Year-End Recap of Major Cybersecurity Trends in 2023

Year-End Recap of Major Cybersecurity Trends in 2023

2023 Year-End Recap of Major Cybersecurity Trends

2023 marked a year of increasing activity in the cybersecurity industry. According to IBM’s “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023,” the average expense of a data breach this year was $4.45 million, a 15% increase from 2020. It is no surprise that 51% of businesses are planning to increase their security budgets. 

While cybersecurity is a vast industry with many nuances, there have been seven major trends that have taken center stage in 2023. Here they are. 

  1. Increase in the Number of Ransomware and Phishing Attacks

According to Statista, nearly three-fourths of businesses worldwide (72.7%) reported being affected by ransomware, an increase of 1.7% from 2022 and a 17.6% increase from 2018. Additionally, a Q3 Global Ransomware Report from Corvus Insurance that spans companies and individuals showed that ransomware attacks are increasing at a much more drastic rate, up 11% from Q2 2023 and up 95% year-over-year.

Phishing is on the rise, as well, among corporations and individuals. CNBC reported that since Q4 2022, there has been a 1,265% increase in phishing emails (coinciding with the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022). 

  1. Growing Prevalence of AI and ML

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have emerged as formidable adversaries in the realm of cybersecurity, presenting significant threats by virtue of their capacity to streamline and optimize malicious activities. ChatGPT, for example, makes it much easier for cybercriminals to generate malware, automate attacks, and create scams that sound human-like even though they are fake. 

Conversely, AI and ML effectively counteract malicious actors and detecting nefarious activities. Their resilience is evident in the handling of zero-day attacks, streamlining analytical processes, and executing proactive threat detection.

The effectiveness of AI in combating cyberattacks is underscored by the findings in IBM’s “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023,” revealing that organizations leveraging AI and automation reported average savings of $1.76 million.

  1. Bigger Emphasis on Cloud Security

As more businesses take advantage of the benefits of cloud storage and remote work, security risks increase. Therefore, 2023 has seen an increase in cloud protection, including guarding data, applications, and computing infrastructures. The IBM report cited above also found that 82% of breaches in organizations included cloud-based data. Addressing this challenge involves a multi-faceted approach, including the implementation of robust backup and recovery measures, the reinforcement of encryption techniques, intensified employee training, and the establishment of regular security audits.

  1. Zero Trust Architecture Becomes a Must

Zero trust architecture, the motto of which is “Never trust, always verify,” has taken off in 2023. The premise of zero trust is that anyone, whether they are an employee or not, must go through a verification process before gaining access to private data. For large companies, this can be cumbersome — but necessary. According to Deloitte’s 2023 Global Future of Cyber Survey, “A zero trust approach should be central to your efforts involving new technology.”

While 86.5% of organizations have begun adopting zero-trust security, according to a recent report by Cisco, only 2% have all the pieces of the zero-trust puzzle in place. 

Components of zero trust architecture include: 

  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Continuous monitoring of users’ devices
  • Micro-segmentation and strict access controls
  • Secure remote access

The report notes that even if not every aspect of zero trust is implemented, it can still be effective. 

  1. Stricter Compliance 

As cybersecurity becomes a global concern, regulatory bodies have been cracking down on compliance, including the SEC’s new rules and the EU’s enforcement and expansion of the GDPR, General Data Protection Regulation. According to a recent Vanta report, companies spend an average of 7.5 hours a week on cybersecurity compliance. 

  1. Quantum Computing on the Horizon

The 2023 EY Quantum Approach to Cybersecurity report discusses the importance of organizations’ cybersecurity teams preparing for quantum computing. Estimates for quantum computers cracking all current cryptosystems range from five to 30 years, but it’s not too early to start preparing. The report states, “to keep operating successfully and securely, businesses will need to ensure that their quantum-powered cybersecurity plan is fully matured before the threat posed.”

  1. Increase in IoT and Supply Chain Attacks 

A Zscaler report revealed that IoT malware attacks have increased by a staggering 400% in the first half of 2023 compared to 2022. Supply chain attacks are also on the rise. A Capterra poll reported that software supply chain threats directly affect 61% of US businesses. The report points to open-source software as the chink in the armor of most companies, which is especially problematic as it’s used by 94% of US companies in some form. 

Be Proactive

Cybersecurity is dynamic by its very nature, and has often been reactive instead of proactive, i.e. reacting to threats and attacks as they come. Reactivity creates pressurized situations in which companies are left playing catch up. By proactively implementing cybersecurity measures, you ensure that you are not caught off guard.. Since cybersecurity is such a dynamic field, staying abreast of the latest industry trends is crucial for knowing which proactive steps to take to maintain the integrity of your company’s data.