Top 10 Cybersecurity Predictions in 2023: New Cyber Challenges

As we enter 2023, we look back at the past year in cybersecurity and make predictions for next year. We saw the rapid transformation of digital initiatives and policies that either saw businesses rise above and adapt or fail to react in time to protect themselves. Industries such as healthcare and education were hit hard by cyber attacks and are at risk of experiencing continued assaults on critical data.

What will the world of cybersecurity look like in 2023? Take a look at UpGuard’s top predictions for the cybersecurity industry for the coming year.

1. Cyber Insurance Premiums Will Rise Significantly, More Businesses Will Be Denied Coverage

Cyber insurance is still a relatively new and rapidly developing market, and as the number and sophistication of the cyber threat landscape continue to grow, insurance companies may become more selective in the policies they offer and the premium they charge.

As cybercrime continues to grow, more and more businesses are looking to insure themselves against potential cyber threats by selecting cyber insurance coverages in case of any incidents. However, because cyber damages are constantly rising due to an increase in cyber attack sophistication, insurance providers are beginning to reject coverages and require businesses to implement more critical infrastructure before insuring them.

Insurance service providers determine if they will provide coverages and the cost of monthly premiums based on the organization's risk profile. The lower the risk, the higher the chance of being accepted for coverage, and the lower the premiums will be. Adoption of stronger cybersecurity practices such as access control, authentication processes, hiring of CISO or similar positions, and cybersecurity training will all be necessary before applying for cyber insurance.

Cyber insurance policies will also change and adapt as more regulations, and compliance requirements for data security are passed. Businesses will need to readjust their cyber defense strategies to meet more rigorous cybersecurity standards in order to be approved for comprehensive cyber coverage successfully.

Learn more about cyber insurance here.

2. Automation & AI Processes Will Be Key for Early Threat Detection and Response

As cyber threats become more sophisticated, organizations are turning to advanced technologies like AI and machine learning to help them stay ahead of the curve. These technologies can analyze large amounts of data from multiple sources, such as network traffic and log files, to identify patterns and anomalies that indicate a potential threat (aka threat intelligence).

They can also automate incident response and remediation processes, helping organizations respond more quickly and effectively to cyber attacks. Additionally, these technologies can be used to automatically respond to threats by, for example, blocking suspicious traffic or quarantining compromised devices.

More importantly, threat actors can potentially use AI-based tools to drive more sophisticated, advanced attacks. New tools like ChatGPT will now be able to spoof domains or send phishing emails that are error-free, making it harder to identify real and fake emails. Integrating AI into cybersecurity solutions will play a huge role in the detection, prevention, and remediation processes.

3. Cybercriminals Will Aim to Take Advantage of a Potential Global Recession

The potential global recession and economic downturn will likely significantly impact the cybersecurity industry. As businesses and organizations struggle to stay afloat financially, they may cut back on cybersecurity spending, which could lead to a reduction in the number of cybersecurity jobs available and a regression in cybersecurity focus.

As industries begin to scale back on their spending, cybercriminals will start to target more small or medium-sized businesses that have de-prioritized their cybersecurity protections. The recession could lead to a decrease in the number of security professionals and a decrease in the level of security in companies, leading to an increase in the number of successful cyber attacks.

4. New Smart Technology Will Raise Cybersecurity Standards for IoT Devices

As the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart devices continues to grow, organizations will be increasingly focused on securing these devices due to the new challenges they bring. As more devices and services are connected to the internet and other networks, it becomes easier for hackers to find vulnerabilities that they can exploit.

Additionally, many IoT devices have limited security capabilities and are often not properly configured, making them easy targets. IoT devices are often built with limited configurations, which makes it difficult to implement traditional security measures. Most of these devices are also not designed with security in mind, which makes them more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

5G technology will also come into question as its use becomes more widespread. Because users and devices all connect to 5G networks, the complexity of 5G technology makes it more difficult to secure.

Organizations will need to invest in security solutions that can help them to identify and protect IoT devices on their networks, and they will also need to develop strategies for managing the security risks associated with these devices.

5. Greater Emphasis Will Be Put on Supply Chain and Third-Party Risk Management

More than 50% of organizations experienced some third-party or supply chain attack in 2022, which is expected to rise significantly in 2023. Organizations will be increasingly focused on securing the various components of their supply chain, as well as managing the risks associated with third-party vendors. Supply chain security will become an important area of prioritization for organizations of all sizes, as increased attacks on third-party vendors can lead to breaches of sensitive data and disruption of business operations.

