Although the tech industry saw a surge in hiring at the beginning of 2022, by the end of the year many major companies, including Meta, Microsoft, and Amazon, slowed their hiring practices due to worries about the global economy, falling ad sales, inflation, and rising interest rates.
Yet, cybersecurity seems unaffected by these movements. According to CyberSeek, the current number of unfilled security posts in the United States is over 700,000, and growing.
Although the demand for cybersecurity experts remains steady, the cyber threats that target enterprises of all sizes are constantly changing. For instance, ransomware attacks remain a pressing issue, with new hackers and methods seemingly uncovered weekly.
As we enter 2023, cybersecurity experts and industry observers are keeping a close eye on a number of trends that have the potential to affect IT and security professionals and influence how they approach their work and career goals.
Listed below are seven cybersecurity trends to watch.
Security risk will increase due to economic uncertainty
Cybersecurity has been relatively immune to the layoffs that have impacted the rest of the IT industry, but that might change in 2023.
Many economists and other financial analysts believe that a recession, even a ‘mild’ one, is likely to happen in 2023.
It’s also likely the US Federal Reserve and other central banks will keep hiking interest rates, which would have a chilling effect on hiring.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine will continue well into 2023, putting increasing pressure on commodities and gas prices and the global economy.
The dangers that businesses now face will be amplified by the current economic and geopolitical climate. In 2023, security leaders will face new problems and threats to their critical infrastructures and sensitive data and need to adjust their plans accordingly.
New cyber security risks will emerge as people continue to work remotely
Although many employees have gone back to the office, it is clear that remote and hybrid work is here to stay.
According to a recent McKinsey poll, 87% of employees who have the opportunity to work remotely do so, and they spend an average of three days a week working outside the office.
When they’re not in the office, employees are more likely to engage in risky activities such as using unsecured WiFi without a VPN, leaving work devices unlocked in public, or clicking on malicious emails.
To mitigate these dangers, businesses must foster a culture of proactive security that encourages employees to adopt safer practices both in and out of the office.
Remote workers need access to secure solutions, including virtual private network (VPN) subscriptions, password management software, and devices with multi-factor authentication.
IoT and cloud services represent new entry points
According to Deloitte’s survey, the average US household now has 22 connected devices. And in 2023, Gartner predicts there will be over 40 billion connected devices in the world.
Unlike company laptops or smartphones, which are heavily protected, many of these devices don’t have built-in security updates, making it unsafe to share a network with them.
As the number of IoT devices grows and employees continue to work remotely, cybercriminals will have access to a wide range of new entry points.
IoT devices have always been an issue for those responsible for cybersecurity because manufacturers haven’t always prioritized making them safe with regular patches and upgrades, as they aren’t typically used to directly store critical data.
Recently, however, it’s clear that even if they don’t retain sensitive data directly, attackers may often find ways to use these devices as entry points to access other networked devices that might.
Therefore, one of the biggest cyber security trends for 2023 will be fighting IoT vulnerabilities by increasing security around connected devices, cloud systems, and networks that tie them all together.
Cryptocurrency and deep fake scams are on the rise
In the wake of FTX’s bankruptcy and closure in November, the whole cryptocurrency sector has come under intense scrutiny.
Concerns about what happened to the company’s money and the impact on its customers and investors have led cybersecurity experts to warn about phishing attacks, deep fakes, social engineering attacks, and other frauds linked to FTX’s demise.
Deep Fakes are also getting difficult to spot and are becoming a severe security concern for those trying to spot scams and frauds.
In 2023, deep fakes could become so authentic that it’s only a matter of time before cyberattackers can create impressively lifelike digital avatars of anyone, which will be difficult to recognize without the proper technology to analyze the source data.
For this and other reasons, 2023 could see a rise in cryptocurrency and deep fake scams, and they are likely to multiply, especially when combined with financial uncertainty about inflation and rising interest rates.
‘Zero trust’ adoption is set to increase
Any IT or security professional who has heard the term “zero trust” in the last year will certainly hear more about it in 2023.
As more and more businesses reevaluate their security strategies, the need for a zero-trust approach that does away with the security perimeter and trusted identity rises.
Gartner predicts that zero trust network access will continue to be the fastest-growing sector in network security, with a growth of 31% in 2023.
In large part, this is “motivated by the rising demand for zero trust protection for remote workers and enterprises’ declining dependence on VPNs for secure access,” the research states.
Over the course of 2023, we can see organizations expanding their zero trust program beyond some of their fundamental components, such as device, identity, and network levels.
Multi-factor authentication deployment will increase
The debate over who has access to data and how identity might be compromised will continue to escalate in 2023, particularly as businesses deal with users with multiple passwords and hackers continue to utilize compromised credentials to force their way into networks.
These are some of the reasons why experts predict multifactor authentication (MFA) will be widely used by 2023.
GitHub, for example, stated that it would demand at least two-factor authentication for its community members in the new year, and more businesses are expected to follow this and other examples.
Cyber threats will affect small businesses
According to the recent McKinsey survey, the financial damages from cyber threats are expected to exceed $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, meaning organizations of all sizes must invest more in their defenses and hire top talent to fight these attacks.
However, competing for talent with larger organizations can be difficult for small and mid-sized businesses. 2023’s anticipated economic downturn will make it even harder for many companies to invest in cybersecurity.
These problems are happening at a time when small businesses are being attacked by hackers and threat actors at an alarming rate, demanding novel approaches to mitigating them.
We expect cybersecurity vendors to pay more attention to the exploited SMB sector in 2023, giving these businesses the cyber defense solutions they need to protect themselves from attacks.
Cyber security solutions in 2023 should be easier for IT departments to deploy, more intuitive for end users, and cheaper for businesses of all sizes.
The seven trends outlined above are just a few of the changes we expect to see in 2023 regarding cybersecurity.
Organizations must be prepared for these and other cyber threats, taking steps now to ensure their networks are secure and that they have access to the best possible cyber defense solutions.
By doing so, businesses will be in the best position to take advantage of new opportunities and stay ahead of cybercriminals in 2023.
This will require a combination of technological solutions, talent acquisition, and the adoption of new processes. Only then can organizations protect their data and networks from today’s threats, and those still to come.
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