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Cyber Security

New Trends in Cyber-attacks: Hyper-personalized Cyber-attacks

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Just as technology is advancing at a dizzying pace, so is cybercrime. For this reason, cybersecurity professionals must be very well prepared for everything that is coming, because if this year was complicated with cyber-attacks, for 2022 it is expected to be even more difficult. Just when you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to cyberattacks, surprises can arise, as there is always something new up your sleeve and cyber attack trends are progressively advancing.

Technologies to aid productivity and business continuity have flourished. Whether it’s incorporating new collaboration tools or moving critical infrastructure and applications to the cloud, IT has become more distributed and, as a result, the range of opportunities for attackers has increased significantly.

The ravages of cyberattacks in a time of the pandemic

As the pandemic has driven teleworking and access to corporate systems and resources from unsecured home networks, the coming year could see a proliferation of “hyper-personalized cyber-attacks.”

Remember that until recently we were used to receiving cyberattacks in our companies in an indirect and semi-personalized way?

Well now, with hyper-personalization, which is a trend that has emerged from a digital marketing with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, cybercriminals are targeting each of their potential victims directly. To do this, the user’s context, needs, and interests are taken into account in near real-time in order to send them a highly personalized or hyper-personalized attack. This contributes to increasing the possibility of success of the attack, being one of the trends for 2022, according to the information security firm Cyberattack.

In recent months, companies have begun to receive more complex cyberattacks than they were used to, fully customized to be more credible. While traditional email is the medium through which we receive more than 90% of cyberattacks, the important thing to consider is the substantial change in how these emails are being constructed.

Currently, companies are receiving malicious emails very well constructed, with names and data that make them almost legitimate, and that workers of our companies perceive that they have been sent by a legitimate person they know, understanding that they should open the attachment .doc or similar sent to them.

On the other hand, employees working from home regularly access corporate systems and resources with insecure home networks and personal devices, making each user “their own island,” where legacy security controls are ineffective, making legacy security controls ineffective, so individual actions are threatening corporate security to a greater degree than ever before. The creation of these “islands of security” may mean a proliferation of more hyper-personalized attacks in 2022, targeting those users with privileged access to sensitive systems, data, and infrastructure.

Another trend would be the use of “deepfake” incorporate attacks, which is an example of how cybercriminals will continue to personalize their actions.

Today, companies are increasingly relying on video as another form of communication between management and employees, so attackers can take advantage of that level of trust. In simple terms, deepfakes are synthetic or manipulated media in which a person in a video or image is replaced with the image of another person.

For example, phishing emails spoofing IT by requesting passwords are common, but what if that email was followed by an urgent message from the CEO on WhatsApp? Attackers could also use doctored videos of executive leaders on social channels to entice customers, employees, partners, and others to click on malicious links, creating new and broader avenues of attack for malicious actors.

5G leads to the biggest DDoS attack to date

We’re already starting to see how the adoption of technologies like 5G, IoT, and the cloud are driving new frontiers for enterprises, and this will continue in 2021. For 5G in particular, while it is enabling enterprises to accelerate digital transformation and create dynamic customer experiences, it is also expanding the attack surface exponentially as more and more interconnected devices come online, and opening organizations up to new risks.

Google recently demonstrated that it was hit with a massive 2.5Tbps DDoS attack in 2017, the largest attack ever recorded, even surpassing the 2.3 Tbps attack that targeted Amazon in 2018. Comparatively, these attacks were 4 times the scale of the massive Mirai botnet attacks of 2016, which compromised over 600,000 IoT devices and endpoints.

As 5G is deployed worldwide, these attacks will pale in comparison to the massive and more frequent DDoS attacks that 5G will lose. 5G will increase the overall bandwidth available and enable a large number of IoT devices to be connected. Because there is no standard for IoT security yet, these devices are often easy to compromise and control as part of an accumulating army of botnets.

As a result, we will see the first 5Tbps DDoS attack be launched over the next year. The 2Tbps attacks thwarted by Google and Amazon are more common, which will cause massive disruption to online and connected businesses.

Which organizations are most at risk?

It’s easy to assume that hackers will only target expensive larger organizations, but this is not the case. Smaller companies may have less valuable data, but they also have lower security budgets. In fact, recent studies show that 43 percent of cyber attacks target small businesses, and it takes founders an average of six months to realize they’ve been compromised.

SMEs and startups are easier to compromise and are often used to gain backdoor access to higher-value targets because hackers often target startups as a gateway to access banks, venture capital firms, or service providers (such as lawyers or PR firms), with whom these organizations communicate.

How to prevent cyberattacks?

1. Identify the threats: Basic threats such as unauthorized access to your computer should be addressed immediately before any loss of information occurs.

2. Beware of cybercrime: Always watch out for cybercriminals, work as if you expect an attack. This will allow you to ensure that your company is covered at all times with the necessary strategies and plans.

3. Use two-factor authentication: You can minimize the risk of being hacked by using two-factor authentication for your company. Encourage all employees to use two-factor authentication, as it increases security by adding an extra step to access accounts.

4. Protect important data: Always protect your company’s most sensitive information. Data that is vulnerable and can be attacked by hackers should be protected first.

5. Insure your company against cybercrime: There are many companies that offer insurance policies against cybercrime and attackers. This can prove to be a good investment for your business as it covers all the risks and threats that arise due to hackers and viruses.

Professional Cyber Security. Web Dev and Social Media Specialist. Music lover. Friendly organizer. Entrepreneur.

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