Emerging Cyber Trends

Dec 2023

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that the threat from cyber attacks has continued to rise in 2023.  

There are now so many cyber threats, you just can’t get away from them. They’re everywhere, coming in all shapes and sizes. And they’re constantly evolving too! 

As technology improves and new tech is developed, new opportunities arise for hackers. Where we see the good in a new product, cybercriminals see opportunities, innovative new ways to lure you in so that they can infiltrate your networks. 

In a year when artificial intelligence has really taken off, it’s not a surprise to see the threat of AI-based attacks on the increase. However, it is phishing that is still the most common attack, with most cybercriminals still opting to use it as a first port of call when trying to breach your systems. 

That doesn’t mean you don’t need to be vigilant against new threats, though. 

Keeping on top of evolving threats is key to working safely online. 

These are the top new threats to emerge in 2023: 

Artificial Intelligence enhanced attacks  

We couldn’t do a round-up of 2023 without mentioning AI (Artificial Intelligence) in some way. 

In a year when Prime Minister of the United Kingdom met with Elon Musk to discuss the threat of artificial intelligence to human jobs, cybercriminals all over the world have already been using AI to evade security defences. 

Hackers are using AI to develop malware, create more phishing and smishing messages, and making everything way more realistic. They’re using it to enhance the opportunities of success by ramping up the speed, scale and scope of the activities.

 Whilst the threat keeps increasing, the opportunity for spotting mistakes and giveaway signs is decreasing. Deepfakes like this one reported by the BBC that targeted Martin Lewis back in July are scarily realistic and are an early indication of real threat!

This will only be the beginning for AI-based threats. As AI learns and develops, it is likely to be able to produce attacks beyond the ability of humans. They are likely to get smarter, more stealthy. 

Luckily, AI might also be the solution when it comes to defending against these attacks so, whilst we keep an eye on its development, we remain hopeful that it may also be the answer! 

The threat of a new super supercomputer 

In July 2023, the European Policy Centre called on the European Union to prepare for quantum cyber attacks. 

Don’t worry if you’ve not heard of quantum computing, you won’t be alone, it’s not at the top the most people’s reading list. This is a rapidly emerging technology that is making advances in the technology industry. 

Think of quantum computing as a new super supercomputer, it’s a bit like comparing a Reliant Robin with a Bugatti Veyron.

A computer that succeeds where classical computers can’t. A computer that could potentially break the cryptographical algorithms that have been around for a long time and disrupt the way we operate. 

Whilst it develops, there’s no way of knowing what the final impact will be but, as with all emerging technologies, you can guarantee that cyber criminals will be ready and waiting to pounce. It’s thought that, in the wrong hands, all online data that is currently encrypted could be at risk. 

The good news on this front is that we’re not there yet. We’re about five years away. Just enough time to get a plan together – hopefully! 

Spreading malware through chatbots 

Yes, another AI-based threat! 

Hackers have been spotted hacking chatbot systems and using them as a vehicle to steal data and access wider networks. 

Once a hacker has worked their way in through the chatbot, there’s a very real threat they will then spread malware into a network causing further chaos and damage. 

Manipulated search engine rankings 

As businesses all around the world rush to improve their search engine optimisation and ultimately their search engine rankings, a new threat is growing. 

Cyber criminals are meddling with search engine rankings to send users to malicious websites. As soon as user lands on the site malware begins to install, and just like that the hackers are in. 

This threat is really new and extremely sophisticated, but it is one that’s on the rise so definitely needs to be monitored closely! 

How you can protect yourself against emerging cyber threats 

Keeping up to date with emerging cyber threats is a full-time job. In fact, it’s more than that. It’s a full-time operation led by some of the smartest minds in the world. 

The technology and methodology that is being used by cyber criminals is so advanced you will need to adopt a layered approach to your IT security. Simply put, nothing else will do. 

Luckily, there are loads of amazing products and access management systems available to help you stay one step ahead. 

Contact our IT experts today for more information in how to build your defences.  

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