Lesser Known Cyber Threats You Should Be Aware of in 2023
Following major cyberattacks in 2020 and 2021 and concerns over privacy and data security, cybersecurity solutions will continue to grow in importance in 2023. Here is an overview of some important cybersecurity trends in 2022 and some of the cyberthreats the darker ones that you may not have heard from so far away.
According to a INTERPOL report, the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted the focus of cybercriminals from small businesses and individual targets to large multinational corporations, government organizations and public infrastructure. As organizations around the world shift to remote operations, cybercriminals plan to exploit the resulting security vulnerabilities for malicious purposes.
According to the report, some of the most common cyber threats post-pandemic include online scams, ransomware, data harvesting malware, phishing, DDoS attacks, misinformation and widespread use of malicious domains.
Learn more: Top cybersecurity trends to know in 2023
Rare But Deadly Cyber Threats You Should Be Aware Of In 2023
During crises like pandemics, recessions, and wars, organizations need to improve their ability to detect intrusions while minimizing potential vulnerabilities that cybercrime actors can exploit. Cybersecurity is not just about IT. Every member of an organization’s team should be aware of potential cracks through which cybercriminals can slip. The following, although not common, are potentially detrimental to any business:
Cryptojacking is widely known as a cyberattack where criminals use their victim’s computing devices to generate cryptocurrency without the knowledge or consent of the device owner. This type of crime usually happens if the victim downloads malicious scripts on their system.
It is one of the most benign types of cyber crimes because the only thing impacted is the computing power of the victim, which adversely affects the performance of the device. On the other hand, the huge energy requirement for crypto mining can potentially lead to massive energy costs and organizational productivity issues if left unchecked.
Slow device performance, overheating, frequent system crashes, and high electricity costs are symptoms that cryptojacking victims should be able to spot. Some handy prevention tips include regularly monitoring system resources, enabling ad blockers, installing the latest patches and updates, and installing secure browser extensions.
A drive-by download attack involves programs being installed on a victim’s device without their consent. Since these programs are usually cloaked, they can even be found on legitimate websites. Although all drive-by downloads are irritating, not all of them are malicious.
Many unwanted downloads come in the form of unwanted programs, such as adware, which are hidden behind otherwise legitimate applications. On the other hand, drive-by downloads can also include malware that can open vulnerabilities in a victim’s device, which hackers can exploit.
Nuisance downloads can occur either by gaining the victim’s permission by misleading them, or simply by infecting websites and then targeting visitors. These cyberattacks can be extremely harmful as they disable devices, steal personal data, create botnets and more.
Ideally, website owners should keep all site elements up to date, filter out potentially malicious ads, and practice digital hygiene. On the other hand, endpoint users should use security software solutions, avoid suspicious pop-ups, and keep their systems up to date.
Learn more: Why Gig Economy shouldn’t take sensitive data for a ride
Cyberattacks of IoT devices
According to a recent Gartner reportabout a fifth of all organizations had experienced cyberattacks on IoT devices by 2020. While IoT developments focus on improving connectivity, the lack of up-to-date security regulations to track progress technology has generated vulnerabilities for malicious actors.
Kaspersky 2022 report indicates that while more than 60% of organizations use IoT solutions, more than half have been forced to abandon projects due to a lack of resources to mitigate IoT cybersecurity risks. The report also indicates that cybersecurity vulnerabilities are among the most significant threats for companies considering using IoT.
Organizations involved in IoT development and implementation need to standardize their processes to improve security and reliability. Government policies and agencies, such as ITU, IEEE and ETSI, can play a vital role in this regard.
Companies also need to build encryption into their systems while maintaining strict security policies across the organization. Zero-Trust security, AI, and quantum cryptography are likely to play an important role in the IoT.
Cross-site scripting (XSS)
This cyberattack involves the injection of malicious code into legitimate websites. These scripts then allow cybercriminals to target unsuspecting website visitors. These malicious scripts give malicious actors access to tokens, cookies, and even personal information.
XSS vulnerabilities can be difficult to identify and eliminate. Usually, a full security review in terms of HTML is the only way to detect vulnerabilities. Website administrators need to eliminate HTML traces on their web servers.
Additionally, escape and validation routines should be developed to prevent injection of malicious code and tampering with website settings.
Zero day attacks
Zero-day attacks are widely known as those cyber attacks that target vulnerabilities that have only just been discovered by developers. As the creators of a software or a system have not yet had time to correct the flaw, the attacks are called “zero-day”. Some notable victims of zero-day attacks are Microsoft, Word, Windows, Apple iOS, Google Chrome, and Zoom.
One of the main responsibilities of software or system developers is to find product vulnerabilities and create appropriate patches. However, when cyber attackers spot vulnerabilities before the developer, they can take advantage of them with exploits.
In many cases, it can take developers a long time to detect a vulnerability and create a fix. Therefore, zero-day attacks can be very dangerous for organizations. IT security professionals should use existing malware databases as a reference while observing code interactions with products. Also, AI and machine learning tools can be used as detection tools.
Here are some essential practices to prevent zero-day attacks:
- Regular updating of operating systems and software,
- using comprehensive cybersecurity solutions and firewalls,
- limit access to critical applications, and
- conduct awareness sessions across the organization for team members to maintain digital security hygiene standards.
Learn more: CXO Security Service Edge (SSE) Checklist
Bottom Line: Vigilance and Awareness Are Key for Digitally-Driven Organizations
Despite substantial efforts and investments, cybercrime will continue to increase in the future. The vulnerabilities associated with remote working and the resulting financial implications will encourage cybercriminals to act more frequently while using more sophisticated tools, techniques and procedures. Being vigilant and aware of emerging cyber threats will be crucial for individuals and organizations to survive and thrive in the days ahead.
What types of cyber threats is your organization most concerned about? Share your thoughts with us at Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn. We would love to hear from you!
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