The new year has just begun and it is a time of renewal as we plan for the possibilities to come in 2023. It is also a time when you need to plan for resiliency in the face of an ever-present threat of an attack.
Sixty-eight percent of surveyed business leaders feel that cybersecurity risks are getting worse. They have a good reason. Attacks continue to get more sophisticated. They are also often perpetrated by large criminal organizations. These criminal groups treat these attacks like a business.
In 2021, the average number of global cyberattacks increased by 15.1%.
To protect your business in the coming year, it is important to watch the attack trends. What new methods are hackers using? What types of attacks are increasing in volume? Knowing these things is important. It helps you better update your IT security to mitigate the risk of a data breach or malware infection.
We have pulled out the security crystal ball for the upcoming year and we have researched what cybersecurity experts are expecting. Here are the attack trends that you need to watch out for.
Attacks on 5G Devices
The world has been buzzing about 5G for a few years. It is finally beginning to fulfill the promise of lightning-fast internet. As providers build out the infrastructure, you can expect this to be a high-attack area.
Hackers are looking to take advantage of the 5G hardware used for routers, mobile devices and PCs. Anytime you have a new technology like this, it is bound to have some code vulnerabilities. This is exactly what hackers are looking to exploit.
You can prepare by being aware of the firmware security in the devices that you buy. This is especially true for those enabled for 5G. Some manufacturers will build better firmware security into their designs than others. Make sure to ask about this when purchasing new devices.
One-Time Password (OTP) Bypass
This alarming new trend is designed to get past one of the best forms of account security. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is well-known to be very effective at preventing fraudulent sign-in attempts. It can stop account takeovers even in cases where the criminal has the user’s password.
There are a few different ways that hackers try to bypass MFA. These include:
- Reusing a token: Gaining access to a recent user OTP and trying to reuse it.
- Sharing unused tokens: The hacker uses their own account to get an OTP. Then they attempt to use that OTP on a different account.
- Leaked token: Using an OTP token leaked through a web application.
- Password reset function: A hacker uses phishing to fool the user into resetting a password. They then trick them into handing over their OTP via text or email.
Attacks Surrounding World Events
During the pandemic, the cyberattack volume increased by approximately 600%. Large criminal hacking groups have realized that world events and disasters are lucrative.
They launch phishing campaigns for world events. Attacks come for everything from the latest hurricane or typhoon to the war in the Ukraine. Unsuspecting people often fall for these scams. This is because they are often distracted by the crisis.
People need to be especially mindful of scams surrounding events like these. They will often use social engineering tactics (like sad photos) to play on your emotions.
Smishing & Mobile Device Attacks
Mobile devices go with us just about everywhere these days. This direct connection to a potential victim is not lost on cybercriminals. Look for more mobile device-based attacks including SMS-based phishing (“smishing”).
Many people aren’t expecting to receive fake messages to their personal numbers. However, cell numbers are no longer as private as they once were. Hackers can buy lists of them online. They then craft convincing fake texts that look like shipping notices or receipts. One wrong click is all it takes for an account or data breach.
Mobile malware is also on the rise. During the first few months of 2022, malware targeted to mobile devices rose by 500%. It is important to ensure that you have good mobile anti-malware as well as other protections on your devices (like a DNS filter).
Elevated Phishing Using AI & Machine Learning
These days, phishing emails are not so easy to spot. In the past, they nearly always had spelling errors or grainy images. While some still do, most don’t.
Criminal groups elevate today’s phishing using AI and machine learning. It will look identical to a real brand’s emails and it will also come personalized. Hackers use these tactics to capture more victims. They also allow hackers to send out more targeted phishing messages in less time than in years past.
Schedule a Cybersecurity Check-Up Today
Is your business prepared for the cyber threats coming in 2022? Don’t wait to find out the hard way! Give us a call and schedule a cybersecurity check-up to stay one step ahead of the digital criminals.