Businesses and government agencies must deal with an ever-increasing threat from cyber attacks that continues to evolve along with cybersecurity advancements. The modern digital landscape presents dangers that every company must be prepared for regardless of their size or industry as we enter 2023.
It's crucial now more than ever before to focus on mitigating risks while building resilience and recovery capabilities. The metaverse has become an emerging concern generating interest among cybercriminals while recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) techniques like machine learning (ML) present new opportunities for exploitation. The Deloitte Center for Controllerships' recent poll indicates that the finance sector was hit by over one-third (33%) of executives reporting being targeted by cyber attackers aiming at financial data breaches over the past year. Similarly concerning are results showing almost half (50%) of C-suite executives anticipate an increase in events targeting accounting services and financial data this year. Our article will explore these trends in-depth and provide insights into how to minimize risks and improve security measures.
Zero - Trust Model
The "zero trust" cybersecurity model assumes that no users or devices can be trusted without continuous verification. This approach is becoming more popular as organizations try to prevent cyber breaches. The National Institute of Standards and Technology defines zero trust as a set of cybersecurity paradigms that focus on users, assets, and resources instead of static, network-based perimeters.
The demand for products that support zero trust is increasing, and it's estimated that the global market for zero trust security will be worth $52 billion by 2026. The market is driven by the growing frequency of target-based cyberattacks and increasing regulations for data protection and information security. To address these issues, the US government has implemented a federal zero trust architecture strategy that requires agencies to meet specific cybersecurity standards and objectives by the end of 2024.
AI in Cyber Security - The “Double-Edged Sword"
AI-based tools can be very helpful when it comes to detecting and preventing cyber threats. However, this technology can be simultaneously used by cybercriminals in order to launch more sophisticated attacks that are harder to defend against as they become more and more unpredictable. For example, NATO has recognised this to be a major issue, and started developing strategies to tackle this new and quickly-evolving challenge.
One approach NATO has taken is to use its Cyber Range in Tallinn, Estonia, to simulate cyber attacks and test the ability of participating countries to defend themselves against various types of AI-based cyber attacks. The exercise involves creating fictitious storylines and scenarios to see how participating countries respond to the simulated cyber attacks. The aim is to expose the technical experiments to the operational community to ensure that what is developed from a technical perspective serves the operator, so that they don't march left when they would like to march right.
However, as Alberto Domingo, technical director of cyberspace at NATO Allied Command Transformation, points out, AI cyber attacks pose a critical threat, and the number of attacks is increasing exponentially all the time. Although solutions are being worked on to tackle AI cyber attacks, Domingo suggests that we cannot stop them if we still want the Internet to be a place of free thinking and independence.
RSA Conference Predictions - Cloud Security
The RSA Conference in San Francisco was all about the growing importance of generative AI in cybersecurity, although there was some uncertainty about its involvement in recent hacks. Sarbjeet Johal, the founder and CEO of Stackpane, acknowledged that AI tools still have a long way to go in terms of development.
Johal predicted that cybersecurity funding would increasingly shift towards AI and other areas, but he also noted that startups in the cybersecurity space would still have access to seed capital. He expects AI to play a vital role in the future of cybersecurity, either as a supplier or as technology to refactor existing solutions.
Cloud technology cannot be ignored when discussing the future of cybersecurity. Microsoft and Google Cloud have reported impressive growth, indicating a trend towards cloud-based solutions in the security industry. As more companies adopt cloud technology, cybersecurity providers will have to adapt to stay competitive. Johal also anticipates an increase in merger and acquisition activity in the industry, with larger players acquiring startups with innovative solutions to maintain their market position.
Both physical and cloud environments, including cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products, are vulnerable to attacks.
Initial Access Brokers (IABs) are a particularly worrying trend, as they sell access to corporate resources to ransomware gangs and others using techniques like phishing, brute-force attacks, or vulnerability exploitation to obtain data. IABs can make it easier for cybercriminals to gain access to a network using a legitimate user account, including administrator accounts.
Another trend is the emergence of Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS), which is becoming more common in 2023. It allows affiliates to use ready-made ransomware tools to launch an attack without needing to understand the technical details of the RaaS solution.
This means that even those without much technical know-how can carry out ransomware attacks using RaaS. Unfortunately, it's expected that these trends will only worsen, as access brokers become more common, and the price of data on dark-web forums decreases.
In today's tech-driven world, cyber-attacks are becoming more complex over time – threatening sectors like finance with greater sophistication than ever before. The growing prominence of technology like the metaverse only amplifies these concerns meaning that organizations must find new ways to protect themselves against cybercrime. To address this issue proactively businesses are starting to utilize cutting edge AI based tools designed for cybersecurity purposes. However effective these measures may be though; they can just as easily be used by hackers for their cybercrime purposes instead.
To prevent costly breaches or other disruptions to critical operations stemming from unauthorized access or other similar issues happening on their networks; many companies are embracing "zero trust" principles emphasizing continuous verification. Meanwhile industry leaders, gathering in San Francisco for the RSA Conference pondered the value of generative AI and cloud based solutions as new frontiers in cybersecurity protection. With Initial Access Brokers and Ransomware as a Service becoming more common, cyber security providers must remain vigilant about keeping up with evolving threats by innovating to combat them. This means staying one step ahead of hackers by constantly improving their defenses and developing new strategies to minimize risk.