GUEST OPINION by Tony Jarvis, Director of Enterprise Security, APJ, Darktrace : We can clearly see that in Australia cybercriminals are no longer just a topic for the tech industry, with so many data breaches and ransomware being reported and announced every week. It is becoming mainstream and of great concern.

“Let’s face it, it didn’t take long for cyber attackers to find and exploit the weaknesses that made Australian companies a prime target and we have to ask, are CEOs realizing this now? What do they need to do as we enter 2023? Is prevention essential?

Tony Jarvis talks about protecting your organization and its data, in all areas without exception:

Is the “silver bullet” of multi-factor authentication (MFA) against cyber attacks a thing of the past?
“Once considered a ‘silver bullet’ in the fight against credential stuffing, it didn’t take long for attackers to find and exploit MFA weaknesses and will continue to do so into 2023,” said Tony Jarvis, Director of Enterprise Security, APJ, Dark Trace. “MFA will remain central to basic cyber hygiene, but will cease to be seen as a standalone ‘set it and forget it’ solution. Accessibility and usability questions continue to dominate the MFA discussion and will only be amplified by the rise of cloud and SaaS along with the dissolution of traditional on-prem networks.

Continuing “hacktivism” by non-state actors complicates cyber attribution and security strategies
“In 2023, ‘knowing your enemy’ in the cyber world will be more complicated than ever, but it’s vital that organizations remain aware of the realities of cyber risk and stop focusing on the internet ‘boogeyman’ appearing in sensationalist reporting” said Tony Jarvis, Director of Enterprise Security, APJ, Darktrace. Persistent, widely available, less sophisticated malware and common phishing campaigns remain a statistically greater overall risk to businesses than the newer, more sneaky exploit kit or ransomware typically associated with APT groups.

“As it becomes more difficult to name the enemy, we should see organizations move away from the headlines and ensure operational stability based on a tailored understanding of their unique risk profile.”

Neglect of cryptojacking becomes dangerous
“’Crypto-jacking neglect’, the hijacking of computer resources to mine cryptocurrencies, is another concern and is one of the fastest growing types of cyber threats globally. “These attacks are often overlooked as non-threatening ‘background noise’, but the reality is that any cryptocurrency mining infection can turn into ransomware, data exfiltration, or even an entry point for a human-led attack with a snap of the fingers,” said Tony Jarvis, director of corporate security, APJ, Darktrace. “In 2023, crypto-jackers will become more savvy and we may start to see the harmful effects of what is usually considered inevitable or negligible. Security leaders must ask themselves, ‘How did this person get in?’ – and shore up the easiest entry points into their organization.”

Ransomware rushes to the cloud
“These third-party supply chains give those with criminal intent more places to hide and targeting cloud service providers instead of a single organization giving attackers more bang for their buck,” said Tony Jarvis, Director of enterprise security, APJ, Darktrace. Attackers can even get creative by threatening third-party cloud service providers.”

The recession requires CISOs to be honest with the board on proactive security
“Cybersecurity is now a boardroom issue, but with growing economic uncertainty, organizations are being forced to make tough decisions as they plan their 2023 budgets,” said Tony Jarvis, director of enterprise security, APJ, Darktrace. Rising cyber insurance premiums are one thing, but as more underwriters introduce exclusions for nation-state-attributed cyber attacks, organizations will struggle to see the value in such high premiums. In 2023, CISOs will move beyond simple assurance and compliance checkboxes to opt for more proactive cybersecurity measures to maximize ROI in the face of budget cuts, shifting investments into tools and capabilities that continuously improve their cyber resilience.“

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