Remote working, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and cloud migration have increased the risk of a data breach for companies of all sizes. Yet some 90% of business leaders are not convinced their cybersecurity strategies for 2023 will secure their business network.
Despite the effort of IT security teams, the rate of successful cybersecurity attacks is increasing year-on-year.
Statistics show that ransomware was 57x more destructive in 2021 than it was in 2015. The main reason for that was threat actors taking advantage of remote workers during the pandemic.
The number of data breaches fell in 2022 — but only by 60 breaches. Considering firms have had the opportunity to install cybersecurity strategies, that’s an alarming number of successful attacks.
And analysts agree with business leaders. Cybercrime is estimated to cost the global economy around 10.5 trillion dollars by 2025. At the moment, cybercrime costs the global economy $8.4 trillion U.S. dollars and is expected to surpass 11 trillion in 2023.
So yes, cybersecurity persistently remains a critical business concern that keeps c-suite executives and IT managers awake at night. But that’s not necessarily because cybersecurity strategies don’t work. Sophisticated hackers keep developing new tactics to infiltrate business networks.
The best cybersecurity strategies for 2023 are to ensure you have the right tech — but also to train your staff to remain vigilant. Cybersecurity protocols should be in place together with access to experienced IT security professionals.
Although multi-national corporations get the headlines after a data breach, businesses of all sizes are targets for hackers. Given the damage a data breach can do to your reputation, building resilience with these cybersecurity strategies for 2023 helps to ensure your business is protected.
AI and Data-Driven Cybersecurity Intelligence
Cybersecurity strategies for 2023 are about to make a shift in direction. Existing strategies are reliant on historical data and largely proactive. Whist cybersecurity technologies will capture most cyber threats using tools from the dark web, cybersecurity software is not capable of catching novel malware.
Artificial intelligence and data-driven intelligence are about to create a paradigm shift. AI can learn typically patterns of behaviour within a business network. Any abnormal interaction can then be flagged as a potential security threat.
Data-driven intelligence processes huge swathes of data that enable AI-powered software to make informed decisions and actions a reliable approach to incident prediction and prevention.
Cloud Computing Strategy
The rapid shift to remote work compelled businesses to migrate to the cloud. In many cases, it was a rush job that posed more IT problems than solutions. Cloud software often conflicts with existing on-premise tools which causes the system to crash.
But modern businesses cannot ignore cloud computing. Software companies are gradually nudging us all in the digital-only direction. According to Gartner, 85% of businesses will take a ‘cloud-first’ approach by 2025.
Cloud technologies are lucrative because they offer employees flexibility and ease of use. Cloud software is also easily scalable and can be accessed from anywhere on any device. But, contrary to popular belief, the cloud also provides additional layers of cybersecurity defences you don’t have access to with on-premise servers.
Cybersecurity tools in the cloud enable remote security monitoring and can stop attacks as they happen. The multi-layered approach gives you more stringent access control and enables you to orchestrate device management from a central location.
Software such as Microsoft 365 comes with a raft of security features that help to prevent or mitigate cyber threats and should be fully utilised in your cybersecurity strategies in 2023.
However, it should be understood that cloud security is a shared responsibility between the managed service provider and their client. Cloud providers are responsible for the security of their cloud network (i.e Microsoft Azure) and end-users are responsible for the security of the broader business network.
There are three types of cloud strategy:
The most common type of cloud service is the public cloud offered by the likes of Microsoft (Azure), Amazon (AWS) and Google (Cloud Platform). Because the cloud vendor owns the infrastructure they owe a duty of care to their customers to protect vulnerable cloud gateways from being infiltrated.
They do this by issuing regular security updates – known as patches. However, once the cloud provider issues a patch, it is the responsibility of business owners using the service to ensure their network is updated with the latest security patch immediately.
SaaS (Software as a Service):
Less common as a security measure, but still widely used among small businesses is SaaS (Shopify, WordPress, Trello, Zendesk). Again the SaaS company is responsible for ensuring there are no vulnerabilities that can be exploited in their software.
From the user end, it is your responsibility to prevent unauthorised access from the frontline by deploying strategies such as downloading the latest software updates, setting permissions correctly, using strong passwords and updating passwords regularly.
It should be noted that relying on SaaS as a security defence in its own right will probably not suffice as ‘appropriate security’. At best, SaaS is a layer of security, not the entire defensive package.
Private clouds are owned solely by the individual business – which makes the exclusivity expensive because there are no shared costs. That also means that a business is responsible for the entire security protocols of its network because it is hosted on the organisation’s data centre and doe not involve a third party.
