As we close out the year, we are looking back at the cybersecurity landscape to reflect on how it changed in 2023 and how those changes impacted small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
Generative AI tools like ChatGPT dominated the cybersecurity news landscape this year. Generative AI has made phishing email campaigns more accessible, more convincing, and more difficult for end users to detect. Phishing campaigns are still one of the top attack vectors small businesses face, and the use of generative AI is expected to increase the threat. When considering defending against phishing attacks, small businesses should utilize network border protection and email server configuration to help block nefarious emails. Next, employees should recognize common phishing indicators like suspicious email addresses and urgent messaging. Lastly, employees should know how to report malicious emails to the appropriate security teams to help prevent future attacks.
Ransomware also changed this year, and the data shows ransomware groups shifted their focus from large corporate targets to small and medium-sized businesses. In the first half of 2023, businesses that employed less than 200 people became the most often targeted size company. SMBs are smaller but easier targets for hackers because they often don’t have the resources for quality security. Ransomware groups found they could make more money by extorting multiple small businesses instead of targeting one large corporation. As a small business owner, investing in cybersecurity is essential, whether through internal resources or a Managed Service Provider like Skynet Innovations.
Internet of Things (IoT) or network-connected manufacturing devices are helping businesses understand everything from inventory to maintenance, but they also represent a vulnerability for attackers to enter the network. We recently covered the water system attack, where hackers took over a controller panel using the manufacturer’s default password. IoT device’s native security varies widely, and it’s up to small business owners to understand the devices on their network.