks

A DDoS can be used as a distraction while other fraudulent activities are happening.

Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking is a cyber threat where the attacker uses your devices' (computer, smartphone, or server) processing power to mine cryptocurrency without your permission.

Corporate account takeover (CATO)

Corporate account takeover (CATO) is a cyber fraud where criminals gain control of a company's bank account and conduct unauthorized transactions. 

Insider threats

An insider threat refers to a security threat from people within the organization.

It could be from an employee, contractor, former employee, or anyone who has knowledge of the organization's security weaknesses and can exploit them without being detected. Each year, over 34% of businesses are victims of insider threats.

Top cybersecurity trends in 2023

With the digital revolution, where online presence is crucial for any business, keeping up with the latest cyber security trends can prevent cyberattacks. Here are the common cybersecurity trends in 2023 to keep an eye on:

1. The rise of AI-based attacks

As artificial intelligence becomes increasingly popular and more sophisticated, it plays a significant role in cyber attacks.

However, AI is like a "double-edged" sword since its powerful capabilities can help automate security systems, such as face detection and threat detection.

2. Ransomware is still a major threat

Even though ransomware has been around for over three decades, its high-profile attacks are still eminent in 2023.

There were 304.7 Million ransom attacks globally in 2021 alone. Ranson's attack usually targets large or critical organizations or agencies such as media, healthcare and public health, and utilities.

3. Remote work poses cybersecurity risks

Working remotely has become a trend, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixty-six percent of part-time employees in the U.S. work remotely

This poses new cybersecurity threats since employees may not have secure connections. Organizations must take measures to protect their remote workforce and confidential data.

4. The Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing

More devices are being used on the Internet worldwide. According to Forbes, over 43 billion devices will use the Internet by the end of 2023. Home automation, digital health, and remote working are just a few reasons for the IoT. 

As the IoT increases, so do the cyber security risks. Ensure you use secure devices and keep them up-to-date with the latest security patches. 

To address these risks, organizations are adopting IoT prototypes as a proactive approach to cybersecurity."

5. The cloud is not immune to cyber-attacks

As technology evolves, more people and organizations embrace cloud-based services as they allow remote access.

The lack of adequate security measures creates many opportunities for hackers to access sensitive data. Using a reputable cloud provider and cloud security solutions can protect cloud data.

6. Automotive hacking is real

Hackers can access your vehicle's systems and control everything from the locks to the engine. They can also eavesdrop on your conversations. Once they gain control of your car, they can get crucial information from you or cause accidents. 

7. Mobile devices are increasingly vulnerable

Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices are more prevalent than ever, with Statista projecting 6.8 billion mobile network subscriptions by the end of 2023.

7. Mobile devices are increasingly vulnerable

As we become more reliant on our mobile devices, so are hackers getting easy targets

Since not everyone is aware of security measures, they quickly become victims of a data breach, including emails, financial details, and images, among other sensitive information.

8. Insider threats are real

It's not just hackers on the outside that you have to worry about; your employees can pose a severe security risk to your company. Insider threats can be accidental, while others are intentional; either way, they can cause damage like any other hacker. 

Ensure your company has policies and procedures to prevent insiders from accessing sensitive data

Furthermore, creating awareness of the effects of cyberattacks and providing employees with basic training can reduce accidental insider threats.

9. Increase in social engineering attacks

Social engineering is like a mind game. It uses the art of manipulation through deception, impersonation, or other fraudulent means to gain access to unauthorized information or resources.

Social engineering can lead to data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage, making it crucial for individuals and companies to have measures in place to prevent such attacks. 

Social engineering has increased due to social media usage and messaging apps like Twitter, Facebook, Slack, and WhatsApp. 

10. Cybersecurity skills gap

The cybersecurity skills gap is a well-documented problem, and it's only getting worse as more risks emerge.

If there aren't enough trained and experienced cybersecurity professionals, more organizations will continue to suffer the ill effects of cyberattacks. 

It even becomes more critical for companies to invest in training their employees on "cyber hygiene." 

They can also encourage potential employees interested in cybersecurity or IT professionals to get top cybersecurity certifications to advance their careers.

Cybersecurity best practices

The best step towards eliminating and preventing cybersecurity risks is to learn "cyber hygiene."

Cybersecurity best practices

The following tips will help prevent cyberattacks on both individuals and organizations:

  • Keep your software up to date
  • Use strong passwords 
  • Enhance data protection and management
  • Get your software from a reputable provider
  • Use a password manager
  •  Avoid password reuse
  •  Enable two-factor authentication
  •  Use a VPN 
  • Be cautious about what you click on
  • Keep your personal information private 
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi 
  • Use security software
  • Train your employees in security principles

Take away

Cybersecurity is an integral part of any organization's security system.IT professionals should always be current with emerging trends to prevent organizations from becoming victims of cyberattacks.

Individuals, too, are at risk, meaning they should exercise best practices when using their systems or mobile devices.

These top cybersecurity certifications can be a good start if you want to become a cybersecurity expert or advance your career.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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