emerging cyberthreats
Posted in Cyber Security, Digital Threats

2023 in Review: The Top 3 Emerging Cyber Threats and How to Prepare for the Future

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emerging cyberthreats

By AMSAT Jan 26, 2024

2023 in Review: The Top 3 Emerging Cyber Threats and How to Prepare for the Future

Cyber threat management is a challenge that businesses worldwide are grappling with, especially in the face of the exponential rise in cyber threats. 2023 was a year of continued evolution in the cybersecurity landscape.

According to a survey by The State of Supply Chain Defense Annual Global Insights Reports 2023, the mean number of supply chain breaches experienced 4.16 incidents in 2023, up from 0.89 in 2022. While familiar threats like ransomware persisted, ingenious attackers developed new tactics and exploited emerging technologies, giving security professionals sleepless nights.

 

rise of cyberthreat

 

According to a report published by the Homeland Security Department’s Cyber Safety Review Board, it’s high time organizations acted to secure themselves, with the Board underlining tangible ways to do so, supported by the U.S. government and the companies best prepared to provide foolproof solutions to elevate the whole ecosystem. As we ring in 2024, it’s crucial to reflect on the past year’s most concerning trends and prepare for the cyber threats that lie ahead.

Top 3 Emerging Cyber Threats of 2023:

1. Supply Chain Attacks:

Traditional attack methods often target the end user directly. However, 2023 saw a surge in supply chain attacks, where attackers compromise a vendor or supplier to infiltrate their customers’ systems. These attacks leverage the inherent trust businesses place in their partners, making them particularly difficult to detect and prevent.

One notable example is the SolarWinds supply chain attack, which affected thousands of organizations worldwide. Hackers infiltrated the software company’s update servers, injecting malicious code into legitimate software updates. This allowed them to gain access to the systems of SolarWinds’ customers, including government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.

 

cybersecurity 2023

2. Deepfakes and Synthetic Media:

The rise of deepfakes and synthetic media presents a major challenge for cybersecurity. These technologies allow threat actors to create highly realistic audio and video fakes, making it increasingly difficult to separate truth from fiction. 

Deepfakes can be used for various malicious purposes, such as:

  • Social engineering: Attackers can impersonate executives or employees to gain access to sensitive information or trick victims into transferring money.
  • Disinformation campaigns: Spreading fake news and propaganda can sow discord and manipulate public opinion.
  • Financial fraud: Deepfakes can be used to create fake identities or impersonate victims to commit fraud.

3. Internet of Things (IoT) Vulnerabilities:

The growing number of IoT devices connected to the internet presents a vast attack surface for cybercriminals. These devices often have weak security measures and are poorly patched, making them easy targets for exploitation. There are over 12 billion connected IoT devices worldwide, and 70% of them have at least one critical vulnerability, according to a study by MDPI.

Once compromised, IoT devices can be used to launch several attacks, including:

  • DDoS attacks: Botnets of compromised devices can be used to overwhelm websites and online services with traffic, making them unavailable to legitimate users.
  • Data breaches: Attackers can steal sensitive information stored on IoT devices, such as personal data or home security footage.
  • Botnet attacks: Compromised devices can be used to launch attacks against other targets, such as critical infrastructure.

cybersecurity trends

Trends in Cybersecurity:

  • Increased Focus on Cyber Threat Intelligence: Organizations are increasingly investing in cyber threat intelligence (CTI) to gain insights into attacker tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). This information helps them proactively identify and mitigate threats before they can cause damage.
  • Shift to Zero Trust Security: The traditional perimeter-based security model is no longer sufficient in today’s complex IT environments. Organizations are adopting zero trust security principles, which assume that no user or device should be trusted by default and access should be granted based on the least privilege principle.
  • Rise of Security Automation: With the volume and sophistication of cyberattacks increasing, security automation is becoming essential. Automated tools can help detect and respond to threats faster and more effectively.

How to Prepare for Future Cyber Threats:

  • Conduct Regular Security Assessments: Regularly assess your organization’s security posture to identify and address vulnerabilities.
  • Implement a Layered Security Approach: Employ a layered security approach that includes endpoint protection, network security, and data security solutions.
  • Train Employees on Cybersecurity Awareness: Train your employees on cybersecurity best practices to identify and avoid phishing attacks and other social engineering tactics.
  • Have a Cyber Incident Response Plan: Develop and test a cyber incident response plan to outline how you will respond to a security breach.
  • Stay Up-to-Date on the Latest Threats: Keep yourself informed about the latest cyber threats and trends by subscribing to security advisories and attending industry events.

rise of cyberthreats

List of Companies Affected by Ransomware in 2023:

  • Colonial Pipeline: The largest fuel pipeline operator in the United States was forced to shut down operations after a ransomware attack, leading to widespread fuel shortages and price increases.
  • Costa Rica: The Costa Rican government declared a national emergency after a series of coordinated ransomware attacks crippled critical infrastructure.
  • CNA Financial Corporation: The eighth-largest insurance company in the United States

Conclusion

In today’s ever-evolving threat landscape, businesses are confronted with a plethora of challenges from threat actors that have simply outwitted them in terms of their approach and modus operandi to carry out sophisticated attacks.

