2023 CyberSecurity Predictions: An Escalation of Cyber Warfare

Predictions for the new year from Gregory Sims, COO of Phishfirewall and 30 year CIA Veteran

Cyber Warfare Will Enter a New Phase

The threat from nation state threat actors will loom much larger in 2023 as the gloves come off between the market-based democracies and authoritarian adversaries like China, Russia, and Iran. Up to now the narrative about cybersecurity has mostly centered on criminal threats. Next year will bring greater attention to state-conducted and state-sponsored cyber espionage efforts and infrastructure attacks. 

The potential for nation state sponsored cyberattacks is a serious threat which cannot be ignored. These actors are often well-funded and organized and can use their advanced capabilities to target businesses and organizations of all sizes. In addition to stealing intellectual property and trade secrets, nation-state actors can also use cyberattacks to disrupt critical infrastructure and manipulate public opinion.

Yes, Businesses are at the Greatest Risk in Modern Cyber Warfare

Nation-state actors are a major risk to businesses, with almost all Advanced Persistent Threat Groups (APTs) targeting organizations outside of the government or critical infrastructure sectors. In the last four years, the number of significant nation-state incidents has skyrocketed, with a 100% rise. Russian nation-state actors are highly effective, with their successful compromise rate rising from 21% to 32% between 2020 and 2021. Of these nation-state attacks, 79% were aimed at enterprises, with the other 21% directed at consumers. Furthermore, ransomware is the weapon of choice for nation-state threat actors and the “big 4” sponsors of APTs are Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. A survey found that nine in 10 (86%) organizations believe they have been targeted by a nation-state threat actor, with an average incident costing approximately $1.6 million. It is essential that organizations remain vigilant and take steps to protect against the threat of nation-state cyber attacks.

Organizations must have the right strategies in place to protect their data and networks from these sophisticated threats. A comprehensive defense strategy should include both technical and risk management measures. Companies should invest in the latest security technologies and regularly update their systems and software. It is also important to have a robust incident response plan to quickly detect, respond to, and recover from any cyber incidents.

In addition to technical measures, organizations must also have a robust security awareness program. This should include training employees on cybersecurity best practices, such as identifying and reporting suspicious emails, creating strong passwords, and avoiding suspicious websites. This will help ensure that employees are aware of the threat landscape and can recognize potential threats. Regular security training and drills should be conducted to ensure that employees are aware of the latest threats and can take proper steps to protect the organization.

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