The number of cyberattacks is increasing every year. At the same time, hackers not only come up with new methods and tools, but also use “classic” tools, the effectiveness of which does not depend on the degree of cyber protection of the enterprise. The main goal of cybercriminals is to get money through extortion or blackmail, or simply by selling stolen information.
In this article, we will mention the types of cyberattacks, provide brief statistics, detail the main cybersecurity threats and hacking methods that were most effective this year, and answer other related questions.
Types of cyberattacks
In order to gain access to a device, local network or files, cybercriminals perform different levels of cyberattacks:
- A single cyberattack is an action aimed at obtaining an instant benefit. For example, hacking a profile on a social network in order to blackmail or extort money from the owner of the profile.
- A major cyberattack is a pre-planned action to disrupt the work of any organization or enterprise. Often such attacks are committed in the political sphere.
- Cyberterrorism — hacking several systems or one large one. Such attacks are carried out to draw attention to a political or ideological position.
As mentioned above, the main reason for cyberattacks is to get money. Any company has them, and you can steal them by getting to the computer of an accountant, or a specialist who makes payments or bank transfers. Also a popular target of attacks is information that can be monetized: it can be personal data of customers, as well as accounts for entering corporate networks, or keys for decrypting encrypted corporate data, trade secrets, etc.
Industries most attacked by hackers in 2022
The healthcare sector was the most attacked in 2022. Also, government sector, IT service providers, financial and banking industries were subjected to frequent attacks. Companies in the retail and wholesale sector were extorted.
Countries and regions with the highest number of cyberattacks
In 2022, Asia (+21%) and Latin America (+23%) are leading in terms of the number of cyberattacks. In terms of country statistics, the largest increase was observed in the United Arab Emirates — an increase of 151%.
It is also necessary to mention the Russian-Ukrainian war. Just three days after the full-scale invasion of the Russian army in Ukraine, it was noted that the number of cyberattacks on the government-military sector of Ukraine increased by 196%.
At the same time, after the outbreak of the war, Russia was also subjected to organized attacks by volunteer hackers, which led to multiple leaks of information from Russia, along with service outages (through distributed attacks such as DDoS).
The most popular cybersecurity threats, methods and causes of hacks
These attacks include attacks based on human communication. That is, they are not related to the use of cybersecurity problems of enterprises or organizations, but rather built on the trust of employees. It is gullibility and emotional vulnerability that are the hooks that help attackers get the information they need.
Therefore, social engineering is one of the most dangerous hacking methods, since by influencing emotions and feelings, it is easier to deceive a person without breaking the security system.
Fraud and phishing
This is another of the most common types of cyberattacks aimed at obtaining data from employees or ordinary users. People receive in private messages or email links to supposedly official sources or reliable resources, for example, to the website of a well-known brand. An ignorant person can trust the message and send their personal data to attackers. This information can then be used to hack into social networks, bank accounts, corporate accounts, and so on.
One notorious ploy is a letter “from the boss” or “charitable international organization”. Phishing can easily change masks in response to changes and trends in society.
Also one of the popular means of obtaining benefits through blackmail and pressure on organizations. Attackers can break into corporate networks and then encrypt information, demanding money for decryption. Accordingly, small and medium-sized enterprises often become victims of such attacks. Unfortunately, ransomware is becoming more complex and attackers are becoming more sophisticated.
It should also be noted that cloud storages are another common target as more and more companies move their data there.
Attacks on cloud services
Cloud computing is a very convenient, modern technology that has quickly gained popularity. Alas, not all providers of such services provide reliable protection for their services. Therefore, the clouds have also quickly become a target for attackers who use system vulnerabilities, as well as a whole range of methods and tricks, from phishing emails to ransomware, to gain access to the cloud.
There is already a trend of hackers starting to compromise DevOps tools and pipelines by targeting software supply chains.
Third party risks and supply chain attacks
Cybercriminals can bypass the strong protection of organizations and companies by breaking into less secure networks that belong to third parties with privileged access to the primary target. Such parties may include vendors, service providers, partners or contractors who have access to internal company or customer data, systems or processes.
Targeting the software supply chain is an effective way to expand the attacker’s reach and speed up the process of reaching the target.
Attacks on mobile devices
Mobile devices are constantly being tested by hackers because people spend a lot of money on their gadgets and pass a huge amount of information through them. Accordingly, a large number of users of such devices is a big target for cybercriminals. By hacking the victim’s smartphone, the hacker can access the victim’s vital information, as well as information of other people, organizations, companies, etc.
There are a huge number of methods for gaining access and necessary permissions on target devices, from simple trojans that use social networks to complex phishing schemes.
Attacks on the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is simply a system of interconnected devices that you use at home or at work. As things exchange more and more information, so does the number of gaps that can be exploited by cybercriminals. The greatest threat in this case is the theft of confidential, for example, banking information of users.
In addition, IoT devices can be used to overload networks, access large amounts of data, monitor or manage security services, or block equipment.
Poor cyber hygiene
This is a serious problem both in the corporate environment and in the daily life of people. Cyber hygiene is a set of knowledge, skills, mindsets and habits that help users reduce the risks of being on the Internet. Unfortunately, it is people’s poor cyber hygiene and inattention that causes phishing attacks to become successful.
By the way, many people still leave passwords and account names on stickers pasted on a computer monitor in the office.
Underestimation of threats and risks
Not all companies take a risk-based approach to cybersecurity issues, mistakenly believing that the threat will somehow bypass them. Accordingly, they become victims of hackers and cybercriminals. It is never possible to say for sure which organization or enterprise will be subject to the next attack.
This also includes inadequate actions after the attack, and an incorrect assessment of the consequences. It means that there are also organizations that, after a hacker attack, are in no hurry to fix the gaps in cybersecurity, which leads to obvious consequences.
The biggest cyberattacks in 2022
This year, there have been several hacks that have led to major information leaks. For example, as a result of an attack on Shields Health Care Group, a healthcare provider, the data of about two million patients were disclosed.
Another case of theft of this kind of information is an incident with one of the Marriott hotels. Using social engineering methods, the attackers forced an employee to give them access to their computer, and then stole more than 20GB of data, including credit card information from guests.
Also worth mentioning is the theft of $321 million in the form of Wormhole Ethereum. Also this year, hackers broke into Beanstalk Farms and stole $182 million. These are not the only high-profile cases of hacking, but we will not dwell on the rest.
Cybersecurity trends for 2023
Information security will become one of the trends, as companies and enterprises began to understand that information that may relate to their business is everywhere, but there is not enough control over this information, as well as there are not enough security guarantees from third parties. Accordingly, more organizations will seriously attend to the issue of cybersecurity and data privacy.
Another trend is application security. Despite their claims of security expertise, many developers do not have sufficient skills in this area, and the programs are not secure enough. Also, many contractors retain administrative rights and access to systems. In addition, such things are not always stored in sufficiently secure places.
The next, but not the last trend is the creation of FinOps teams, which consist of both engineering and financial specialists. Their mission is to design and maintain sustainable cost management processes for cloud services.
In one of our next articles, we will talk more about cybersecurity trends in 2023, stay tuned.
All-or-nothing protection does not work in an information environment. Companies and organizations need to understand which areas of their infrastructure, as well as which assets, data and equipment are most exposed to cybersecurity risks.
To accurately determine the vulnerabilities in the cybersecurity of your enterprise, please contact us at the contacts listed on our website, or fill out a special form so that our employees can contact you and agree on a time for a consultation.