Given the complexity and frequency of cyberattacks that have kept businesses on their toes, it would be prudent for entrepreneurs to beef up cybersecurity measures and collaboration among stakeholders, while ensuring consistent ingenuity to stay ahead of potentially devastating threats.

 

AMSAT, a well-known cybersecurity company, offers a range of services to safeguard your organization from looming cyber threats that could cause it irreparable damage. So, call now or schedule a free demo to see what wonders the company can do to ensure the security of your organization and your employees.

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  • Digital Threats
  • Cyber Security

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    Evolution of Security Operations Centers
    Posted in Digital Threats

    The Evolution of Security Operation Centers: Adapting to Modern Cyber Threats

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    Evolution of Security Operations Centers

    By AMSAT Oct 25,2023

    The Evolution of Security Operation Centers: Adapting to Modern Cyber Threats

    Security Operation Centers, or SOCs, are key to securing organizations against malicious cyberattacks. Therefore, enterprises, regardless of size, must adopt strategies and techniques to outsmart ingenious threat actors. In fact, a resilient SOC is extremely difficult without effective monitoring, incident response capabilities, and proactive threat intelligence integration. In addition, to ensure robust cybersecurity defence, the importance of developing collaboration, leveraging innovative tools, and emphasizing employee training cannot be overemphasized.

     

    Evolution of SOCs

    SOCs have evolved significantly over the years, thanks to technological advancements and fast-changing threat landscape. Early SOCs focused on perimeter defense, relying heavily on firewalls and intrusion detection systems. They primarily reacted to known threats.

     

    As threats became more sophisticated and organizations began to adopt new technologies, SOCs needed to evolve to keep up. Next-generation SOCs focus on proactive threat detection and response, leveraging a variety of tools and technologies, including security information and event management, threat intelligence, and security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) platforms.

     

    Modern Cyber Threats

    Modern cyber threats are becoming increasingly inventive and dangerous, posing a major challenge to individuals, organizations, and governments across the globe. These threats can take many forms, including malware, phishing attacks, ransomware, and denial-of-service attacks. They can be used to steal sensitive data, disrupt operations, or extort money.

     

    One of the most common cyber threats is malware, which is malicious software that can damage or disable computer systems or steal data. Malware can be spread through a variety of means, including email attachments, malicious websites, and USB drives. Phishing attacks are another common cyber threat. They involve sending fraudulent emails or text messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or credit card company.

     

    Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common in recent years, and they have been used to target businesses of all sizes, as well as individuals.

     

    Denial-of-service attacks are another type of cyber-attack that can be used to disrupt operations or extort money. Denial-of-service attacks involve flooding a website or server with traffic, making it unavailable to legitimate users.

     

    security operations center executive

     

    Adapting to Modern Cyber Threats

    SOCs must adapt to modern cyber threats by adopting a proactive approach to security. This means using a variety of tools and technologies to detect and respond to threats quickly and effectively.

     

    Here are some key steps that SOCs can take to adapt to modern cyber threats:

     

    • Implement a SIEM system: A SIEM system is essential for collecting and analyzing data from a variety of security sources to identify suspicious activity.
    • Use threat intelligence: Threat intelligence can help SOCs to stay ahead of attackers and identify potential threats before they strike.
    • Automate tasks: SOCs can automate tasks such as incident response and threat hunting to free up analysts to focus on more complex tasks.
    • Build a team of skilled analysts: SOCs need a team of skilled analysts who can understand and respond to the latest threats.

     

    Security Operations Center SIEM Use Cases and Cyber Threat Intelligence

    SIEM systems and cyber threat intelligence play a vital role in SOCs. SIEM systems can be used to detect and respond to a variety of threats, including APTs, ransomware, phishing attacks, and supply chain attacks.

     

    Cyber threat intelligence can be used to improve the effectiveness of SIEM systems by providing information about the latest threats, vulnerabilities, and attack techniques. This information can be used to create rules and alerts that will help SIEM systems to identify suspicious activity.

     

    SOC Service

    SOC services can provide a number of benefits to organizations, including:

     

    • Reduced costs: SOC services can help organizations save money on the costs of building and maintaining their own SOCs.
    • Improved security: SOC services can help organizations improve their security posture by providing access to experienced security analysts and the latest tools and technologies.
    • Reduced workload: SOC services can help organizations to reduce the workload on their IT staff by taking care of security monitoring and response.

