Evolving Threat Landscape With Emerging Technologies

With the sophistication of digital technologies, online vulnerabilities continue to acquire strength. Although innovations in IoT, AI, and 5G continue to be a boon for us, they expose severe threats as malicious actors continue to evolve their modus operandi beyond anticipation.

Evolving Threat Landscape With Emerging Technologies
Photo by Alex Knight / Unsplash

The concept of 'absolute security' in the context of cyberspace might be unattainable, considering the relative nature of security. Amidst the global turbulence in 2020, malicious actors have found low-hanging fruits in AI, IoT, cloud systems, and 5G, targeting enterprises worldwide. However, international organizations have been agile and adapting innovative mechanisms to thwart online vulnerabilities. Malicious actors today apply a high degree of sophistication in security breaches. Hence, organizations must resort to equally robust measures to address online threats.

The following figures of the last year help one gauge the weight of online vulnerabilities.

  • Between January and April 2020, cloud-based attacks witnessed a 630% rise.
  • In 2020, it took organizations around 207 days on average to detect a security breach.
  • While 25% of data breaches occur due to espionage, as much as 71% are motivated by financial gains.
  • March 2020 witnessed a 148% rise in ransomware attacks.

Vulnerabilities From Emerging Technologies And Concepts In 2021

The pandemic in 2020 compelled a significant section of employees to work from home. As this trend continues in 2021, global organizations are required to reassess the vulnerabilities among home networks too. In the past, government and corporate networks were high priorities for malicious actors. However, as the digital landscape keeps changing, personal computing assets have evolved as high-value targets. Unlike corporate networks, personal computers do not enjoy the protective cover to prevent sensitive data loss. However, global corporate networks continue to be a highly prioritized target for the attackers.

Below are more details on how technological sophistication is fostering the new age cybersecurity issues:

  • IoT And Online Vulnerabilities

The digitized world presently includes more IoT devices than what existed a decade ago. It naturally exposes personal as well as corporate networks to online threats. The danger now encompasses almost all industries, including healthcare, farming, production, banking, etc. For instance, farmers get assistance from AI and satellites to enhance their productive activities. Modern agriculture equipment communicates directly with networks, data centers, and satellites. A large-scale cyberattack on farming can jeopardize the food supply of the entire nation.

  • 5G Technology

Evolving technologies in the field of mobile networks have also made these systems more susceptible to online threats. In the past, monitoring point traffic involved fewer hardware modules. However, circumstances have significantly evolved with the inception of 5G technology. Since 5G is decentralized, it is imperative to deploy security and monitoring techniques on many gadgets.

The increased bandwidth in 5G connectivity also enhances the scope for malicious actors. With larger bandwidth, these networks involve more IoT devices that remain connected. Consequently, organizations deploying 5G technology need scalable security measures to ensure the computing environment's integrity.

  • Deep Fake Techniques

Over the years, video editing techniques have significantly evolved. It has resulted in the inception of a process called 'deep fake.' It is a kind of video manipulation that makes it difficult to detect whether videos have been altered.

Besides, the expansion of the new 5G technology makes such vulnerabilities more pronounced. Malicious actors are likely to impersonate reputed organizations with these videos to obtain the victims' trust and credentials. Given that more than half the US population counts on social media for news, such manipulated videos can extensively impact their beliefs and decisions.

  • Drones And AI

Intelligent systems like drones backed by AI and IoT present a multilayered threat to organizations. These gadgets reduce privacy as commercial drones can overcome physical borders. Therefore, malicious actors can use drones to capture information or passwords through spying.

Presently, forward-thinking organizations are deploying professionals to thwart this risk from drone technology. Besides, they need to address the conspiracy theories based on smart vehicles. Remote manipulation of such vehicles exposes organizations and individuals to physical threats.

How Should Organizations Prepare For The Next Generation Vulnerabilities?

Corporate houses are already familiar with the term 'cyber maturity'. To secure your organization against the new-age online threats, you need to be proactive enough. Here are specific security measures that would prove valuable.

  1. Identifying Cybersecurity As A Tactical Priority: Amidst the digital transformation, enterprises need to shield themselves against online threats. They should prioritize the hazards along with other elements in the risk profile of the organization. The cybersecurity strategy must involve both CISO and CEO. A seamless combination of crisis and risk management can help the organization address phishing and information theft issues. The enterprise should also consult experienced cybersecurity professionals and develop recovery roadmaps to respond to possible crises.
  2. Maintaining Cyber Hygiene: Any organization must cultivate cyber hygiene in their respective work environments. As long as the staff keeps opening links for phishing or using weak passwords, one cannot avoid the threats. The degree of cyber literacy of the employees largely determines safety. Presently, organizations need to educate their staff with the necessary guidelines to boost their immunity against phishing and social engineering mechanisms.
  3. Enhancing Professional Competence: To secure the IT systems, organizations must hire professionally competent cybersecurity experts. The developers and technical specialists need to undergo intensive sessions of training to mature in their respective fields. With hands-on experience in attack simulations, these experts can streamline their profiles. With better professional competence, they can enhance the cyber maturity of an organization.

Final Words

As a concerned business owner, one should understand the entire range of parameters constituting cyber maturity. Outsourcing cybersecurity responsibilities to established service providers can also be a logical move but at the end of the day you own the ultimate accountability. Any organization requires a cyber-resilient set-up to thwart the new-age vulnerabilities. A careful evaluation of the upcoming threats can prompt you to deploy the respective control measures for mitigating them and protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data.