Cyber Threats to Watch Out For In 2023

Dec 14, 2022 Insurance, Insurtech

Cyber Threats to Watch Out For In 2023

Alt tag: Small business owner reviewing new policy against cyber threats.

As any broker knows, the cyber insurance market is a constantly shifting landscape. New threats emerge daily, and companies are increasingly aware of the importance of cyber insurance. As a result, it can be difficult for brokers to keep up with all the nuances of the market while remaining efficient. 

In 2023, the cybersecurity landscape will be dramatically different than it is today. Various cyber threats could majorly impact organizations in the coming year, and it's important to be aware of them so you can continue to meet policyholders' evolving needs and expectations. 

Here are seven of the most important cybersecurity threats to watch out for in 2023. 

1. The Rise of AI-Powered Cyber Threats 

As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, so too does the threat of AI-powered cyber attacks. While traditional cyber attacks rely on humans to exploit vulnerabilities and carry out malicious activities, AI-powered attacks can be carried out automatically and with greater precision. In addition, AI can be used to generate realistic fraudulent content, making it more difficult for humans to detect deception. 

As the use of AI grows more widespread, it is becoming increasingly easy for attackers to obtain the tools and expertise needed to launch sophisticated attacks. As a result, businesses and individuals must be vigilant in defending against these emerging threats. 

2. More Sophisticated Phishing Scams 

Phishing attacks, like other cyber threats, are becoming more sophisticated. A recent study by Singapore's Government Technology Agency found that phishing emails generated by natural language processing technology produce more successful emails than those written by humans.  

The study used publicly available artificial intelligence tools that would lower the barriers to entry for AI-driven phishing campaigns.  While training a model is difficult and costly, the marginal effort to generate the emails once trained is only a few cents.  

This can turn a general phishing email campaign into a spear phishing campaign, personalizing thousands or millions of emails using AI. Personalizing phishing attacks at scale will make phishing more difficult to defend against. 

3. Ransomware Targeting Small Businesses 

As ransomware continues to be a major threat, many large organizations have taken steps to protect themselves by backing up their data or coming up with playbooks for how to respond to ransomware attacks. While federal law enforcement recommends not paying the ransom as a way to de-incentivize additional ransomware attacks in the future, that decision can be difficult for a small business that can’t afford the disruption to their operations or an expensive cyber security team to guide them.

Ransomware attackers know this and are increasingly targeting small businesses. This is why it is more important than ever for small businesses to invest in cyber insurance. The cost of a cyber attack can be significant, and it can take months or even years to recover from the damage. 

Cyber insurance can help small businesses cover the cost of recovery from a cyber attack, including the cost of restoring data, repairing damage to systems, and hiring experts to help with the recovery process. 

Cyber insurance can also help cover the cost of legal expenses if sued due to a data breach. In other words, cyber insurance is an essential investment for any small business that wants to protect its digital assets.

4. Malware Targeting Small Businesses 

Similar to ransomware, malware threats target small businesses that can’t afford full-fledged cybersecurity teams and tools that are constantly guarding the business’s assets.  Malware can cause a broad spectrum of ill effects, such as providing remote access to company networks, tracking users and stealing login credentials, or stealing company data. 

Various antimalware tools are available that are designed specifically for small businesses and can provide basic protection from malware attacks. All small businesses must consider investing in these tools to avoid falling victim to a malicious malware attack..  

5. IoT Security Breaches 

Cybersecurity for hardware provides a particularly difficult challenge for businesses as updating firmware requires constant attention.  Outdated firmware and software make smart devices ripe for breaches.  Any IoT device, such as smart appliances, door locks, and security systems, should only be purchased from reputable vendors and updated with newly released patches.

Inventorying IoT devices is a first step in understanding their risk, as an inventory with software and firmware version information can provide insight into which needs to be updated and where they are located on the network.  

6. Supply Chain Attacks

Supply chain attacks refer to products and services provided by third parties that create downstream risk to a business or its end product.  Most notably, the SolarWinds attacks in 2020 alerted many organizations to risks posed by their supply chain, as their systems management tool offered threat actors unprecedented and widespread access to networks of SolarWinds customers.  

As customers put trust in the SolarWinds company and platform, it made their product the perfect target for cyber threat actors.  Building a third-party risk management program to vet suppliers and their products used in the environment can go a long way in protecting against supply chain attacks.  

7. Cryptocurrency Hacks 

Although the cryptocurrency market continues to boom despite recent scandals, mining cryptocurrencies is still profitable for threat actors.  Mining cryptocurrency typically requires expensive computing power and is resource-consuming. Threat actors have learned to take over computer resources from unsuspected victims whose performance becomes greatly reduced as the machine mines cryptocurrencies in the background.  

Additionally, the cost of electricity and adding more computing can make this a threat to company resources.  Protecting against crypto-jacking can be as simple as installing and updating antivirus and antimalware software.  

Staying Protected Against Dangerous Cyber Threats In 2023 

The next few years are sure to be a busy time in the cybersecurity space, with new threats and challenges emerging regularly. By making clients aware of rising cybersecurity threats, brokers can ensure that clients are provided with a policy that keeps their business well-protected against the fallback of any potential attacks. 

One way to stay on top of the latest developments in the cyber insurance market is to partner with a reliable insurtech platform. By using a real-time data and analytics platform, brokers can quickly identify trends and emerging risks. 

In addition, a good insurtech platform will give brokers the ability to auto-customize coverage for their clients, ensuring they get the best protection. By staying informed and making use of the latest tools and technologies, cyber insurance brokers can remain ahead of the curve in an ever-changing market. 

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