Top 5 Risks to Small Companies from Cybersecurity in 2023

2022 has seen a resurgence of attention on cybersecurity, and it has proven to be a disastrous year for cybersecurity attacks. There were 2.8 billion malware attacks and 236.1 million ransomware strikes worldwide alone in the first half of 2022. The prevalence of attacks is not attributable to enterprises’ lax cybersecurity policies, but rather to new, highly effective strategies employed by hackers to get past security barriers. Now that 2023 has arrived, it is once more anticipated that this will be a challenging year for cybersecurity. In light of this, this article lists the top cybersecurity risks that small businesses should be aware of in 2023.

1. Crime As-A-Service

The market for cyberattacks has exploded in recent years. When will you become a victim of a cyberattack instead of “will you become a victim of a cyberattack” is the new phrasing. Threat actors are now even providing criminal activity as a service as a result of the expanding possibilities of the cyber market. For instance, a few Meta employees were let off in 2022 when it was discovered that they had been accessing Facebook profiles without authorization and charged hundreds of dollars in Bitcoin.

2. MFA Fatigue

The majority of services now provide multi-factor authentication (MFA) as an extra layer of security against password attacks. Cybercriminals have started using MFA, though. If a company uses push notifications for MFA, employees can get a pop-up or alert asking them to confirm the sign-in request. At this point, attackers start to move in.

Attackers send a steady stream of sign-in requests to employees after first stealing their login information. Due to their routine behavior, employees may unintentionally click “Approve” or may click “Approve” to prevent the prompt message from showing repeatedly. Once the request is granted, the attackers have access to the account and are free to act however they like.

3. Cloud Security Threats

Businesses have been actively moving their infrastructure to the cloud since since the outbreak. Almost 70% of enterprises, according to estimates, host more than 50% of their workloads in the cloud. Yet, the growing uptake of the cloud has also led to numerous vulnerabilities that fraudsters are actively using.

In the past 12 months, almost 27% of enterprises reported experiencing security issues in their public cloud environments, according to Check Point’s 2022 Cloud Security study. Small firms frequently use the cloud for hosting, thus the threat level is equally high for them. Small organizations’ cloud infrastructure frequently has vulnerabilities due to configuration errors, compromised user accounts, and API flaws. As a result, in 2023, cloud security threats are probably going to rule.

4. Google Appointment Spoofing

Google appointment spoofing is another new cybersecurity risk. One of the widely used productivity tools in the Google suite, Google Calendar, allows events to be created from an email with event details when used with the default settings. In a similar vein, if someone has included you in the event even though they haven’t sent you the email invitation, it also adds the event. Cybercriminals currently use this default configuration trap.

Attackers pose as one of the employees’ coworkers and insert an event into their calendars without their knowledge. The incident may involve upcoming travel arrangements or an urgent CEO meeting. Please click the link below to see the agenda before joining the meeting, according to the meeting description. A false Google authentication page is frequently included in the link, which most employees unintentionally fill out with their login information. This eventually provides the credentials attackers need to break into systems and have an impact.

5. Microsoft Teams Spoofing

With almost 280 million active users each month, Microsoft Teams is widely utilized today. Teams’ expanding user base has also given attackers permission to utilize the website for their illicit activities. Nowadays, one common strategy they do is to pose as the CEO or a coworker to set up a meeting before persuading attendees to click a link or download a file.

For instance, lately, a perpetrator pretended to be the CEO and invited several staff members to a Teams meeting over WhatsApp. Employees that joined the meeting saw a video feed of the CEO that had apparently been taken from a TV interview. The attacker refused to activate the audio and suggested that there might be a problem with the connection. Then the assailant posted a SharePoint link in the discussion. Although workers actually did visit the link, they were fortunately prevented from doing so. By impersonating someone, attackers can persuade workers to click on harmful links.

In addition to the aforementioned method, hackers are also pretending to be Teams in order to get employees’ Microsoft 365 login information. Normally, they send an email tuned as an automatic message that is delivered from Teams, such as “There’s fresh action in Teams”. Employees frequently fall victim to the trap and click the offered link because the communication appears to be real. When the link is clicked, it directs the victims to a malicious webpage that requests their email and password. Employees unknowingly provide over their login information in this way, allowing hackers access to the network.

In Conclusion

Businesses all over the world are extremely concerned about cybersecurity threats. Even the tech behemoths with the greatest cybersecurity teams and safeguards in place are falling prey. So, 2023 does not appear to be any better than 2022. Cybercriminals will continue to strike with a high attack potential while maximizing the use of new technology. The best course of action for small businesses in 2023 is to keep a close eye on cybersecurity trends and work to put in place a strong cybersecurity defensive system to reduce the likelihood of becoming victims.