Email is an indispensable tool for many business users, so it should go without saying that it's crucial to protect email accounts from malicious threats. While best practices like junking emails from unknown senders and using strong passwords are good steps forward in maintaining email security, they aren't enough. Nowadays, businesses must use stronger protocols as new digital threats continue to emerge.
In this article, we will discuss the top email security predictions for 2023 that every business needs to know about.
More business email compromise (BEC) scams
This year, businesses will likely see a significant spike in the number of business email compromise (BEC) scams, an increasingly popular type of fraud in which scammers impersonate employees or other legitimate contacts. These scams typically involve hackers sending fraudulent emails to unsuspecting victims and asking them to provide confidential data or wire huge sums of money.
Alarmingly, cybercriminals have lately been targeting companies using more sophisticated phishing attempts that can easily bypass security measures like multifactor authentication. These attacks involve mimicking legitimate emails from executives, which can be difficult for employees to detect.
The potential payouts for these types of scams are often very tempting for cybercriminals since it involves transferring large sums of money into their own accounts without exerting great effort. It can be quite lucrative for scammers too. Per the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, BEC scams in 2021 resulted in nearly $2.4 billion in losses.
The rise in artificial intelligence- (AI) assisted schemes
In 2023, businesses must also prepare against AI-assisted schemes as these can be especially tricky to detect. For one, more hackers might start using AI-generated voice deep fakes to trick employees. Unlike a regular phishing scam, a fraud that's carried out using voice technology is relatively new and many employees might be unfamiliar with it. On top of that, voice-generated scams compel target victims to act with greater urgency compared to email-targeted scams, which require a target victim to take several steps to complete, including accessing their inbox, reading a message, and taking action.
Ransomware boom due to tensions between Russia and Ukraine
As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, the world is expecting to see an increase in cyberattacks from Russian threat actors. In particular, these attackers will be focusing their efforts on ransomware attacks. This form of attack remains increasingly popular because it allows hackers to quickly extort money from victims and affords them anonymity. With the geopolitical tensions between the two countries reaching a fever pitch, there is likely to be an increase in ransomware attacks on both sides of the conflict.
Increased supply chain attacks
Supply chain attacks refer to malicious activities that occur when a hacker infiltrates or alters the processes, systems, and data used by an organization's third-party suppliers, vendors, and customers. These types of attacks can have devastating consequences, as they allow cybercriminals to gain access to confidential information, disrupt operations, and damage reputations.
These attacks are poised to become more threatening this year as organizations become more reliant on third-party vendors for critical services such as cloud computing and data storage. This makes them highly vulnerable to attack since third-party vendors may not adhere to the same security standards as the organization itself. Moreover, many companies lack visibility into their supply chain, often leaving them unaware of where their sensitive data is being stored or processed.
In addition, hackers are taking advantage of the fact that many organizations often prioritize other cybersecurity concerns such as malware and network security threats that they tend to neglect to properly investigate and secure their supply chain systems. This then results in attackers easily finding ways to infiltrate an organization’s systems without being detected.
Less secure email and overall IT security due to the recession
In 2023, many businesses will make the difficult decision of slashing IT security budgets due to the ongoing economic uncertainty caused by the recession. This means reducing cybersecurity spending, which can then lead to an overall subpar security posture. This does not bode well for companies that are prone to cyberattacks and may thus find themselves more vulnerable to attacks than ever before.
Sadly, one of the most vulnerable areas is email security, as some companies may be less likely to invest in secure email solutions. This leaves them open to attack from cybercriminals who can easily steal confidential information by intercepting or spoofing emails.
Related reading: Anticipate and prevent attacks with these proactive cybersecurity measures
Your business doesn't have to spend huge amounts of money to ensure your IT system's security. To learn how you can strengthen your cybersecurity posture, get in touch with the IT experts at Kortek Solutions today.