     

    SOC for Cybersecurity

    The role of SOCs in cybersecurity is highly critical. SOCs help secure organizations from a variety of attacks by monitoring and responding to cyber threats.

     

    security operations center features

     

    Here are some of the key benefits of having a SOC for cybersecurity:

     

    • Reduced risk of cyberattacks: SOCs can help organizations cut their risk of cyberattacks by identifying and responding to threats quickly and effectively.
    • Improved compliance: SOCs can help organizations comply with security regulations and standards.
    • Reduced costs: SOCs can help organizations save money on the costs of recovering from cyberattacks.

     

    Conclusion

    Security Operations Centers (SOCs) have seen rapid evolution over the last few years, adapting to the ever-changing threat landscape. Once chiefly focused on reactive incident response, modern SOCs now employ a proactive approach, using intelligence, automation, and collaboration to secure organizations from a wide range of cyber threats.

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    • Security Operations Centers
    • Threat Intelligence

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      Six-ways-to-protect-against-digital-threats
      Posted in Digital Threats

      Six ways to protect against digital threats

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      Six-ways-to-protect-against-digital-threats

      By AMSAT Aug 28,2020

      Six ways to protect against digital threats

      The fourth industrial revolution is poised to be driven by two major elements: digitization and connectivity. However, manufacturers ought to adopt cybersecurity to ensure physical assets and intellectual property are sufficiently defended against heist and attack. The digitization of manufacturing is driving industrial operators to attain new levels of output, quality, and visibility.

      Though these are thrilling times in manufacturing, there is a dark side to the swift progress that’s ongoing. Regrettably, more connections also open the door to new security perils, and preceding generations of manufacturing control systems were not perceived with security or IP connectivity in mind.

       

      Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS) conventionally employ proprietary hardware and procedures that are difficult to integrate with network security. Although separated from industrial IP networks, they’re still vulnerable because they’re often set up as simple, open network machine islands, with inadequate or no security. The net result is that digital change is multiplying vulnerabilities at the same time as cyber-attackers are getting more sophisticated.

       

      As per recent research by Cisco, if cybersecurity fears delay digital execution, it could take up to five years to catch up with the competition. The industrial sector has some of the least developed security protocols and policies and lowest quality security setup, so there’s a very real risk of being left behind.

      Several industrial enterprises don’t have even a simple security policy jotted down. Begin by creating and enforcing a set of written security policies and procedures for your plant that will summarize who should be able to access the network in the first place and how.

      It should encompass permanent employees and outworkers, while also spelling out what assets they can evaluate, define acceptable asset use, and define reporting instruments for events. Written policies should also comprise an incident response plan, including any measures to restore critical production systems following a security event.

       

      Physical security is key

       

      Some of the most severe harm comes from within, when entry is gained from the factory floor. Whether it’s foiling inventory lift, data loss or intellectual property theft, businesses can take advantage of a wide-ranging physical security solution combined with a safe wired and wireless industrial network.

       

      Defend assets with physical access limits like locks, key cards, and video surveillance. Where hands-on, you can also add device verification and authorization, plus encryption.

       

      Take a rounded approach

       

      The chances of a breach increase with a rise in more connections in your manufacturing setting. Your network cannot be secured by any single technology, product, or technique. Defending important manufacturing assets needs a rounded approach that uses numerous layers of protection to address different types of threats.

       

      A rudimentary mapping exercise will help you get started, providing a catalogue of all the devices and software on your network. Remember, ‘air gap’ approaches are imperfect – just because a robot or device isn’t linked to the network doesn’t mean it’s totally safe. One corrupt or malicious thumb drive will put a remote machine at risk of unintended downtime or worse, safety events.

       

      Isolate your sub-systems

       

      To establish zones and design schemas to segment and segregate your sub-systems, it’s important to use industry best practices. On the network boundary, firewalls and intrusion detection will help you foil threats, while within the network, using out-of-band deep packet inspection (DPI) in your routers, switches, and other network devices can help you detect viruses, spam, and other intrusions.

       

      Stop attackers in their tracks

       

      An important segment of any company’s network architecture spans the internet edge, where the business network meets the public internet. Internet edge is the doorway to cyberspace, and serves numerous roles for the characteristic enterprise network. As network users stretch out to websites and use email for corporate communication, you need to keep your business resources both reachable and protected.

       

      Takeaway

       

       

      In time, manufacturers who rise to the challenge of digitization by enforcing the next generation of security defenses built for the age of the IIoT will gain competitive edge in the process. By thinking holistically and integrating multiple layers of protection, you can defend intellectual property and physical assets from accidental breaches and cyber theft, while accelerating threat resolution, decreasing downtime, and driving productivity gains across your services.

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      • Cyber Crime
      • Security Updates
      • Digital Threats

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