Third-party risk management will also likely become an even more critical part of an organization's overall risk management strategy. Organizations will need to develop better strategies for managing the risks associated with third-party vendors, including assessing their security controls, monitoring for potential threats, and having incident response plans in place.

This will require organizations to have a better understanding of their vendors' security posture, as well as a means of monitoring them for potential threats. As businesses improve their own security postures, it will fall on them to ensure their vendors and third parties are secured just as well.

6. More Regulations and Compliance Requirements Will Be Introduced to Protect Data Privacy and Security

Governments around the world will begin to introduce new regulations and compliance requirements to protect personal data and improve data security. New privacy laws will have a significant impact on organizations of all sizes, as they will be required to take additional steps to protect personal data and demonstrate compliance with these regulations.

Increased reliance on technology will attract more cybercriminals to attack the critical infrastructure of businesses. The impact of these attacks will force governments to enact more compliance requirements to protect consumer privacy.

Organizations will need to invest more in data and information security solutions and implement best practices to ensure they are compliant with these regulations.

7.  Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals Will Continue to Rise Drastically

Although it’s possible that cybersecurity spending will be cut back in 2023, the demand for highly skilled cybersecurity professionals will reach an all-time high. One of the biggest challenges for all organizations will be finding the balance between hiring skilled security teams and improving cybersecurity measures, all while working within reduced security budgets.

The increasing number of data breaches and cyber incidents has led to a growing awareness of the importance of cybersecurity. This has led to an increased demand for cybersecurity-related jobs, such as security analysts or security engineers. This trend should continue in 2023, as organizations will need to invest in more advanced security solutions to protect against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.

The demand for cybersecurity professionals will also force companies to reevaluate budgets, mainly if they operate heavily in the cloud space, handle vast amounts of sensitive data, or manage many internet-facing digital assets.

Learn about the different cybersecurity fields here.

8. More Cloud Connectivity Will Require Better Cloud-Based Security Solutions

As more organizations move towards cloud-based services and away from on-premise ecosystems, cloud-based security solutions must evolve and grow to become more advanced to handle growing threats. Organizations operating in strictly on-premise environments put themselves at risk due to using unpatched, legacy technology.

Cloud-based security solutions must become more integrated to provide security for the cloud environment and integrate with existing security solutions to provide a seamless experience across multiple domains.

Additionally, these cloud security solutions need to focus on providing comprehensive services, including but not limited to security assessments, threat intelligence, incident response, and compliance management. This will help organizations to understand their security posture better and take proactive measures to protect against threats. The rapid transition should force service providers to drive more innovative and cost-effective security solutions to capture increased demand.

9. Increased Engagement in the Metaverse Will Create Many New Cybersecurity Challenges

Because the metaverse is still a relatively new environment, as it picks up more traction, it will create new cybersecurity challenges that must be addressed as soon as possible. Additionally, because the metaverse is still fairly new, there is a glaring lack of regulations within the VR and AR environment that could pose significant security and privacy issues for hosts, vendors, and users.

New cybersecurity best practices must be identified for all users, as early adopters will likely experience malware and ransomware attacks, as well as social engineering and phishing scams. New security challenges could potentially include:

Existing security practices will certainly play a large role in metaverse security, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), single sign-on (SSO), zero-trust infrastructure, and endpoint security tools, among many others. AI will also most likely be integrated into metaverse security.

However, the biggest problem will be managing the interaction between the real and virtual worlds. Virtual communities will have unique governing policies, both within and without the cybersecurity framework. Remote access security issues today will be adopted into the metaverse. Because the metaverse is currently a largely unchecked environment, the next few years will determine if users can trust cybersecurity policies within.

10. Global Average Cost of a Cyber Attack Will Reach $5 Million

One of the biggest topics of discussion will be the global costs of cyber attacks. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, the total cost of cybercrime worldwide is projected to break $8 trillion in 2023. In 2022, there were a record number of data breaches, with the global average cost reaching $4.35 million. Cybercrime shows no sign of slowing down as the number of cyber incidents continues to hit new heights year after year, especially in the healthcare and education industries.

Based on the previous trajectories of cyber attack costs, incidents could potentially reach $5 million in costs by the end of the year. Cyber attacks increased by 38% from 2021 to 2022, and the maturity of AI technology could continue to drive the rate of attacks even higher in 2023. By the end of last year, there were roughly an average of almost 1200 attacks per week globally, representing an all-time high.

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