The health and state of the global economy will have the greatest impact on the spread of cyber crime in 2023 according to cyber safety and security company Norton.
The company released its top cyber trends for 2023 in December 2022. The report expects that the pressures associated with economic uncertainty and rising costs will create the perfect environment for scammers to take advantage of people when they are more vulnerable.
The trends report says that it is expected that cyber criminals will trick victims into surrendering personal information, emptying their bank accounts, or spending money for products, services or ‘lottery winnings’ that never arrive.
Norton research and technical director Kevin Roundy said, "We anticipate scammers will continue to prey on the vulnerability of people as economic pressures rise in 2023. Cyber criminals love to exploit seasonal opportunities, and consumers are facing a perfect storm of rising prices in the middle of the busiest shopping season of the year when scammers are particularly active.
Mr. Roundy said scams are always harder to detect during the holiday season because consumers expect deep discounts and may believe prices that would normally seem too good to be true.
Predictions for 2023
Scammers will prey on vulnerable consumers: Financial-based scams such as assistance scams faking government assistance programmes to steal personal identifiable information; shopping deal scams setting up fake e-shops promoting low-cost products to steal personal information or cash out without delivering the order; and romance scams asking emotionally vulnerable consumers for money or gift cards are expected to rise in 2023.
Short-staffed companies will be more open to vulnerabilities: Operating with smaller staff, short-staffed companies will experience a jump in data breaches and ransomware attacks.
Advances in AI will make scamming easier: Scammers are likely to continue to wield AI in their crimes as this technology becomes even more accessible and easier to use. Scammers can also imitate real people in real time with deepfakes to trick people into giving over their financial and personal information.
Anticipate more breaches: Cyber criminals are finding ways to breach standard multi-factor authentication technologies. Companies that continue to use weak two-factor authentication (2FA) practices will leave themselves and their customers open to serious data breaches, which can lead to mass leaks of consumer information.
The report expects to see more data breaches, making it even more critical to continue to use unique, complex passwords across accounts.
The evolving threats
Be skeptical: Cyber criminals often pose as popular companies, organizations or people in our network. Never directly click on buttons or links without digger deeper and verifying who is actually sending them to you.
Manage your passwords: Make sure your password is unique and avoid using the same one across different accounts. Add another layer of security by using a password manager to safely store and help create secure and complex passwords.
Use ‘unphishable’ factors for MFA: Unphishable factors, such as biometrics, device-level security checks, hardware security keys, and cryptographic security keys are nearly impossible for cyber criminals to intercept, making MFA and 2FA practices more secure.