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The Unavoidable Threat: Cybersecurity In 2023

by jcp

It’s hard to overemphasise the danger of cyberattacks in the current day and age. With 39% of UK businesses having suffered from an attack over the last twelve months, this is a threat that no organisation can afford to ignore. So as we approach the natural reflection point that is the end of the year, it’s worth taking the time to reflect on the state of cybersecurity, and where it may go over the next twelve months.

To that aim, Technology Dispatch spoke to eight experts to get their insights into what lies ahead.

A rising priority, despite costs

Cybersecurity has risen up the corporate priority list over the past few years, becoming a crucial part of any organisation. 2023 is likely to see that trend continue, argues Partick Beggs, CISO at ConnectWise. “It is hard to overstate the scale and severity of the cyberthreats TSPs are facing today and will continue to face in 2023,” he outlines.

 “With 90% of malware delivered via email and the 20% increase in the incidence rate of phishing attacks from the previous year, MSPs are being targeted more frequently than any other time in history, according to ConnectWise’s 2022 MSP Threat Report. These threat actors are relentless, not to mention amoral, and they will seek out and exploit any vulnerability they can find,” Beggs continues. “Companies will increasingly come to understand this and act in their best interests to minimise risk and exposure, optimise response times, and improve communication between teams. In the coming years, we can expect to see cybersecurity baked into products from planning to design, to execution.”

However, with rising investment comes rising costs.  Brian Brockway, Global Chief Technology Officer at Commvault, believes that consolidation will help organisations get the most out of their solutions while keeping the price down. “All of the components need to work together in order to operate at maximum efficiency and stand the best chance of being protected,” he explains. “Consolidating them into one platform will be essential to ensure that you are getting the best out of your solutions, and having a single pane of glass is key to managing them. Especially as costs continue to rise, organisations must ensure that they are spending every penny wisely and getting optimal output from every purchase.”

Another solution to cost and personnel security constraints is outsourcing, according to Donnie MacColl, Senior Director of Technical Support / GDPR Data Protection Officer at Fortra: “Companies are realising that IT takes resources away from their core business – particularly when it comes to data protection and security which is difficult and challenging to maintain. In addition to this, Managed Security Services will broaden to become Vulnerability Management, Managed Detection and Response, Penetration Testing and Red Teaming, likely on a more “buy what you need” model.”

Where does the risk lie?

Cyberattacks come in many forms, but some areas are of particular concern to experts. Eilon Elhadad, Senior Director Supply Chain at Aqua Security, believes that “after years of discussions about DevSecOps, 2023 will bring wide adoption as securing software rises to the top of the CISO priority list. Along with this will come adoption of new technologies that enable DevSecOps and help companies contend with the onslaught of threats to the software supply chain. CISOs will prioritise spending on solutions for software composition analysis, SBOMs, and securing the toolchain, and they will look for better ways to measure the health of open source components.”

Others see phishing as a significant threat next year. “Spear phishing is already becoming extremely targeted, and attacks are moving into messaging platforms and even using voice messaging. We are now seeing these attacks leveraging services like Slack, and employees are even receiving phone calls from attackers using voice-cloning to impersonate executives,” explains Daniel Marashlian, Co-Founder and CTO of Drata. “To address these sophisticated attacks, organisations will move towards API-based email solutions rather than the traditional gateways used today. There also needs to be a shift from putting a policy in place to putting technical controls in place.

Identity threats

One of the key areas of defence will undoubtedly be improved authentication. Andy Swift, Technical Director – Offensive Security at Six Degrees hopes that: “Multi-factor authentication bypasses will become more popular as the use of multi-factor authentication is more widely adopted – in incident response terms, I get tired of the recommendation to ‘enable multi-factor authentication’ such is the rate at which we see organisations still avoiding its widespread usage. Various accreditations such as Cyber Essentials are starting to crack down on this harder and harder in their criteria; my hope is that we are potentially at a crossroads where the message is finally sinking in.”

Gal Helemski, CTO and Co-Founder at PlainID, would like a broader focus on identity- first security. “I believe the majority of security leaders are still focused on the perimeter of their digital enterprise, and that needs to change,” he states. “ Identity-first security can’t end at the gate, identities and their access should be verified and controlled on all levels, access points, network, applications, services, apis, data and infrastructure.”

Finally, it’s vital that organisations don’t confine their identity security to authentication. “Monitoring devices to understand their behaviour will be crucial going into 2023,” argues Matt Rider, VP of Security Engineering EMEA at Exabeam. “Zero Trust is often cited as the answer to this challenge and, to some extent, that’s correct and highly encouraged. But you also need to truly understand and model user behaviour to ensure that even authorised users and their devices are behaving as expected.”

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