Well, 2023 is in full swing and it’s a time of reflection and renewal as we plan for the possibilities to come in 2023. It’s also a time when you need to plan for resiliency in the face of ever-present cyberattacks.
Sixty-eight percent of surveyed business leaders feel that cybersecurity risks are getting worse. They have a good reason. Attacks continue to get more sophisticated. They are also often perpetrated by large criminal organizations. These criminal groups treat these attacks like a business. We have seen the images of these companies that look just like a normal operating company.
In 2021, the average number of global cyberattacks increased by 15.1%.
To protect your business in the coming year, it’s important to keep yourself and your staff updated on attack trends. What new methods are hackers using? What types of attacks are increasing in volume? Knowing these things is important. It helps you better update your IT security to mitigate the risk of a data breach or malware infection.
We’ve pulled out the old magic crystal ball for the upcoming year. And we've researched what the cybersecurity experts are expecting. Here are the attack trends that you need to watch out for.
Attacks on 5G Devices
The world has been buzzing about 5G for a few years. It is finally beginning to fulfill the promise of lightning-fast internet. As providers build out the infrastructure, you can expect this to be a high-attack area.
Hackers are looking to take advantage of the 5G hardware used for routers, mobile devices, and PCs. Anytime you have a new technology like this, it’s bound to have some code vulnerabilities. This is exactly what hackers are looking to exploit.
You can prepare by being aware of the firmware security in the devices you buy. This is especially true for those enabled for 5G. Some manufacturers will build better firmware security into their designs than others. Make sure to ask about this when purchasing new devices.
One-time Password (OTP) Bypass
I know I can hear you saying, "Darin, isn't MFA something you have been preaching for us to implement?". The answer is yes, but the bad guys are always trying to find ways around walls and the more walls you have, the better chance you have. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is well-known as very effective at preventing fraudulent sign-in attempts. It can stop account takeovers even in cases where the criminal has the user’s password. This alarming new trend of OTP Bypass is designed to get past one of the best forms of account security.
There are a few different ways that hackers try to bypass MFA. These include:
- Reusing a token: Gaining access to a recent user OTP and trying to reuse it
- Sharing unused tokens: The hacker uses their own account to get an OTP. Then attempts to use that OTP on a different account.
- Leaked token: Using an OTP token leaked through a web application.
- Password reset function: A hacker uses phishing to fool the user into resetting a password. They then trick them into handing over their OTP via text or email.
Attacks Surrounding World Events
During the global pandemic, the cyberattack volume increased by approximately 600%. Large criminal hacking groups have realized that world events and disasters are lucrative.
They launch phishing campaigns for world events. Attacks come for everything from the latest hurricane or typhoon to the war in Ukraine. Unsuspecting people often fall for these scams. This is because they are often distracted by the crisis.
People need to be especially mindful of scams surrounding events like these. They will often use social engineering tactics, such as sad photos, to play on the emotions or use existing connections you may have to fool you.
Smishing & Mobile Device Attacks
Mobile devices go with us just about everywhere these days. This direct connection to a potential victim is not lost on cybercriminals. Look for more mobile device-based attacks, including SMS-based phishing (“smishing”).
Many people aren’t expecting to receive fake messages to their personal numbers. But cell numbers are no longer as private as they once were. Hackers can buy lists of them online. Read that again, Hackers can buy lists of them on line. They then craft convincing fake texts that look like shipping notices or receipts. One wrong click is all it takes for an account or data breach.
Mobile malware is also on the rise. During the first few months of 2022, malware targeted to mobile devices rose by 500%. It’s important to ensure that you have good mobile anti-malware. As well as other protections on your devices, such as a DNS filter.
Elevated Phishing Using AI & Machine Learning
These days, phishing emails are not so easy to spot like they used to be. Clients are increasingly sending us emails to examine (please continue doing this, better safe than sorry). It used to be that they nearly always had spelling errors or grainy images. While some still do, most don’t.
Criminal groups elevate today's phishing using AI and machine learning. Not only will it look identical to a real brand’s emails, but it will also come personalized. Hackers use these tactics to capture more victims. They also allow hackers to send out more targeted phishing messages in less time than in years past.
Schedule a Cybersecurity Check-Up Today
Is your business prepared for the cyber threats coming in 2023? Don’t wait to find out the hard way! Give us a call and we can help you whether it's implementing more "walls" and prevention/detection technology or end-user education.