Biggest Cybersecurity Threats for Modern Enterprises in 2023

Biggest Cybersecurity Threats for Modern Enterprises in 2023

Regardless of the industry, type, or business size, enterprises need to be vigilant to protect themselves from new and evolving cybersecurity threats. Today, businesses, governments, and individuals get exposed to various sophisticated cyberattacks, including malware, phishing, Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The tremendous evolution in the cybercrime industry exposes sensitive data and critical assets of enterprises at constant risk. Despite the evolving threats, all industries witness a cybersecurity skills and talent crunch in their workforce.

According to a report by Statista titled “Estimated cost of cybercrime globally 2016-2027,” the cost of cybercrime worldwide was valued at USD 8.4 trillion in 2022. The report also highlights that incident costs from malicious activities might surpass USD 11 trillion in 2023. Furthermore, the report also predicts that cybercrime costs globally might hit USD 20 trillion, a surge of approximately 150 percent compared to 2022.

Businesses need to CISOs of every organization to have the best security posture to secure their sensitive data and critical infrastructure from the growing cybersecurity landscape.

Also Read: Think Like a Hacker – High Demand Skills for Cybersecurity Professionals

Here are a few biggest threats to modern enterprise security in 2023:

Financial Extortion Through Ransomware

Malicious actors leverage malware as a vector to accomplish a full-blown ransomware attack. This malware concentrates on encrypting the organization’s sensitive data and extorting money. Cybercriminals take control of organizations’ data, encrypt it, and deny access to legitimate users. As a result, it disrupts the business workflows, and the ransomware attacker can ask for a ransom to recover the sensitive data.

According to recent research by Sophos, “Sophos State of Ransomware 2022,” approximately 66% of the survey respondents were hit by ransomware in 2021. The report also highlights that nearly 65% of the attacks resulted in data encryption, and 72% witnessed increased cyber-attacks.

The surge in ransomware threats forces organizations to focus on security to identify and remediate these threats in real time. Encryption of each file on the compromised system can be a time-consuming task. Hence it is possible to recover some data from backups by terminating the cybercrime vector before it encrypts the entire data reducing the possibility of not paying the ransom.

A few malicious actors have focused entirely on extortion rather than encrypting the data. Such ransomware incidents are easy and faster to carry out, more difficult to identify, and unable to recover using backups. As a result, ransomware extortion is more lucrative for cybercriminals and will become a greater cybersecurity threat to businesses in 2023.

Data Breaches

Regulatory bodies worldwide are exploring ways to strengthen data privacy laws to respect the client’s right to privacy. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), and other regulations force businesses to comply with high data protection standards. Hence data has become one of the most lucrative revenue-generating models for cybercriminals.

According to a report by IBM titled “Cost of a data breach 2022,” a successful data breach in the USA costs more than twice the global average. The report highlights that the USA has the highest cost for a data breach tallying up to USD 9.44 million, approximately USD 5.09 million more than the global average.

Zero-Day Vulnerabilities

Zero-day vulnerabilities are one of the biggest cybersecurity threats that businesses get exposed to in today’s era. A new vulnerability discovered with no fix is a zero-day threat. The timeframe between discovering a new vulnerability and the vendor releasing a patch creates a fertile ground for cyber-attackers to exploit the vulnerabilities for their malicious goals.

Cybercriminals can exploit the vulnerability during the window between the initial exploitation of a vulnerability and the vendor’s patch release. However, even after a patch is available, businesses do not always promptly apply it. Some cyberattack campaigns target vulnerabilities that have been known and “fixed” for months or years. Various reasons exist for these delays, including resource availability, security visibility, and prioritization. Zero-day attacks and unpatched vulnerabilities can disastrously impact the software supply chain.

Most enterprises do not have visibility in their third-party open-source codes for the applications and tools they use. Even when one of the external libraries has an unpatched vulnerability, malicious actors can utilize them to accomplish a full-blown attack. Moreover, vulnerable libraries that users frequently leverage have the potential to develop robust attack vectors for various enterprises.

Also Read: Maximizing Cybersecurity: How to Choose an Advanced Threat Protection Solution

Wipers and Destructive Malware

Ransomware and data breaches are top cybersecurity threats to all businesses, regardless of size or type. Wipers and other destructive malware can also have disastrous impacts on the organization. Rather than accomplishing a successful data breach, malicious actors leverage wipers and other destructive malware to delete the entire data.

Phishing and Spear Phishing

At the core of all phishing attacks, they are deceptive. Malicious actors manipulate the victims by skipping security practices, revealing sensitive data, injecting infected files, or clicking malicious links.

According to a recent report published by Poof Point, “2023 State of the Phish,” nearly 44% consider email safe when it includes familiar branding. However, in 2022 approximately 30 million malicious messages sent had Microsoft branding or products. The report also highlights that the direct impact on finances resulting from full-blown phishing attacks increased by 76% in 2022.

Normal phishing attacks can target any individual, but spear-phishing concentrates on compromising an enterprise by targeting particular employees. Malicious actors customize spear phishing attacks like any advertising effort to be more successful. Hence, spear phishing can have more disastrous impacts than normal phishing. What makes it more disastrous is that it is difficult to detect.

Conclusion

The cybercrime industry is going through tremendous evolution and becoming more sophisticated. With the easy availability of Cybercrime-as-a-Service, Phishing-as-a-Service, and Ransomware-as-a-Service, even amateur cybercriminals can accomplish full-blown attacks. These threats, as mentioned earlier, are a few biggest cybersecurity threats that CISOs need to be aware of in 2023.

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