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The threat of cyberattacks became starker than ever in 2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as rising inflation, contributed to a huge surge in attacks. IBM’s 2022 report revealed the average total cost of recovery from cyber attacks in 2022 was £4.5m globally, with healthcare hit hardest. It’s no wonder one in three SME leaders revealed in a recent Babble survey that they would be spending more on cyber security next year.

The reasons for the rise in attacks are varied. The war put businesses on high alert from cyberwarfare and inflation rises meant hackers were more likely to attack (as even the criminals aren’t immune to rising costs).

As well as increasing attacks, cyber criminals got more and more sophisticated. Hackers are no longer just sending employees phishing emails from the “CEO” requesting junior staff buy gift vouchers in the hope of bagging a £150 voucher to Amazon. Hackers are now targeting businesses with ransomware attacks, where a company gets blackmailed into giving them large sums of money to not release sensitive data. Obviously, these can be devastating as the cost is significantly more.

Despite the increasing threat of attacks, cybersecurity has become much more sophisticated. However, preparation is key, so our team of cyber experts have outlined what they expect to see in 2023.

Harnessing the awesome power of AI

With AI being introduced in many market segments, this technology, combined with machine learning, has brought about significant changes in cybersecurity from both sides of the coin.

From the attacks side, AI is being used to create smarter malware and attacks to circumvent the most recent data security protocol.

However, AI will also play a critical role in the development of automated security systems and automatic threat detection. AI-enabled threat detection systems can predict new attacks and immediately notify administrators of any data breach, which will be a huge step forward to being one step ahead of the attacker.

IoT: new technology means new risks (but plenty of rewards)

With the advent and growth of 5G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT) will usher in a new era of interconnectivity. This means new threats to businesses that need to be addressed.

IoT communication means sometimes multiple devices are talking to each other. This communication between devices exposes them to outside influence, attacks, or an unknown software bug.

5G architecture is relatively new in the industry and every step of the 5G network could bring a slew of network attacks that we aren’t aware of yet. With this in mind, in 2023 we expect to see more research than ever before to try and alleviate the risk of attacks against IoT devices.

However, the relative newness of IoT shouldn’t put businesses off using the technology. To read more about IoT and how it can help your business operations, read our blog here.

Extortion and ransomware threats on the rise

Extortion and ransomware attacks are similar, except extortion is essentially ransomware that lacks encryption, allowing attackers to extort money for people’s personal information with less time and effort. The NCSC identified ransomware as the “most acute threat” to the UK’s cybersecurity in a report, and extortion poses an extra level of uncertainty.

Despite the rising threat of both extortion and ransomware, there are ways your business can protect itself against ransomware and extortion attacks. Speak to one of Babble’s cybersecurity experts to learn more or read our blog here.

Changing legislation

As cyber threats against businesses become more prevalent, government action on cybersecurity is becoming more common. We expect this to continue in 2023, with legislation and initiatives from government bodies regularly appearing. For example, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), launched a new scanning system to audit devices and networks to identify vulnerabilities and track security measures.

It’s important to remember that cyber threats are constantly changing, so security measures against these threats are constantly evolving to keep up, or even better, be ahead of emerging threats. By staying on top of this, your business will have a better chance of staying safe against cyber threats in 2023.