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The year 2023 marked a significant turning point in the realm of cyberattacks, with the widespread adoption of AI (artificial intelligence) by malicious actors. These individuals are actively leveraging AI to devise faster and more efficient methods to exploit, extort, or disrupt your business.

In the face of this evolving landscape, it can be tempting to adopt a complacent attitude, dismissing cyber threats as inevitable. However, it’s increasingly a matter of not if but when your organization will face a cyberattack.

According to the Hiscox Cyber Readiness report, 53% of businesses experienced at least one cyberattack in the last 12 months, with 21% of them stating that the attack jeopardized their business’s survival.

The year 2024 is poised to present even greater challenges, with events like the U.S. presidential election and ongoing conflicts between Russia and Ukraine and Israel and Hamas, which can fuel motivations for cyberattacks. Here are the five major developments in cybersecurity threats that demand your attention:

Rise of AI-Powered Attacks: In the chess game of cybersecurity, AI plays the role of the Queen, offering its wielders a significant advantage. Expect a surge in highly sophisticated deepfake social engineering attacks designed to deceive and compromise individuals and organizations. These may include scams using AI-generated voices of family members to extort money or impersonate IT personnel to gain access to sensitive data. Combating these threats requires employee awareness training and robust security controls like multi-factor authentication.

Heightened Risk from Remote Workers: The expansion of remote work brings an increased vulnerability to cyber threats. Devices like laptops and mobile phones, used for both personal and work purposes, become susceptible to being lost or stolen. Mixing personal and business activities on the same device can open doors for hackers. It’s crucial to address this risk by implementing stringent security measures and educating remote employees.

Escalation of Ransomware Attacks: Ransomware attacks have become alarmingly frequent, with an estimated 1.7 million occurring daily. These attacks increased by 37% last year, with hefty ransom demands averaging over $100,000. Businesses are bolstering their defenses with strategies such as immutable backups, regular system updates, and endpoint detection and response (EDR) systems.

IoT Vulnerabilities: The Internet of Things (IoT) has expanded, connecting everyday devices like refrigerators and pet trackers to the internet. This proliferation provides hackers with numerous entry points into your digital world. Neglecting to secure these devices could jeopardize your sensitive information, emphasizing the need for comprehensive IoT security.

Cyber Protection Legal Requirements: Governments are responding to the surge in cybercrime with stricter federal and state laws mandating “reasonable security” measures for businesses. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is actively enforcing these regulations, imposing monetary penalties on non-compliant companies. State laws, including data breach notification requirements, are also in effect. For instance, California’s California Privacy Rights Act (CCPA) can impose penalties on businesses that fail to implement adequate security measures.

If you’re unsure about your current level of protection and preparedness, consider a FREE Cybersecurity Risk Assessment. During this evaluation, we’ll thoroughly examine your systems to identify vulnerabilities and ensure you’re fortified against potential attacks. Schedule your assessment with one of our senior advisors by calling us at 973-575-4950 or visiting https://ibsre.com/connect-with-ibs/. Stay vigilant in the face of these evolving cybersecurity threats.