This past year, 2022 has seen a sharp increase in various malicious software deployments and hacking methods with higher levels of sophistication than previous years.  According to a recent Forbes article, phishing, insider threats, business email compromise, lack of skilled cybersecurity workers, and misconfigurations of code have been common trends in past decade.  These will continue to be trends in the coming year, but other factors and developments will permeate an already vulnerable cybersecurity ecosystem.

What made 2022 particularly bad in cybersecurity trends, and what experts predict will make the coming 2023 year even more precarious, are global developments involving conflicts in Eastern Europe, vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure in Europe and North America, and the development of better tools that hackers are able to deploy.

A recent high-profile cyber attack targeting LastPass was made public knowledge by the company as recently as November 30th of 2022.  LastPass admitted recently that an unauthorized party gained entry into its systems, although they claim no passwords were actually compromised.  This cyber-attack was made possible through information that the attackers were able to gain from an even earlier attack from August 2022.

The LastPass attack was only one of many incidents that played a significant impact in the IT Sphere.   The Colonial Pipeline Ransomware attack was carried out by a Russian criminal organization which uses cyber-attacks including the deployment of ransomware attacks for financial exploitation.

This cyber-attack was particularly devastating because it locked down critical systems responsible for delivering gas vital for heating on the US East Coast, resulting in customers not getting heat during a particularly cold winter last year.

Another notable cyber-attack affecting Uber in July of 2022 resulting in an enourbous data breach which impacted 57 million users, and even paid $100,000 to the hacker to ensure the information was not made public.  Even attempts by Uber to try to prevent the data breach from becoming public knowledge eventually leaked as well.  This breach even saw for the first time Uber’s Chief Security Office Joe Sullivan brought to trial to face charges in a data breach related hack.

Attacks Are Expected to Increase

Cyber-attacks like those we’ve seen in 2022 are only expected to increase in 2023, and experts are warning that the level of sophistication is only expected to increase in the coming years.  As trends continue we see fewer loan wolf hacking events, and the large majority of cyber intrusions are team-based efforts by larger organizations.  This helps enable a larger field for groups to go after, casting a wider net to gain more potential data and financial gain.

Furthermore, large groups in foreign nations are playing an outsized role in cyber-security incidents. Many of the tools that are deployed by hacking organizations include their own support services, and these organizations may provide support for Ransomware applications, assist in data extraction techniques, and generally play an assistive role in supporting their tools with the knowledge they may be being used for illicit purposes.

This means that cyber criminal enterprises are growing an eco-system all of their own, including application developers, support engineers, and designers all playing a role to support cyber criminals deploying these tools for financial gain.

As more devices become connected to the internet through the IoT (internet of Things) world, hackers gain more targets.  IoT devices have gained in popularity, and in 2023 it’s expected that these devices will be some of the highest targeted.

It is necessary for businesses large and small alike to implement better cyber security practices and partner with cyber security experts who can help protect your office IT from serious potential risk.  Natural Networks is a Managed IT Services provider, and we partner with companies nationwide to help manage their IT in a security focused manner.  If you want to learn more, give us a call today!