This post is part of our 2023 cybersecurity predictions series.
Tyler Moffitt, Senior Security Analyst, OpenText Security Solutions:
Small-Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs) will need to do more with less and cyber resiliency will be more important than ever.
Cybercriminals will increase ransomware attacks on SMBs as prime targets in the wake of heightened geopolitical tensions, such as the War in Ukraine, and rising inflation in the U.S. This will force SMBs to do more with less, while already having smaller cybersecurity teams and budgets to defend against attacks, and it will make cyber resiliency more important than ever. Our recent SMB survey found that 52 percent of respondents felt more at risk of a ransomware attack due to heightened geopolitical tensions, and 57 percent were also concerned about their security budgets shrinking due to inflation.
Search engines will not only blur the lines between paid vs. organic search results, but also from what's real and fake, increasing phishing attacks.
Search engines like Google and Bing try to make it as easy as possible for consumers to find the information they request, but it will become increasingly difficult to distinguish between safe and malicious search results. As search engines work to provide a more streamlined experience, they unintentionally open consumers to a greater possibility of being phished. Scammers will purchase top ranking search result ads and use them to drive people to malicious and fraudulent websites to steal their personal and financial information.
As every home becomes a smart home and more personal data lives on the cloud, the attack surface will expand no matter how “secure” people feel.
There’s a “Black Swan event” coming as consumers and businesses alike adopt new technologies to make their lives smarter and more convenient, in turn, sharing and storing more of their data in the cloud. Being connected to the internet 24/7 will make everyone who uses smart devices more vulnerable in the coming years. I believe a critical event this year, or merely increasing attacks, will signal a wake-up call to consumers and businesses to think more critically about how smart technology use hinders their security and privacy.
Cybercriminals will take advantage of consumers’ vulnerable footing to increase attacks as the economy suffers and inflation rises.
No one is more opportunistic than cybercriminals. They are experts in understanding consumers’ greatest concerns and how to tap into these fears with phishing tactics to steal their money or personal information. Covid-19 was a prime example of leveraging fear into ROI and the more recent Ukraine war only adds fuel to the fire. I anticipate this attack approach will continue to rise as the U.S. experiences growing inflation, resulting stimulation checks, job losses and a potential recession for more fear tactics.