Blog January 4, 2023

Obrela Predictions: 2023 the year of Cyber Security

Bob Wilkinson, Member of the Board, Obrela


In the dawn of the New Year, some remarkable points in cyber security are coming to light. 2022 was a demanding year for the sector with more cyberattacks being recorded per minute than in any previous period. During 2022, approximately 22 billion data records were exposed worldwide through data breaches. The average cost of a data breach rose to $4.5MM USD. This figure was an increase of 37% compared to the previous quarter.

According to the Accenture cost of Cybercrime study, 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves.

Furthermore, 64% of companies worldwide have experienced at least one form of cyber-attack. Every 39 seconds, there is a new attack somewhere on the web. The rate of cybercrime increased by 600% during the COVID-19 pandemic, making the aforementioned increase of 37% quarter on quarter particularly striking.

Given the escalating threats on the internet, what should businesses expect from the threat landscape in 2023? What impact will these changes have on business strategy? How can businesses adapt their overall security strategy and posture in order to effectively address these concerns? What can be done to reduce their exposure to global bad actors operating in cyberspace? Obrela’s experts outline their prognoses for the coming year and how past cyber incidents and trends might influence and/or predict what’s to come.

What did we learn from 2022?

The financial and healthcare sectors suffered the most from cyberattacks. Threat-actors have their sights set on disrupting OT environments to wreak havoc and compromise their targets and sensitive information. The nature of converged IT and OT networks means organizations have had to come to terms with an increase in attacks that move between the two and bring operations to a halt. Digital transformation initiatives which many organizations are undertaking increase these risks.

Additionally, threat actors tend to target SMBs with highly automated attacks, as these organizations tend to deploy less cybersecurity and are, therefore, more vulnerable.

2022 has shown some great advancements in cybersecurity, with C-suite executives and board members taking more control and interest in security issues. It has also uncovered the vulnerabilities that still exist, while there are still vulnerabilities yet to be discovered, which will cause additional problems going forward.

The practical realities of Covid, remote work, economic and political upheaval, and the ways in which each affect the realities of running organizations, and myriad other concerns make predicting what comes next challenging at best. Cybersecurity is becoming more complex and inter-connected with organizational operational processes. The cost of cyber-attacks for a business goes beyond access and theft of individual customer information and negative impact for operations; it extends to damaging the brand. Attackers are becoming more sophisticated, accessing company systems, passwords and identities, while increasingly nation-state attacks are raising the stakes.

Organizations must adapt and prioritize cybersecurity as a key facet of their economic and business strategy – not as a minimum bar to pass, but one that produces value by distinguishing them within their respective field; doing so will provide a competitive advantage. Governments should also deploy a mechanism to monitor and give accreditation to those providers that can actually deliver security over the enterprise digital universe on time and with accuracy.

What should organizations expect in 2023?

By 2025, cybercrime is estimated to cost the world economy as much as $10.5 trillion. This means next year we can expect more data breaches and targeted cyber-attacks on SMBs in all sectors.

As a result of increased hybrid and cloud environments driven by digital transformation, additional security risks will need to be addressed. This streamlining will lead to a reduction of the number of tools organizations implement. This, along with the need to coordinate all available data into actionable information, known as Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR), will be essential to maintaining operational resilience. Improving efficiency while at the same time simplifying cyber security operations has become a business imperative.

We also predict that more organizations will be turning toward employing outsourced Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs) / Security Operations Centres (SOCs) to manage the threats they face. This is due to a lack of in-house expertise and resources to manage cyber risks. There is a critical need when incidents occur to coordinate data, resources, and incident management processes to respond and recover quickly to mitigate the damage done in cyberattacks. A MSSP gives organisations this capability.

Along with the increase in outsourcing key aspects of security operations, there is a need to ensure the tight integration of security tools and platforms into business operational process workflows. Organizations that take the time to do this will realize the full benefits of the security solutions which they adopt, building necessary operational resilience into their businesses.

Organization supply chains will become increasingly important to the business they support, as more business processes get outsourced. The need to monitor the cyber security health of these supply chains becomes as important as effectively monitoring organization cyber security. Those who fail to do so may experience significant negative business impacts and customer disruptions.

Increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks from organized criminal groups and nation-states can be expected as we see the rise of more state-sponsored security incidents. An organization’s ability to understand the cyber threat environment and either prevent or quickly detect and respond to cyber-attacks is key to minimizing negative impact and maintaining business operations.

With this increased awareness, boards will become more and more involved in their company’s cybersecurity issues. This means creating dedicated cybersecurity committees that will increase visibility of existing risks and, in the long run, reduce costs resulting from cyber incidents. There is a need to explain to Boards the financial impact of cyber security incidents, to quantify this risk, and allow sufficient funding to mitigate it, in terms which Boards can clearly understand.

Despite the fact that safeguarding an organization against such threats entirely is practically impossible, with the right preparations, business and security leaders can make sure they are ready for the inevitable. We are not doomed yet! Cyber security protection is a great responsibility, and organizations need to find the right partner(s) who will ensure their brand, people and infrastructure are always protected and, when attacked, the risk will be mitigated in a timely manner. Security functions can prevent and mitigate attacks before they escalate in severity and reduce damage, both to assets and employees as well as their reputations.

In conclusion, organizations from all industries but especially manufacturing, finance, and healthcare need to prioritize investment in certified cyber security mechanisms to protect their business and clients as well as be pro-active to prepare for future cyberthreats. Service providers / MSSPs can supply the right combination of people, process and technology, in an economically efficient manner, to effectively address the root causes of vulnerable infrastructures and operational weaknesses, resulting from lack of discipline, knowledge and resources. A new era for the cyber security landscape is emerging as organizations are increasingly reluctant to buy more “new” technology for the “endless’ emerging threats and look for alternatives which integrate into their operational process workflow environments.

Security leaders need to be ready to defend their companies and prevent and mitigate large-scale attacks from causing lasting harm. Therefore, while we should expect more attacks, it is possible that these will inflict less damage if we implement effective mitigation strategies and shifts within the wider business cybersecurity ecosystem.

OBRELA delivers cybersecurity using a disruptive business model and thinking: Cyber Security As a Service (CSaaS), and addresses an emerging demand for Service Providers that can offer an “Umbrella” of end-to-end security services under which organizations can rest assured that their cybersecurity needs are met, allowing them to focus on their business. Using sophisticated risk management technology, automation and security data analytics, we dynamically protect our clients by identifying, analyzing, predicting and preventing security threats in real-time while rapidly detecting and responding to those cyber-attacks that occur.