Cyber Threat Report

Cyber Attack Trends in 2023

AdobeStock_550072336In 2021, the ransomware industry in the United States alone resulted in over $1 billion in payments to cyber criminals. Given the ever-evolving nature of technology, there's no doubt that criminals will try to capitalize on the latest trends in cyber-attacks to make even more money.

In 2023, we are likely to see a mix of the old and the new. Certain tried and tested cyber threats, such as ransomware, will continue to be an ongoing concern. Cybercriminals will also use new technology like AI (think ChatGPT) to target companies and individuals.

As a business leader, you need to be aware of the potential attacks you might face in the coming year. Read on to learn about some of the likely cyber-attacks your organization will face in 2023.

Attacks Exploiting Smart Devices

The Internet of Things, also known as IoT, ecosystem means more devices than ever before are connected to the internet. While this could make both your business and personal life much more convenient, it also has the potential to introduce a lot of risks.

Cybercriminals can attack Internet of Things devices directly and use this to gain access to your infrastructure. This may be significantly easier than attacking a conventional computer system, as the Internet of Things devices are notorious for having poor security.

In addition, cybercriminals may also use these devices to amplify their attacks. For example, they may take over large numbers of devices and use them to facilitate a botnet attack. Criminals may also use these devices to remotely spy on you.

If your company wants to take advantage of the latest in internet-enabled devices, you'll need to ensure you have the appropriate cybersecurity solutions in place. For example, you should initially run security audits on any new devices that are being introduced to your organization’s network.

More Ransomware

In the last few years, ransomware has been the most frequent and dangerous form of cyber attack. The reason is that organizations and individuals are still not deploying adequate protective measures against ransomware.

The process behind ransomware is simple. First, cyber attackers trick you into running malware that encrypts your files with extremely strong encryption, and in many cases, they exfiltrate data and threaten to release it if the ransom isn’t paid. Then, they demand a cash payment from the victim to provide the decryption keys.

Often victims have no choice but to pay the ransom. The trouble is, even paying the ransom doesn't guarantee you'll get your files back. In some cases, you might even be dealing with wiper malware that erases your data and programs, and doesn't even have decryption functionality.

The only method that has been proven effective as a way of combatting cyber attacks like ransomware is to run a robust system backup. When you have a good backup system in place, you can revert to a pre-ransomware attack configuration and recover the majority of your necessary files. 

Phishing using AI and Machine Learning

Phishing attacks have been common for years, but changes in AI technology mean that phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated.

For example, cyber attackers may be able to use AI-generated text to mimic the writing style of someone important in your organization. AI may also be able to create phishing emails that can easily bypass your organization's spam filters. It can do this by analyzing what makes other phishing emails successful and adapting the text and formatting accordingly.

If you want to keep your organization safe from these kinds of phishing attacks, you'll need to make sure your employees have up-to-date security awareness training. To illustrate this, check out this case study on a regional medical center that JANUS worked with after they were hit with a phishing attack.

Wiper Malware

Wiper malware is a type of malware that aims to destroy data. Wiper malware, as the name suggests deletes data and makes it unrecoverable by overwriting all of the data and programs on a system. As you can imagine, if this occurs it’s Game Over.  

In some cases, wiper malware may disguise itself as ransomware. For example, during the 2017 Petya/NotPetya attacks, people mistakenly believed the malware was ransomware, with many victims paying the ransom to the attackers. In reality, the malware would erase the files on a victim’s computer.

It’s still unclear who was responsible for the Petya/NotPetya attacks, but researchers have suggested they may have been state-sponsored. While these kinds of attacks may have a specific target in mind, the malware can also spread unpredictably.

If you want to protect yourself and your company from wiper malware, you’ll need to have the best tools for cybersecurity at your disposal including a robust and fully isolated backup system.

Cloud Security Breaches

Cloud storage solutions have revolutionized how companies handle their data. While cloud storage has a lot of unquestionable benefits, it also presents challenges.

Cybercriminals know companies store a treasure trove of data in the cloud, and they are hard at work developing sophisticated attack vectors to gain access to these systems.

You'll need to pay careful attention to your cloud storage solutions including the vendor and their security practices and policies. Another important part of protecting cloud-based data is carefully choosing what kind of data you store in the cloud.

You'll also want to ensure you only use cloud storage vendors with a tried and tested reputation to protect company data. Keep in mind that low-cost providers sound good on paper but often times their security is lacking. Proper vetting of your Cloud storage vendor can help ensure your data is safe and accessible.


One best practice to keep your company safe is to work with a professional cybersecurity company such as JANUS. We work closely with clients to help them minimize risk and achieve higher levels of security without adversely affecting day-to-day operations. 

In business since 1988, JANUS offers a full range of high-quality cyber security, privacy, and regulatory compliance services at affordable costs. 

We understand the challenges that organizations face and we can help you achieve your information security, privacy, and regulatory compliance goals. To learn more about how a team of affordable professionals can help you secure your organization, contact our Corporate Director, Chris Kniffin.

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