By Gary Orenstein, Chief Customer Officer at Bitwarden
Cyber security has become increasingly pervasive in our daily lives. While old vulnerabilities lurk, new cyber risks are constantly developing, and with an oncoming economic crisis already in our midst, we must prepare for an acceleration in cyber crimes in 2023.
In fact, the Bitwarden annual Password Decisions Survey shows businesses are confronting numerous post-pandemic security challenges, including increased employee turnover, a hybrid workforce relying on multiple devices in many different locations, and a seemingly unending threat from cyber-criminals.
Next year, businesses and individuals alike will face challenges but also opportunities. What is known is that both must rise to the occasion and prioritise digital security. The following article will discuss the security trends to look out for in 2023.
Passwordless and passkeys
The idea of moving towards a passwordless society was widely discussed in 2022. Questions such as ‘is a passwordless future a better, more secure future?’ was and will continue to be asked in 2023. People are looking for simple ways to stay safe online, and going passwordless removes a lot of the human error. However, today’s implementation of device-specific passkeys will evolve to support more flexible configurations and recovery mechanisms as the standards further develop. We’ll see this conversation continue over the course of the next year.
Consumers taking control of their information
Privacy will remain a big issue in 2023 as many more people will realise how much of it they are giving up when they allow a tech behemoth to control their data. According to a recent survey conducted by Qonsent, 94% of consumers want more control over the data they share with companies and visibility over how those brands use their information. With that in mind, we’ll see consumers taking back some of that control to protect their privacy. More people will be cautious about where their data goes and who they give it to.
Continued crossover between work life and personal life
Our work and personal lives have become increasingly tied in the last few years as we’ve shifted to a hybrid and remote work culture brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, in 2023, workers will be more likely to use personal devices to remotely connect to work networks, and with potentially insecure connections. This in turn will create the perfect storm for hackers to phish through trickery as employees unwittingly divulge passwords. Ransomware attacks should also be expected to increase as remote work continues, potentially erasing valuable data unless users succumb to a ransom fee. Therefore, given this move towards increasing digital integration, strong digital security must be prioritised, making cyber a highly pressing subject among businesses and individuals. This merging of work and home will continue as people will be looking for ways to streamline some of the things they do in both worlds and will look for ways to economise so they are not managing separate tools for business and personal.
More international hacking attempts
US relationships with some of the countries where hacking originates have continued to be strained. With the governments at odds, this will lead to more hacking attempts from hackers based abroad, especially in the latter half of the year when things start heating up again for the 2024 elections. International state-sponsored attacks will increase, with states not being the sole target but non-governmental organisations and companies also facing the burden of international hacking by state actors. Disinformation attacks and election fraud will be a clear threat in 2023 as more than 70 countries are due to go to the polls next year. After all, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has proven that digital fighting is as integral to military conflict as boots on the ground.
More government involvement in fighting cyber crimes
Cybersecurity has become too big of an issue to ignore, especially with critical infrastructure at risk. The White House will release its cyber strategy around the turn of the year, laying the groundwork for national and individual state changes. We can expect to see data-centric cyber approaches within the government’s framework, urging businesses and organisations to ensure data is bound up within their core security architecture. Governmental initiatives are also expected to come into play around consumer technologies in particular to improve security around connected devices, including the networks that merge them all together.
The various predictions outlined go some way in priming us for next year, but what is always apparent in cyber is that risks never stand still. Thus, we must adapt and employ the proper means and strategies to make it increasingly difficult for hackers and cybercriminals to stay one step ahead of us. Achieving this in 2023 will be crucial if we are to minimise the risk of cyber attacks.