What cybersecurity attack trends should you watch out for in 2023?

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Cybercrime continues to grow. In 2021, the average number of global cyberattacks increased by 15.1%. Now, as we approach 2023, do you feel prepared for new risks in cybersecurity?

Businesses need to plan for resiliency in the face of ever-present cyberattacks. Sixty-eight percent of surveyed business leaders feel that cybersecurity risks are getting worse.

Attacks continue to get more sophisticated and are also often perpetrated by large criminal organizations. Cybercriminal groups treat these attacks like a business.

For over 25 years, WEBIT Services has been passionate about education and effective security practices. As a result, it has helped hundreds of clients build solid cybersecurity procedures through the years.

By reading this article, you will learn five cyberattack trends experts anticipate in 2023.


5 Cyberattack trends to watch for in 2023

It's essential to watch the attack trends to protect your business in the coming year. For example, what new methods are hackers using? What types of attacks are increasing in volume? Knowing these things helps you better update your IT security to mitigate the risk of a data breach or malware infection.

1. Attacks on 5G devices

The world has been buzzing about 5G for a few years. It is finally beginning to fulfill the promise of lightning-fast internet. As providers build out the infrastructure, you can expect this to be a high-attack area.

Hackers are looking to take advantage of the 5G hardware used for routers, mobile devices, and PCs. Anytime you have a new technology like this, it's bound to have some code vulnerabilities. This is exactly what hackers are looking to exploit.

You can prepare by being aware of the firmware security in the devices you buy, especially those enabled for 5G. Some manufacturers will build better firmware security into their designs than others. Make sure to ask about this when purchasing new devices.

2. One-time password (OTP) bypass

This alarming new trend is designed to get past one of the best forms of account security, multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA is well-known for preventing fraudulent sign-in attempts. It can stop account takeovers even in cases where the criminal has the user's password.

There are a few different ways that hackers try to bypass MFA. These include:

  • Reusing a token: Gaining access to a recent user OTP and trying to reuse it
  • Sharing unused tokens: The hacker uses their own account to get an OTP. Then attempts to use that OTP on a different account.
  • Leaked token: Using an OTP token leaked through a web application.
  • Password reset function: A hacker uses phishing to fool the user into resetting a password. They then trick them into handing over their OTP via text or email.

3. Attacks surrounding world events

During the pandemic, the cyberattack volume increased by approximately 600%. As a result, large criminal hacking groups realized that world events and disasters are lucrative.

They launch phishing campaigns for world events. Attacks come for everything from the latest hurricane or typhoon to the war in Ukraine. In addition, cybercriminals often use social engineering tactics like sad photos to play on emotions.

Unfortunately, unsuspecting people often fall for these scams because they are distracted by the crisis.

4. Smishing and mobile device attacks

Mobile devices go with us just about everywhere these days. And cybercriminals know this. Look for more mobile device-based attacks, including SMS-based phishing ("smishing").

Many people aren't expecting to receive fake messages to their personal numbers, but cell numbers are no longer as private as they once were. Hackers can buy lists of them online. They then craft convincing fake texts that look like shipping notices or receipts. One wrong click is all it takes for an account or data breach.

Mobile malware is also on the rise. During the first few months of 2022, malware targeting mobile devices rose by 500%. So it's vital to ensure that you have good mobile anti-malware and other protections on your devices, such as a DNS filter.

5. Elevated phishing using AI and machine learning

These days, phishing emails are not so easy to spot. It used to be that they nearly always had spelling errors or grainy images. While some still do, most don't.

Criminal groups elevate today's phishing using AI and machine learning. So not only will it look identical to a genuine brand's emails, but it will also come personalized. Hackers use these tactics to capture more victims. It also allows hackers to send out more targeted phishing messages in less time than in years past.


Preparing your cybersecurity processes for 2023

In 2023, experts expect to see smarter cybercriminals and attacks. They're expected to take advantage of the vulnerabilities of new technology and find creative methods to evade old cybersecurity methods.

In 2023, we may see the following:

  1. Attacks on 5G devices
  2. One-time password (OTP) bypass
  3. Attacks surrounding world events
  4. Smishing and mobile device attacks
  5. Elevated phishing using AI and machine learning

To combat these threats, talk to your IT provider or cybersecurity expert to evaluate your current security tools and processes (like email filters to reduce spam and phishing).

You may also consider the following cybersecurity tools:

  • Performing quarterly risk assessments to evaluate your cybersecurity risks and track risk trends.
  • Applying software security updates within 30 days of the patch release to combat security vulnerabilities.
  • Regular employee cybersecurity training

For over 25 years, WEBIT Services has helped clients build effective cybersecurity strategies and practices.

If you are looking for a new IT provider, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with WEBIT Services to see if it can help.

If you're not ready to talk to our team of experts but want to learn more about cybersecurity practices, these articles are a good place to start: