Every day it seems there are reports of new cyberattacks and potential cyber threats in the news. UK businesses are high value targets for attackers. Recent data from
international law firm RPC has shown a threefold increase in the number of reported cybersecurity breaches this year in the financial services sector alone. And attackers are keen to exploit new technologies to identify vulnerabilities in your business’s cybersecurity posture. Which is why its important you stay informed about cybersecurity trends and emerging threats to safeguard your company's digital assets. 5 Emerging Cybersecurity Threats
Some of the
most common cyberthreats to UK businesses include ransomware, phishing, and DDoS attacks. But even as companies integrate new technologies to streamline their systems and use their data in novel ways, attackers are using those same technologies to exploit weaknesses and find new ways to breach an organisation’s defences.
Here are five emerging threats that should be on your radar:
1. AI Enabled Attacks
AI is probably one of the most talked about techs this year with everyone from politicians to Hollywood worried about the potential risks. While most of these risks are exaggerated, the rapid spread of artificial intelligence is having an impact.
AI is easily accessible and even the least sophisticated hackers can use AI to make their attacks more unpredictable, making it harder for cybersecurity teams to detect and cope with. A
Forrester report from 2019 notes that “offensive AI” was already able to evade traditional security measures, in part because most businesses cybersecurity approaches rely on human input preventing them from responding quickly enough to AI attacks.
It’s not just about making attacks faster or more ambitious, AI can also be used by attackers to analyse their attack strategies meaning they are more likely to be successful, develop more convincing phishing messages in multiple languages, and even mimic voices and images. AI-enabled cyberattacks may become less frequent, but more devastating. Ironically the solution to AI driven threats may well be the increasing adoption and integration of AI into security systems to mitigate the shortcomings of human actors, automate response actions and increase autonomous decision making.
2. Data Poisoning
Speaking of artificial intelligence, AI models rely on the large datasets collected by organisations to make accurate decisions. By corrupting the data used to train machine learning applications attackers can manipulate those applications for their own ends, often without the organisation having any means to detect or prevent such attacks.
Whilst high-level model poisoning attacks have yet to be reported, they have been
shown to be possible by both internal and external actors and the implications could be disastrous. As more and more sectors integrate machine learning into their day-to-day activities data poisoning could be used to make customers appear more creditworthy, give inaccurate advice through chatbots and language models, commit fraud, ship items directly to criminals and more.
Businesses who have their data corrupted in this way could experience financial losses, reputational damage, and widespread organisational disruption. Yet cybersecurity approaches are often still focussed on the theft of data rather than its manipulation.
3. Third-Party Exposure
More and more businesses are turning to contractors and other third-parties to help support their IT teams, and
with good reason. Contractors are a cost-effective way to bridge talent gaps, access niche skills and manage critical projects. However, an increasing reliance on less protected third parties could spell disaster if not properly managed.
These third party attacks are increasing and in 2022
nearly 50% of organizations suffered at least one data breach caused by a third party. Contractors are often given access to critical systems and data, yet their own networks are often more vulnerable. The increase in online communication and the rise of remote teams where individuals may never have met make phishing and ransomware attacks easier to pull off. 4. Configuration Mistakes
There are hundreds of reasons configuration mistakes can slip through the net. Whether you’re working with old systems developed by a previous team, have integrated a new product that doesn’t quite fit with your existing systems or regular testing and maintenance hasn’t been performed to the highest standard in the past and even the most skilled teams can make a mistake installing or setting up new software and systems.
In the past small configuration mistakes might not have had that much of an impact however combined with the poor data hygiene by employees and the rising use of the Cloud and off-site data storage and infrastructure a little mistake on your end could be devastating.
5. Vulnerabilities through the Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) creates new opportunities for cybercriminals. In a business setting. Connected smart devices can provide entry into the wider network, be used to conduct surveillance, or provide data for targeted social engineering attacks. As of 2021 the average user owns seven smart devices, and the sheer number of connections could become impossible to manage and maintain. Devices are attacked on average
5 minutes after being connected to a network and unpatched, insecure, or obsolete devices are an easy entry point. It’s easy to see why ENISA listed vulnerabilities via the IoT as two of its ten Cybersecurity Threats for 2030. Secure Your Business Against Emerging Threats With the Help of Seasoned Cybersecurity Experts
We know how hard it is to find trusted
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