Cybersecurity has become a central pillar for enterprises worldwide. Every company is a software company currently, and as their digital footprints expand, securing networks and protecting data are essential. Fail to do this, and the consequences to a company’s brand image and earnings could be fatal. Here are some cybersecurity trends to look out for.
As technology evolves, the surfaces and tactics favoured by malicious actors evolve in parallel. In this sense, the constantly changing face of cybersecurity is both a threat to business and an opportunity to regroup and re-optimise security postures.
Here are five important trends that every business leader must be aware of heading into 2023.
The Implementation of AI
More malicious actors than ever are leveraging AI to attack networks. AI usage in cybercrime is not surprising, given the way these algorithms “learn” and modify their attack approaches over time. For instance, an attacker might deploy a malicious algorithm in waves, learning more about a company’s defences as they go.
By the time the attacker launches the final wave, the algorithm has learned enough about the company’s security posture to penetrate it. Taking a leaf from attackers’ books, companies have responded by deploying AI to combat such attacks.
A method such as continuous security monitoring is a good example. In this approach, a company uses its security platform to launch attacks against itself, in a controlled environment. Thanks to repeated testing of this kind, a company’s security systems become dynamic, changing all the time to overcome weaknesses and adapt to the latest penetration techniques.
Internally, these platforms scan for vulnerabilities created by configuration changes or abnormal employee behaviour online. AI algorithms baseline normal behaviour and can quickly flag unusual interactions in a company’s digital assets, giving security teams more time to respond to potential insider attacks.
In short, AI is both a threat and a boon to cybersecurity currently.
Security Training Gamification
Security training has become a critical area of investment at most companies. While sophisticated attacks occupy the headlines, most data breaches are the result of common attack techniques like phishing. Thus, companies must educate their employees on the latest cyberattack techniques and vulnerabilities.
The problem is that security training has traditionally been a boring affair, filled with seminars and lectures from security personnel. This picture is changing quickly as cybersecurity is being gamified to boost training engagement. Instead of delivering a presentation on the latest phishing techniques, companies are onboarding their employees onto platforms that present the techniques as simulated challenges to overcome, so they can earn badges and rise to the top of their team’s leaderboard.
This gamified approach is paying huge dividends, as employees are more engaged and learn new behaviours more effectively. These platforms also allow people to walk through a threat scenario in a safe space without experiencing negative consequences.
Gamification also gives security teams the data they need to tailor training programs. The overall result is a workforce that understands the threat and mitigative action needed to combat cyber threats.
As companies exchange more data than ever before, 5G networks are increasingly coming under the scanner. 5G represents a huge leap forward in network technology and is still relatively untested. The network’s ability to transmit and hold different forms of data is pioneering, and this has given malicious actors a way to potentially exploit companies using the infrastructure.
From a business perspective, 5G networks hold a significant amount of IoT data. For instance, a manufacturer will transmit and store data related to assembly line machines. Data could include variables such as usage trends and expected life. These datasets are automatically fed into algorithms that determine maintenance schedules or supply orders.
It’s safe to say that any compromise to an IoT network underpinned by 5G will create serious losses for a firm. Configuration errors are an area companies are paying special attention to since incorporating 5G into a broader network can break systems elsewhere.
While 5G is playing a massive role in helping companies transmit more data, it also poses a potential threat, due to its relative immaturity.
Modern enterprises use a range of machines to execute tasks. DevOps culture is well-rooted within these companies, leading them to employ automated processes and machines in the development process. The result is a sprawl of digital assets that can be hard to secure.
Cloud sprawl refers to using multiple cloud assets to store data and host important microservices. Developers typically access data from all of these assets when designing an app, and this leads to potential security vulnerabilities.
For instance, a single app might draw data from several cloud containers. To avoid reducing performance, a developer might write access credentials into code and this gives malicious actors an easy way to infiltrate systems. Developers hardcode information like this due to the rapid development timelines they face.
The problem here is a mismatch between the aims of an agile development system and security. To bridge the gap, companies are exploring installing methods such as DevSecOps, which turn security agile and compatible with development cycles. While this method of working is still new, it holds a huge amount of promise for companies looking to install agile security.
Cars and vehicles are more electronic and connected than ever before, and this has led to a wave of auto-related hacks. Common examples include hacking a vehicle’s computers to downgrade performance or steal GPS data.
Most car manufacturers, even those that have strong ties with software companies, are unfamiliar with securing their vehicles electronically.
The good news is these attacks are rarely fatal. For the most part, attackers publicise these attacks as a way of damaging a company’s reputation instead of actively trying to harm consumers.
The key to combating such attacks is to secure both hardware and software, a challenge manufacturers are currently grappling with.
More Important Than Ever
Cybersecurity’s place as a business pillar will only strengthen as technology improves. Rapidly advancing tech poses a threat and offers immense promise to companies. Only the future will tell how successful their methods will be.