Why are cyber-attacks increasing?

The introduction and surge of cloud computing provided numerous solutions for businesses and their personnel when it comes to the availability and protection of valuable data. 

Now whilst there are solutions, this also presents opportunities for organisations and their personnel to be vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks. We have seen the Met Police and their officers become a recent victim of a cyber-attack, leaving many officers and their details exposed. Worldwide organisation such as KFC and Pizza Hut have also reported cyber attacks in 2023. 

But why are cyber-attacks on the rise in 2023? 

Digital Transformation: As more aspects of our lives, businesses, and critical infrastructure become digitised and connected to the internet, there are more potential entry points for cyber-attacks. The expansion of the digital landscape provides attackers with a larger surface area to target.

Increased Connectivity: As highlighted earlier in our blog, the proliferation of internet-connected devices (IoT devices), cloud services, and interconnected networks creates more opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities across various platforms and devices.

Sophisticated Attack Techniques: Cyber attackers are becoming more sophisticated in their methods; and a key reason why organisations and general users should be more vigilant. Advanced hacking tools, techniques, and procedures are more readily available on the dark web, making it easier for both skilled hackers and less experienced individuals to launch attacks.

Monetary Gains: Cybercrime has become an increasingly profitable industry, with attackers motivated by financial gains through activities such as ransomware attacks, identity theft, and financial fraud. The increase in cryptocurrencies and anonymous payment methods has made it easier for attackers to receive ransom payments without being traced.

Lack of Security Awareness: Many individuals and organisations still lack a strong understanding of cybersecurity best practices. Weak passwords, failure to update software, and other security lapses create opportunities for attackers.

Supply Chain Vulnerabilities: As organisations rely on complex supply chains and third-party vendors, vulnerabilities in these networks can be exploited to compromise larger systems.

Anonymity and Impunity: The anonymity provided by the internet and the challenge of attributing attacks to specific individuals or groups contribute to a sense of impunity among attackers. This makes it difficult to deter such activities.

Data Breach Consequences: High-profile data breaches have shown that even large corporations with extensive resources can fall victim to cyber-attacks. The stolen data can have significant financial, legal, and reputational consequences. This also gives criminals a chance to hold an organisation for ransom. 

Emerging Threats: As technology evolves, new vulnerabilities and attack vectors emerge. For example, the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies introduces new opportunities for both attackers and defenders.

Global Accessibility: The internet has a global reach, allowing attackers to target victims anywhere in the world. This global accessibility broadens the potential target pool for cybercriminals.

Inadequate Regulations: In some cases, inadequate or outdated regulations fail to keep pace with technological advancements, leaving gaps that cyber attackers can exploit.

The consequences of a cyber-attack not only affect the organisation and the employees, but if customer data were to be breached, this puts all involved in a very tricky situation. 

To counteract the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks, it's essential for individuals, organisations, and governments to prioritise cybersecurity measures.  This includes implementing strong security practices, staying informed about the latest threats, and investing in cybersecurity technologies.