Cybersecurity Awareness Month is critical to ensuring wider awareness about digital security issues around the world.
Taking place in October 2023, it aims to continually educate individuals and organisations about online threats and raises awareness of how people and businesses can remain safe and vigilant online.
As the month draws to a close, Cyber Magazine considers some of the most important things to be aware of in the cybersecurity sector and what steps businesses can take to mitigate digital threats moving forward.
5. Cybercriminals are using AI more frequently in their activities
It has become clear that cybercriminals, or so-called bad actors, are now using AI more frequently to break into systems more easily and efficiently than they were previously able to.
This ‘darker side to AI’ has inevitably come with increased development and adoption of AI and machine learning. Bad actors can harness the technology to commit offences such as writing malicious code, or highly convincing phishing emails. To evidence these hackers becoming more sophisticated, email phishing attacks alone have reportedly risen 464% in the last year.
If this month has taught businesses anything, it is that security teams must be educated and prepared for this rise in AI-driven cyber threats.
4. More work needed to close the cyber skills gap
Whilst measures are being taken to attempt to close the cybersecurity skills gap, it is clear that more work needs to be done worldwide in order to hire more qualified people into the industry.
According to recent reports, UK businesses in particular are struggling to combat increasing cyber incidents and its workforces are experiencing huge burnout as a result. As a result, organisations have started putting cyber training measures and schemes for young people in place in order to prevent huge skills gaps moving forward.
Ultimately, the solution to this challenge is education, particularly in areas where a demand for a cyber workforce is more so than ever before.
See below about how AI can be used in businesses for good:
3. Tech giants continue to expand cybersecurity services
This month has also seen global technology companies expanding their global presence to expand cybersecurity services. Palo Alto Networks in particular opened its new headquarters in the City of London, UK, as it invests in its expanding customer base in the country.
The company is set to create hundreds of new cybersecurity jobs over the course of the next five years, citing cybersecurity as crucial to its success. In addition, its customers are increasingly embracing its unique AI-driven cybersecurity platforms to protect their networks, cloud resources and endpoints.
As new technologies continue to transform how organisations operate, they are ultimately fuelling a rapid increase in cyber threats that directly impact business development, as well as the security and safety of its customers. These types of cyber investments will continue to be instrumental.
2. Businesses work together to combat global scammers
With this in mind, Cybersecurity Awareness Month certainly highlights the importance of collaboration in a rapidly evolving digital age. That is why it is exciting to see tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft collaborating to combat online scammers.
October 2023 has seen both organisations working together in India to crack down on ‘fake call centres’ and ‘online tech support scammers.’ In its ongoing dedication to safeguarding consumers from impersonation scams, Cyber Magazine has previously reported how Amazon initiated the removal of over 20,000 phishing websites and 10,000 phone numbers being used in impersonation schemes during 2022 alone.
With the previously mentioned increased sophistication of cybercriminals, it is paramount that businesses and users ‘proceed with caution’ and continue to be proactive with their cybersecurity measures to protect valuable data.
1. A continued lack of company preparedness
What has been highlighted consistently is a lack of preparedness from companies within cybersecurity sectors. In particular, businesses have been ‘surprised’ by cyber incidents, with reports highlighting that only 36% of security leaders are totally confident in their security data and use it for all strategic decision making.
Panaseer in particular highlights that finding new and more automated ways to collect data should be treated with some urgency by businesses. In addition, it states that there needs to be a mindset change in security leaders, leading from using controlled data for reporting and instead embracing it to drive business decisions and stop problems before they occur.
Those businesses that are able to get ahead of a hack or data breach will benefit more in the long run. If not, the results could be devastating.
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