Emerging Threats and Future Outlook

[1]Emerging trends in cybersecurity and Future Outlook

This is where continuous challenges and opportunities to the field of cybersecurity currently develop. In a fast-growing world with ever-evolving technology, new vulnerabilities have just come up that would require equally new solutions for mitigation. The view was preventive, considering what might happen in the future with the latest advancement in defense mechanisms. Let us have a look at the latest advances within the cybersecurity field to date and a preview for the next few years of defense of our digital assets.

One of the key shifts that have happened in the landscape of cyber threats can be defined through a change in concerns: from data breaches and financial gain toward inflicting business disruption and reputational damage. One recent survey indicated that most respondents now believe that cyber attackers' efforts are focused on business disruption and inflicting reputational damage. These two factors emerge now as the topmost two worries that then draw attention to a new wave of cyber threats that have in place challenges not only in the context of data loss.

Some of the factors that could drive this shift of tactics by attackers include: disruption that is no less harmful or even more harmful than data theft to the operations of a company. A well-timed cyberattack can bring down critical systems, stall production lines, and result in financial damage. In addition, a tarnished reputation may impact the company for years. Such a cyberattack can lead to gargantuan business and customer trust losses in case sensitive customer data is exposed or the trust in the brand is compromised. Leading organizations are riding the wave of digital transformation with the use of the latest, state-of-the-art technologies. By integrating new technologies into incumbent systems, they enable also a double-edged sword. The multi-valued opportunities are appealing but enhance complexity in IT environments and their vulnerability to cyber risks. Indeed, leaders are in the perennial struggle to get the right balance—maximize the benefits from new technologies, minimize associated cyber risks. Here, we delve into the key emerging trends shaping the cybercrime landscape, along with the challenges they pose for the future:

Supply Chain Attacks


Another tendency that this work reveals is supply chain attacks, that is, an attack of supply chain from an attacker who is trying to compromise the integrity of products and services being offered. Recent happenings, like the SolarWinds breach, epitomize the dire consequences that come with such attacks, attacks that have the potential of bringing businesses to their knees.A group of hackers breached the software development process of SolarWinds, one of the biggest software vendors for managing IT shops. In that manner, they managed to infect its Orion platform with malicious code and subsequently distribute it to thousands of customers, among them governmental agencies and private companies. In the 2022 edition of this report, almost 40% of the surveyed companies got hurt by cyberattacks on their partners, say, suppliers or customers. Attacks brought disturbances not only by themselves but also happened without the companies themselves being the target—their injury was like "collateral damage" in somebody else's cyberwar. Naturally, therefore, almost all the respondents are anxious about the cybersecurity strength of their partners, especially those with access to their data. Supply chain risk is a concern for industries at large and can disrupt critical services.

The report also outlines the possibility of conflict of interests in companies. In such a case, security chiefs (CISOs) report to IT chiefs (CIOs), who may be function-happy in making the budget. However, the report says most CIOs who had undergone severe cyber-attacks tend to become security-conscious. This may indicate the general corporate culture and appreciation of cyber risks at the top. The solution may lie in structuring the right incentives, irrespective of the reporting lines.

The report concluded by stating that better cyber governance practices would be required, with principles developed by bodies such as the World Economic Forum and the National Association of Corporate Directors to allow boards to manage cyber risks.

Advanced Development


Beyond the ever-challenging digital threat landscape lies the most disturbing trend: the proven sophistication that cyberattacks have been taking. In a constant iteration process, the attackers further improved their techniques, improved their approaches, and breached these security systems to exfiltrate sensitive data or disrupt important services. The factors driving this change are numerous: those from potent arsenals of hacking tools at any group's disposal, through proliferation of online forums fostering wider collaboration among cybercriminals, to the more troubling rise of nation-state-sponsored hacking groups.

Future Outlook


Embracing security Awareness

Everyone needs to be aware and involved in building a good security culture. The study finds that increasing awareness among employees regarding the existence of cyber threats is going to be the most influencing aspect in increasing cyber resilience. An informed workforce, enabled to manage cyber risks, strengthens the security position for the organization as a whole. It calls on leaders to empower business leaders further by holding them to account for operational security measures. For example, making security exceptions that require justification by senior executives can shift the mindset towards valuing security. All along, the security team plays a critical role in helping by giving insights and solutions. For instance, considering the vulnerabilities to which the HR team is exposed by using unsecured attachments, the security team may recommend such solutions as secure portals in which to plug the leaks before they cause damage. Good security leadership includes advising and embedding practice for cyber risk management with other business departments. Good security leaders make sure that the cybersecurity requirements are integrated into business unit KPIs, in order to assure enforcement and incentivization towards secure behavior across the organization.

Effortless communications

Rising Cybersecurity Anxieties: This year, there is a larger percentage of security leaders who are anxious about the post-cyberattack recovery of their organization compared to last year's (17%). What is even more interesting is the anxiety in that regard of business leaders, whose worry in that category grew from 16% to 27%. Business leader awareness is growing, and it's probably due to a better understanding of the consequences of cyber attacks—from loss of operation to loss of business partners and reputation.

The Challenge of Communication

In a worrying parallel that is reaching near parity between security and business leaders, the leaders are impeded by a communication problem. Those security leaders who do bridge the gap are expert in translating technical data into clear and meaningful information for the business leader. This difficulty in communication is the result of, among other things, the challenge of translating abstract cyber threats into concrete operational risks. Of course, a word as simple as 'ransomware' will be very easy to understand, but the details of how sophisticated cyber-attacks actually run, especially targeting certain business assets and resources, are much harder to explain.

  1. "Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023". World Economic Forum.