As 2023 begins, experts warn that economic and geopolitical instability may result in a significant uptick in cyber threats. Sadie Creese, a Professor of Cyber Security at the University of Oxford, warns of a “gathering cyber storm” that is brewing and difficult to predict. Already, phishing, ransomware and DDoS attacks are on the rise. In fact, a major US cybersecurity firm, Cloudflare, reported that DDoS attacks increased by 79% year-over-year.
In addition to traditional cyber threats, there is concern that governments will boost their support or direct involvement in disruptive cyber operations. This includes countries like Russia and North Korea. Jürgen Stock, the Secretary-General of INTERPOL, calls for a global response and enhanced and coordinated action.
The World Economic Forum’s 2023 Global Cybersecurity Outlook highlights that business leaders are increasingly aware of the cyber threat, but organizations continue to face significant challenges in effectively addressing cyber concerns. This is particularly true for critical infrastructure sectors like energy, public transportation, and manufacturing.
Moreover, cyber targets are expanding to include not only government agencies and major corporations, but also any organization that handles consumer data, regardless of size. Experts stress the importance of cyber resilience and increasing cybersecurity awareness for both organizations and consumers as everyday products become increasingly connected to the internet.
However, there is also hope as cybersecurity defenses increase in scope and sophistication. One example is the Zero Trust approach, which eliminates implicit trust and ensures that any user is authenticated and validated at every turn. By building cybersecurity into the network itself, it becomes possible to secure everyday products like coffee makers by securing the network they connect to.