Today’s level of connectivity brings us to the ultimate question: how to stay safe and avoid cyberattacks in 2023? While we are used to seeing technology at home and the office, the number of cyber incidents isn’t decreasing.
More importantly, such attacks are becoming alarming since they are both hard to detect and prevent. As a result, businesses are prioritizing cybersecurity to avoid damaging consequences, such as revenue or reputational loss.
There’s no surprise here, as the most important thing when it comes to an effective cybersecurity strategy is being proactive. To achieve this goal, you need to be aware of the main cybersecurity risks that the world faces today. So let’s not waste time and jump right into it.
1. Bad Cybersecurity Hygiene
Yes, your online habits matter. For instance, your cybersecurity hygiene isn’t top-notch if you use a public WiFI network, as it imposes a risk of getting hacked easier. That means you also need to forget working in public coffee shops where many people might get a good peek at your sensitive data. And let’s not forget sticky notes and writing down your passwords; that’s a big no as well.
Despite the simple fact that everyone knows the basics of cybersecurity, statistics show that many skip important measures that would keep their data secured. Organizations rely on their staff members to remember passwords rather than install a proper password manager. The same goes for WiFi networks. Not enough businesses and people at home are using VPNs or multi-factor authentication to prevent leaving security gaps.
2. Application Security Vulnerabilities
Program errors can occur due to bad code or a virus that accessed the device. That’s why application security is a big deal when it comes to maintaining a good security program. It’s clear that online criminals are becoming more sophisticated, launching complex attacks against businesses and individuals. Keep in mind to stay far away from pirated software, even if you plan to use it at home. Also, keep up with the classics and update your software regularly.
3. Ransomware Attacks
Of course, ransomware isn’t a new groundbreaking thing that we would be shocked about. Despite that, ransomware attacks remain steadily damaging. Recent research results showed that 66% of companies suffered from a ransomware attack, which resulted in major revenue loss. Such consequences forced company leaders to fire employees and minimize costs. That said, any security vulnerability opens a new door for a hacker to strike. It’s important to stick to having proper security hygiene to minimize ransomware risks.
4. Mobile Device Risks
Even if we would like to forget the global pandemic, we can’t, as its impact is experienced every day. One of the turning points for many industries during the pandemic was the quick shift to the digital scene. That meant more remote services and more hours spent on mobile devices. Automatically, that makes a larger number of people who use such devices and a more significant number of targets for cybercriminals.
5. Configuration Errors
Unfortunately, configuration mistakes happen, and they occur mainly because of incorrect system states, including unintended system behavior or system failures. Despite the popular misconception, even professional security systems can have at least a single error, especially during the software installation process. That’s why organizing internal security tests is crucial to mimic attackers and check if the misconfiguration error chances rise.
6. Cloud Vulnerabilities
Even though cloud services are becoming more secure over time, the widespread use of this technology still raises some security questions to this day. To combat cyberattacks, security specialists recently made developments in cloud technology, creating a zero-trust policy. That means the cloud functions as if it was already breached, requiring users to surpass extra security checks, such as authentication and sign-ins, basically, during every step.
7. IoT Devices
Do you know a household that doesn’t have at least one smart device? IoT, or the Internet of Things, illustrates a network of physical devices, aka “things” that are connected. This enables the devices to exchange data in the network. Sadly, the number of devices that we use in corporate settings, as well as personal smart devices, creates an even larger sphere for cybercriminals and their attacks. Once a criminal breaches one device, they can easily access data that was held by another device in the IoT network.
8. Bad Data Management
Many data breaches happen due to poor data management, including stolen credentials. If a bad actor gains access to any of your passwords, you’re practically doomed. That’s why data management is a skill that you might want to add to your list. With all of the data that we have on our hands, it’s important to structurize information. In some cases, automation and AI-enabled services might help to minimize human error and avoid data breaches.
9. Poor Post-Attack Policies
If you become a cyberattack victim, that doesn’t mean that you won’t fall into the attacker’s trap again. Companies that don’t have a step-by-step policy regarding what to do after a cyberattack happens are more likely to experience greater damage, not to mention continuous attacks. That’s why all security gaps need to be patched asap. Thanks to technology, we now have special patching services that automatically detect and eliminate vulnerabilities that were created due to human error.
10. Lack of Multi-Layered Security
How to mitigate and prevent cyberattacks? Well, it’s simple. If one solution doesn’t do the trick, think about multi-layered security. It’s designed to help your security team asses the main risks and create a clear cybersecurity strategy, which consists of all the needed controls and protections. If your business is protected by layered security, your customers are most likely protected at every stage.
That said, the most important part of the customer journey is the onboarding process. Usually, companies with money flow choose to add at least one security layer with an AI-powered identity verification service. That means they check their customers’ IDs before allowing them to access their digital platforms. This prevents fraudsters and criminals who steal identities from committing financial crimes and getting their hands on sensitive information.
What’s Next for Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity will most likely be at the top of the list regarding businesses and their priorities. As recently calculated by TechTarget, it is speculated that more than half of the companies will use cybersecurity as the primary factor to determine partnerships and new business engagements by 2025. This leads us to the main idea that even though protecting yourself against cybersecurity threats can be exhausting at times, it’s vital to update your knowledge and step up your game in your defense strategy.