The year 2023 was a turning point for cyber-attacks, witnessing the widespread adoption of AI (artificial intelligence) by people who wish to do you harm. This technology is now in the hands of those looking to exploit it for financial gain or to disrupt businesses. There is a tendency to shrug and just accept the “we’re all gonna get hacked anyway” mantra to avoid having to deal with it, but the reality is that the question is no longer if, but when, your organization will face a cyber-attack.
A recent Hiscox Cyber Readiness report revealed that 53% of businesses experienced at least one cyber-attack in the past year, with 21% stating that the attack posed a significant threat to their viability.
As we step into 2024, heightened global tensions, such as the U.S. presidential election and ongoing conflicts, contribute to a potentially challenging cybersecurity landscape. Here are the top five cybersecurity threats you need to be prepared for:
1. The Proliferation of AI-Powered Attacks: In the cybersecurity chess game, AI is the queen, providing a powerful advantage to those who wield it. Expect sophisticated deepfake social engineering attacks to rise, aiming to separate individuals and businesses from their finances. Scams using AI-generated voices have already been witnessed, exploiting familial connections and tricking employees into divulging sensitive information. Employee awareness training and robust controls like multi-factor authentication (MFA) play a crucial role in combating such attacks. At IntermixIT, we specialize in combating AI attacks through robust cybersecurity strategies and cyber awareness training.
2. Increased Risk of Remote Workers: The expansion of remote work brings an exponential increase in the risk of cyber threats. Devices used for remote work, such as laptops and mobile phones, are susceptible to being lost or stolen. The blending of personal and business activities on the same device amplifies these risks. Even logging into personal social media sites that get hacked can provide a gateway for a hacker to get to YOUR company’s information through a user’s (employee’s) personal accounts. Vigilance and measures like device segregation are essential to mitigate these threats.
3. Escalation of Ransomware Attacks: Ransomware attacks have surged, with an estimated 1.7 million attacks daily. The average ransom payment exceeded $100,000, with an average demand of $5.3 million. Businesses are getting much smarter about cyber protections and implementing robust protections to prevent hackers from successfully extorting their victims.
4. IoT Attacks: The “Internet of Things ,” or IoT is a term to describe the proliferation of Internet-connected devices and presents a growing security challenge, with an increasing number of connected devices. From kitchen appliances to personal gadgets, each device serves as a potential access point for hackers. While many people know they should lock their PC, they might not be as meticulous in locking down their fridge or their dog’s tracking collar, but those could all provide access to you, your devices, e-mail, credit card and personal information. Ensuring the security of all connected devices is crucial to safeguard personal and sensitive information.
5. Cyber Protection Legal Requirements: Governments are responding to the surge in cybercrime by enacting comprehensive federal and state laws. Businesses are now required to implement “reasonable security” measures to protect employees and clients. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is actively penalizing companies for failing to adopt adequate security measures. Of course, all 50 states plus Washington D.C. have passed laws imposing security requirements as well as data breach notification laws that require businesses to notify anyone whose data and PII (personally identifiable information) has been stolen or accessed by hackers via the company. For example, in California, under the California Privacy Rights Act (CCPA), a business could face a penalty of $100 to $750 per consumer and per incident if that company gets hacked and the court determines they failed to put in place reasonable security procedures.
Ensure Your Cybersecurity Readiness
To assess your vulnerability to cyber threats, take advantage of our FREE Cybersecurity Risk Assessment. Our senior advisors will review your system to identify potential vulnerabilities. Schedule your assessment by calling 717-914-0102 or clicking here. Stay one step ahead in securing your digital landscape.