Cyber security has featured prominently in the news headlines for several years now. Yet so many organisations still do not see it as a priority. Instead, far too many businesses only take an interest when they are required to. Raising cyber awareness is a crucial objective for CRIBB this year. A good way of achieving this is via our blog, so today we look at cyber security threats in 2023. More specifically, we list some major threats we believe will disrupt companies large and small in the year ahead.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts a victim’s files. The attackers then demand a ransom from the victim to restore access to the files upon payment. Ransomware attacks are typically carried out using a Trojan that is disguised as a legitimate file. The user is tricked into downloading or opening this file, which is actually malicious. Once the user opens the file, the ransomware infects their computer and begins to encrypt files. The ransom is usually demanded within a short time frame, such as 72 hours. Payment is usually demanded in a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
There are many different strains of ransomware, and they can vary in the way they are disseminated and the way they operate. Some strains of ransomware are spread through spam emails. Others are spread through infected websites or by exploiting vulnerabilities in a victim’s computer. Some strains of ransomware are highly targeted, while others are distributed more widely in a “spray and pray” approach.
A zero-day vulnerability is a security flaw that is unknown to the software vendor. It could also be unknown to the wider cyber security community. This type of vulnerability can be exploited by cyber-criminals to gain unauthorized access to a computer system, network, or application. Because the vendor is unaware of the vulnerability, they have not had a chance to fix it and release a patch. This means that the vulnerability can remain open and exposed to attacks for an indefinite period of time. This is why zero-day vulnerabilities are considered to be particularly serious and dangerous. They can allow attackers to compromise systems and steal sensitive data before anyone is even aware that there is a problem.
Supply Chain attacks
These are a type of cyber-attack targeting the networks and systems of an organisation’s suppliers, vendors, or other third parties in the supply chain. The goal of these attacks is to infiltrate organisations via less secure and less well-defended entry points. Once the attacker has gained a foothold in the supplier’s network, for example, they can then try to move laterally to the target organisation’s network. This may allow them to gain access to sensitive data or systems.
Supply chain attacks can be particularly effective because organisations often have less control over the security of their suppliers’ networks. They may therefore not be aware that an attack is taking place until it is too late. In addition, because the supply chain is often complex, it can be difficult to trace the source of the attack and determine who is responsible. This makes supply chain attacks a popular tactic for cyber-criminals.
Credential theft is a type of cyber-attack in which an attacker obtains the login credentials of a legitimate user, such as a username and password, in order to gain unauthorized access to a computer system or network. There are a number of ways that attackers can obtain credentials, including through phishing attacks, malware, or by physically stealing login information from an unsuspecting user. Once an attacker has obtained a set of credentials, they can use them to log in to the target system or network and perform actions as if they were the legitimate user. This can allow the attacker to access sensitive data, make changes to systems, or perform other actions that could compromise the security of the target organisation. Credential theft is a serious threat, and organisations should take steps to protect their users’ login information and to detect and prevent this type of attack.
There are sure to be many cyber security threats in 2023. We would love to know which ones you feel will be the most disruptive though? If you have an opinion then we would very much appreciate your feedback. Do not imagine that the ones listed here will not be joined by others, though. Social engineering, cyber crime-as-a-service and hackers-for-hire may all grow also – you have been warned…!