Why Companies Need a Hacker-mindset to Strengthen Cybersecurity

Why Companies Need a Hacker-mindset to Strengthen Cybersecurity

Security professionals must constantly update their skill sets and take the initiative to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.

The year 2022 was a difficult one for cybersecurity teams. Cybercriminals profited from misaligned networks during the pandemic as businesses shifted to remote working environments. Through 2021, attacks increased by 125% globally, and they continued to rise in 2022.

It is evident that outdated methods are ineffective today. In the face of a constantly changing wave of sophisticated attacks, defensive, reactive, and recovery postures are ineffective. Security teams that are overworked, underskilled, and understaffed are at their breaking point as they try to deal with the “new normal” of the internet. Instead of waiting to be attacked, a new proactive offensive strategy is required to take the fight to cybercriminals. This requires security professionals to develop hacker-like thinking and behavior.

Organizations can only hope to stay ahead of cybercriminals and discover system vulnerabilities before they do if they continuously update their skill sets in accordance with the most recent techniques and methods used by bad actors.

The hacker mindset, however, is not limited to front-line security teams. It should be a company-wide paradigm shift that emphasizes planning ahead, unconventional thinking, and innovative responses to threats.

So, just as the cybersecurity team could “hack” its own network to find security flaws, the HR team could “hack” its recruitment process by removing restrictive hiring criteria to access a new pool of cyber talent. To survive the “new normal” of the internet, it is time to start thinking and acting like an attacker.

Here are a few danger zones that could be problematic for businesses this year.

The AI Algorithms

With the popularity of ChatGPT and social media users sharing their new Lensa avatars across platforms, AI has recently gained attention. It is safe to say that AI has made its way to consumers on all fronts and that widespread adoption is not improbable. Likewise, business adoption of AI has exploded and will continue to do so. AI poses a cyber-risk because it is an algorithm, and all algorithms can be changed and compromised.

A small change to AI can have a big impact on the results, and most AI algorithms cannot explain how they came to their conclusions. Therefore, it may be very challenging to detect any manipulation of AI. This means that, on a small scale, hacked algorithms could overwhelm businesses that rely on AI-generated insights. Cybercriminals could control people on a bigger, more dramatic scale if they learned how to hack into Facebook, Instagram, or Alexa algorithms.

Also Read: Vulnerability in Cisco Industrial Appliances Permits Malicious Code to Survive Reboots

On-Premises Data Centers as a Target

Business conditions were difficult in 2022 as the global cost-of-living crisis crippled businesses. Businesses are attempting to reduce costs by switching back to on-premises storage as one strategy. Businesses can often afford cloud infrastructure independently, but the cloud, configuration, architecture, and security skills needed to run the infrastructure can be costly.

The cloud, however, may offer greater security than on-site data centers for most smaller businesses. However, these same businesses are prone to overlooking properly securing on-premises data centers, and if businesses are exposed, hackers will pounce. Businesses will also need to dust off their rusty security skills as a result of the reverse cloud migration.

Internet of Things Devices: A Haven for Cybercriminals

Globally, 43 billion IoT-connected devices are anticipated to be in use this year, an increase of over 13% from 2022. This growth rate is brought on by improved accessibility by new sensors, more powerful computers, and reliable mobile connectivity globally. Business executives are adopting several new connected devices as they increasingly recognize the value of IoT.

However, because IoT devices are susceptible to network attacks, they make an easy target for cybercriminals. An IoT device could be used as a point of entry by a threat actor, who would then use it as a launching pad for a more complex ransomware attack. IoT devices are riskier because cybercriminals may use them to cause physical harm. For instance, there may be a real risk to human life if smart locks or electronic doors are compromised. IoT devices could, in other words, develop into a cybercriminal haven by 2023 if left unprotected.

Also Read: How Businesses Can Ward Off Lateral Movements in Networks

Staff Training Is Crucial

It’s crucial for businesses of all sizes to ensure that their teams are trained with the most up-to-date techniques (both old and new) to combat cybercriminals because 2023 has the potential to be a challenging year for cybersecurity. Businesses must concentrate on reskilling and upskilling both new and existing staff, and this training must be practical given the 3.4 million cyber-professional shortage. To be efficient and prompt in their work, cybersecurity professionals must be able to prevent and respond to attacks using real-world experience. They can assess attacks in real-time and know what needs to be done to prevent them with practical training that goes beyond theory.

Even though money is tight, now is not the time to compromise on security. Instead, more funding is urgently required to protect businesses now and prepare the cyber workforce of the future.

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Swapnil Mishra is a global news correspondent at OnDot media, with over six years of experience in the field. Specializing in technology journalism encompassing enterprise security and cybersecurity technology trends, Swapnil has established herself as a trusted voice in the industry. Having collaborated with various media outlets, she has honed her skills in content strategy, executive leadership, business strategy, industry insights, best practices, and thought leadership. As a journalism graduate, Swapnil possesses a keen eye for editorial detail and a mastery of language, enabling her to deliver compelling and informative news stories. She has a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex technical concepts into easy-to-understand language.