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5 Focus Areas For Cybersecurity Professionals in 2023

Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field that is vital to the protection of individuals, businesses, and governments from cyber threats. In this article, we will discuss the key focus areas that cybersecurity professionals should be aware of to effectively protect organizations and individuals against cyber attacks. 

The Cyber Security Market size worldwide was at an estimated value of USD 173.5 billion in 2022, according to market research firm MarketsandMarkets. They expect this market to grow rapidly at a CAGR of 8.9% in the next five years. Thus, by 2027, the global cybersecurity market will be worth  266.2 billion USD. 

In such a large industry, there are also many challenges that cybersecurity professionals need to deal with. As technology continues to advance, so do the methods and tactics used by cybercriminals. 

To stay ahead of these threats, cybersecurity professionals must proactively identify and address potential vulnerabilities. We will also explore the latest trends and best practices in each area and how they can be applied to keep organizations and individuals safe in the digital age.

Using Open Source Intelligence to Monitor the Web

Open-source intelligence (OSINT) refers to the collection and analysis of information from publicly available sources. OSINT can be used to identify potential security threats by gathering information on known adversaries, monitoring for signs of malicious activity, and tracking emerging trends in the threat landscape. It is crucial to refer to reliable online resources curated by skilled professionals in this field to know more about open source intelligence.

It’s important to note that using OSINT to find threats requires a significant amount of time and effort, and it’s important to have dedicated resources to perform the job and also to keep in mind that OSINT is only one aspect of a comprehensive security strategy. 

The following steps should be an integral part of a reliable open-source intelligence strategy.

  • Determine which sources of information will be monitored, like social media platforms, news articles, and online forums, as well as open-source databases, such as the IP address or domain name registration information.
  • Use tools such as web crawlers, search engines, and social media monitoring tools to collect information from the identified sources.
  • Analyze the data to identify patterns or establish trends that may indicate a potential threat. This may include looking for specific keywords or phrases, identifying connections between different pieces of information, or tracking the behavior of a specific IP address or domain.
  • Take appropriate action to mitigate or respond to the identified threat. This may include blocking an IP address or domain or reporting a phishing attempt to the authorities.

Build Awareness Against Social Engineering Attacks 

Social engineering attacks are a type of security threat in which an attacker manipulates individuals into divulging sensitive information or performing actions that compromise their organization’s security. 

One example of a social engineering attack is “whaling,” in which an attacker targets high-level executives or other individuals with access to valuable information to gain access to sensitive data or resources.

These attacks can be prevented by following the guidelines mentioned below.

  • Providing security awareness training to employees to help them recognize and respond to social engineering attempts.
  • Implementing strict access controls, such as two-factor authentication, limits the ability of attackers to access sensitive information.
  • Monitoring for suspicious activity, such as phishing attempts or unauthorized access to sensitive data.

Social engineering attacks are difficult to prevent completely, as they often rely on exploiting human weaknesses rather than exploiting vulnerabilities in software or hardware. Organizations need to stay vigilant and be prepared to respond quickly and effectively if an attack does occur.

Preventing Hacking of IoT Systems

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnectedness of various devices and systems, including those in the automotive industry. IoT devices are becoming increasingly common in cars, including navigation, entertainment, and communication systems. This interconnectedness increases the potential for hacking and cyber attacks.

According to CNBC, the leading news portal, there are around 17 billion IoT devices worldwide. They include a wide variety of devices ranging from printers to cars. All these devices run on software that can be easily hacked. 

One specific type of threat related to the IoT in the automotive industry is “automotive hacking.” This refers to the ability of an attacker to gain unauthorized access to a car’s computer systems, potentially allowing them to control the car’s functions or steal sensitive information. 

Automotive hacking can be accomplished through a variety of means, including exploiting vulnerabilities in the car’s software or physically accessing the car’s onboard systems.

  • Ensure that all software and hardware components used in the car’s systems are sourced from reputable vendors and that all components are properly tested and verified for security vulnerabilities.
  • Regularly update the car’s software and systems to address known vulnerabilities and protect against new threats.
  • Educate car owners and users about the potential risks of automotive hacking and the steps they can take to protect their vehicles.

Strengthening Cloud Security

Cloud-based systems can be vulnerable to security threats in the work-from-home ecosystem due to a lack of physical security controls and an increase in remote access to sensitive data. Remote workers may use personal devices or unsecured networks to access company data, increasing the risk of cyberattacks such as phishing and malware. 

Additionally, remote workers may be more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as sharing passwords or neglecting to update security software. To mitigate these risks, organizations should implement strong security policies and provide training for remote workers on how to stay secure while working from home.

Globally, organizations are cognizant of the threats posed due to systems migrating to the cloud. As a result of this demand for increased security measures, the size of the global cloud application security market is estimated to be about  $5.03 billion, as per a report published by Businesswire.  The same report also forecasts a CAGR of  10.62 for the next 5 years, making the industry touch $8.33 billion by 2027.

Be Cautious of Mobile Security Threats

SIM jacking, vishing, and smishing are all mobile security threats that can compromise the security of a mobile device. Both vishing and smishing are forms of social engineering attack that can be stopped by being cautious of the links or phone numbers sent and not providing any sensitive information to unknown or suspicious callers or texts.

In SIM jacking, a hacker takes control of a mobile phone number by tricking the mobile carrier into transferring the number to a new SIM card. The hacker now intercepts calls and text messages and even resets passwords on accounts that are linked to the phone number.

Vishing is a type of phishing attack that is conducted via phone calls. The attacker will typically use social engineering tactics to trick the victim into providing sensitive information such as login credentials or credit card numbers.

Smishing is a similar attack that is conducted via text message. The attacker will send a text message with a link or a phone number that, when clicked or called, will install malware on the victim’s device or steal sensitive information.

By staying informed and up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in each area, cybersecurity professionals can help keep organizations and individuals safe in the digital age. The field of cybersecurity requires constant learning, attention, and updating of skills, but with these focus areas in mind, cybersecurity professionals can stay vigilant and protect against emerging cyber threats.

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