As UK companies transition from onsite servers to public clouds – often in conjunction with SaaS applications, they become more reliant on third parties to protect data on their company.
That does not mean that if a SaaS company is hacked malicious actors will have access to your data. That’s unlikely because data in the cloud is encrypted so would appear gibberish.
However, cybercriminals would get access to the names and email addresses of the person in your organisation that registered for the service. Consequently, they could become the target of spearphishing attacks.
Password cracking is a common tactic for hackers. An alarming number of passwords are still very weak and hackers have sophisticated tools that can crack sloppy passwords. Check out our article on password cracking.
It is thought that 30% of data breaches are due to weak passwords (although we’ve seen reports claiming password breaches are as high as 81%). Due to the huge number of preventable data breaches, cybersecurity professionals have developed alternative ways for end-users to access accounts.
Password alternatives may not be the most popular solution but we’re heading that way anyway. Biometric data appears to be the most promising — and ironically the method that is the least favoured by employees.
If we’re realistic about access controls, multi-factor authentication has vulnerabilities. The only realistic option left is biometric authentication. Most of us are already using biometric fingerprints on our smartphones and the technology is gradually creeping into everyday life such as building access.
Some of your older (and cynical) employees may not be overawed with biometric standards of access control, but biometric technologies are the next phase of cybersecurity resilience. At least you won’t have to reminder passwords anymore.
Cybersecurity Training For Employees
Your staff is your first line of defence against cybercrime. It makes perfect sense to provide cybersecurity awareness — especially when you consider that over 90% of successful cyberattacks are because employees were not sufficiently aware of cybersecurity threats.
Training your staff should be a priority for your cybersecurity strategies for 2023. When people know where and how threat actors surface, your entire business is in a better position to defend your business network against a data breach.
Moreover, cybersecurity awareness training should be an ongoing process — which only includes bulletins of the latest techniques discovered by cybersecurity firms. For example, last year hackers were found dropping malware into Microsoft Team chats.
The first place to start with cybersecurity training is to highlight the severity of a data breach. Reports reveal that 60% of small businesses close their doors within 6 months of a data breach.
Employees also need to know where cyber threats come from. For more information about this, we’ve provided an insightful guide for how to train your staff in cybersecurity here.
A key part of your cybersecurity strategies for 2023 is to create an incident response plan that enables you to take swift and decisive action. The plan should cover preventative measures, but also an effective response in the event of a data breach.
Managing an entire fleet of devices can be a strain for in-house IT teams to maintain cybersecurity hygiene. A quick-fix solution is to invest in device management software that manages every authorised device on your network from a central location.
The shift to remote working and BYOD strategies raises security issues. The best cybersecurity defences on today’s market are device management software such as Microsoft Intune.
The endpoint management solution gives IT admin the ability to effectively monitor and control devices that are accessing your business network. It allows you to monitor, track, and secure mobile phones, laptops, tablets and desktop computers, manage apps, and identify users to stop unauthorised personnel at critical entry points.
MDM, therefore, gives you full control over which employees can access specific apps, documents and files. Cloud software features “access permissions” which can be configured in a way that curtails access to unauthorised users. This provision enables IT teams to identify, prevent and investigate whether unauthorised devices are trying to access your business network.
IT admin can also have more control over which third-party apps can be installed on devices. This can be important given the number of apps in the Google Store and Apple’s AppStore are found to have malware. Millions of devices have been infected with rogue software that leading app stores have not picked up.
MDM is also a key component for managing system and software updates with the latest security patches. Firms cannot, and should not rely on employees to execute security updates themselves. It is far too disruptive for businesses that use multiple apps and plugins.
Why Business IT Support in London Improves Cybersecurity Strategies for 2023
One of the principal problems IT teams face today is a lack of knowledge of cloud technologies and cybersecurity defences. Because disruptive technologies are still fairly new, in-house IT professionals do not get sufficient exposure to them.
Qualified professionals working for outsourced business IT support services, on the other hand, have relevant skills and experience. When you work with our IT support team in London, you can expect more effective solutions and fewer headaches.
It’s worth bearing in mind that one in five data breaches are the result of misconfigured cloud software. If you’re using cloud computing, we highly recommend taking advantage of the expertise of our experienced cloud technicians and IT support professionals in London.
Our IT security specialists can also help you build, install and execute solid cybersecurity strategies for 2023 and beyond. If required, we can also educate your staff members on the latest social engineering techniques hackers are using – such as the “User-Centric” malware discovered in Microsoft Teams.
There is little doubt that remote work, customer-facing initiatives, and cloud services present challenges for your cybersecurity strategies in 2023. But with the right knowledge and skillset, every challenge has a solution.