Cyberattacks seem to be lurking around every corner these days. Hackers are craftier than ever, and cyberattacks are happening more often, causing some serious damage. Look at this- the average cost of a data breach has skyrocketed to a whopping $4.45 million globally, according to an IBM report. That’s a 15% increase in just three years!
With cyber risks rising faster than ever, strong cybersecurity needs to be priority number one for every business out there. Protecting your company is about way more than just downloading the latest antivirus software. You need to think about potential vulnerabilities in your tech and your people too.
This 2023 guide is here to break down the key ingredients of rock-solid cybersecurity designed to safeguard critical assets and boost resilience as threats evolve. Let’s get strategic about security so you can stay one step ahead of the hackers.
Developing Cybersecurity Skills
As cyber risks mount, all organizations need personnel with modern cybersecurity skills. Key skills security teams should possess include:
- Cloud security expertise to secure cloud infrastructure, data, and applications
- Incident response to rapidly detect, analyze, contain, and remediate incidents
- Threat hunting skills to proactively identify evasive threats
- Digital forensics to investigate compromised systems
- Security analytics to pinpoint high-risk activities and emerging threats
- Automation skills to streamline repetitive tasks like patching
- Secure coding skills to build security into software development
Developing these skills through applied learning and hands-on training is essential. Programs like online master’s in cybersecurity deliver advanced, industry-aligned expertise. Given attackers’ rapidly evolving tactics, continuing education is a must for security staff.
Cybersecurity relies on people, processes, and technology to protect data, applications, and infrastructure. Key focus areas include:
- Network security via firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention, and robust configuration and monitoring.
- Endpoint protection by securing devices like computers, servers, and mobiles from malware and unauthorized access.
- Cloud security protects data, apps, and infrastructure hosted in public clouds like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.
- Application security through secure code reviews, penetration testing, identity access management, and more.
- Data security via encryption, access controls, data loss prevention (DLP), and database monitoring.
- Incident response by preparing plans, detecting and analyzing breaches rapidly, containing impacts, and fixing flaws.
- Compliance with data protection and security standards like PCI DSS and HIPAA.
Emerging Cyber Threat Trends
Cybercriminals quickly develop new tools, tactics, and targets. Key trends to watch in 2023 include
More ransomware groups are establishing affiliate models and Ransomware-as-a-Service offerings that expand their reach. Extortion tactics are growing more aggressive, with double extortion attacks that steal and threaten to leak data.
Supply chain compromise
Cybercriminals increasingly attack weakly secured vendors and business partners to reach their main targets indirectly. The SolarWinds and Kaseya attacks impacted thousands of downstream customers.
Brute force and credential stuffing attacks leverage stolen passwords to infiltrate networks. Multifactor authentication is essential to block these attacks.
As cloud adoption grows, attackers target misconfigurations and vulnerabilities in cloud platforms, apps, and infrastructure.
Application programming interfaces (APIs) expanding access to data and systems can be abused to infiltrate networks if not properly secured.
Web app attacks
Cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and other web application attacks can be used to take over user accounts, steal data, and distribute malware.
Sensitive data access, misuse of privileges, and unauthorized systems access by employees and other insiders remain a top security risk.
To enhance defenses, organizations should implement robust security training, recurring penetration testing, and continuous compromise monitoring across on-prem and cloud environments.
Cyber Incident Response
Despite best efforts, cybersecurity incidents are likely to occur. The ability to rapidly detect and respond to events can limit damages and recovery costs. Effective incident response requires planning, defined processes, skilled personnel, and testing through simulated incidents and red teaming. Key steps include:
Detection and analysis
24/7 monitoring paired with security analytics and threat intelligence to quickly identify and investigate potential incidents.
Isolate compromised systems to limit an incident’s scope and prevent further spread or data exfiltration. Steps may include disconnecting systems from networks and shutting down breached accounts.
Remove malware, backdoors, and other attacker artifacts from the environment. Reset passwords, patch vulnerabilities, and strengthen controls to remediate root causes.
Restore impacted systems and data from clean backups once threats are eliminated. Confirm normal operations have resumed across the environment.
Document lessons learned from each incident through a blameless review process. Identify additional mitigations and training needed to improve readiness.
Securing Your Remote Workforce
And last but not least, you must not forget to secure your remote workforce. The rapid shift to remote work due to the pandemic dramatically expanded the corporate attack surface. With employees working from home, businesses lost visibility and control over corporate devices and networks. This created prime conditions for threat actors to exploit.
As hybrid work models become the norm, organizations need to implement safeguards to secure remote workers. Key focus areas include:
Endpoint security to protect employee devices wherever they connect from. Tools like endpoint detection and response (EDR) provide visibility into remote hosts.
Access control through strong identity management and multifactor authentication (MFA). Ensure only authorized users can access applications and data.
Secure remote access via virtual private networks (VPNs) and zero trust network access to inspect all remote sessions before granting access.
Data protection through encryption and data loss prevention (DLP) controls to reduce breach impacts.
User education to train remote employees on best practices for handling sensitive data, safely using untrusted networks, recognizing social engineering lures, and reporting suspicious activity.
By implementing layered controls for remote users paired with effective security awareness training, organizations can empower flexible work while still keeping their data, networks, and people secure.
The time is now to evaluate and fortify cybersecurity strategies. With preparation and commitment to staying ahead of threats, businesses can be ready for whatever 2023 has brought. Remember that cybersecurity requires both intelligent security technology and a skilled human team with modern expertise.