Takeaways from WEF’s Cybersecurity Outlook Report 2023

Cybersecurity refers to the practice of protecting computer systems, networks, and electronic devices from unauthorized access, theft, damage, or disruption. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important as more and more sensitive information is being stored and transmitted online. Total Fibre recognises that a growing technology comes with an increase in potential threats. Our trusted and highly experienced engineers can help keep your networks secure when installing new fibre optic cabling to your business.

There are several types of cyber threats, including:

  1. Malware: Malware is a type of software that is designed to harm a computer system or steal sensitive information.
  2. Phishing: Phishing is a technique used by cybercriminals to trick individuals into providing sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.
  3. Denial of Service (DoS) attacks: DoS attacks involve overwhelming a system with traffic, causing it to crash or become unavailable.
  4. Man-in-the-middle attacks: This is where an attacker intercepts communications between two parties to steal information.

There is also an ever-evolving type of “hack” called Social Engineering.

Social engineering is the practice of manipulating people into divulging confidential information or performing actions that are not in their best interest. This type of attack relies on psychological manipulation rather than technical exploits.

Social engineers use a variety of techniques to trick their targets, including:

  1. Phishing: Phishing attacks involve sending emails or messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or social media platform, in order to obtain sensitive information such as login credentials or credit card numbers.

  2. Pretexting: Pretexting involves creating a false pretense in order to gain someone’s trust and obtain sensitive information. For example, a social engineer might pose as an IT support technician and ask a user for their password in order to fix a supposed technical issue.

  3. Baiting: Baiting attacks involve offering something of value, such as a free gift or download, in exchange for sensitive information.

  4. Scareware: Scareware attacks involve using fear tactics to trick users into downloading malware or purchasing unnecessary software.

  5. Impersonation: Impersonation attacks involve pretending to be someone else, such as a boss or colleague, in order to obtain sensitive information or perform unauthorized actions.

Social engineering attacks can be difficult to detect because they often rely on exploiting human emotions and tendencies, such as trust and curiosity. To protect against social engineering attacks, it is important to be vigilant about suspicious emails or messages, and to verify the identity of anyone who requests sensitive information. Additionally, organizations can implement security policies and employee training programs to help prevent social engineering attacks.

To protect against these threats, individuals and organizations can take a variety of cybersecurity measures, including:

  1. Keeping software up-to-date: Software updates often contain security patches that fix vulnerabilities in the system.
  2. Using strong passwords: Passwords should be long and complex, and different passwords should be used for each account.
  3. Enabling two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide two forms of identification before accessing an account.
  4. Backing up data: Regularly backing up important data ensures that it can be recovered in the event of a cyber attack.
  5. Using antivirus software: Antivirus software can detect and remove malware from a computer system.
  6. Educating employees: Educating employees on best practices for cybersecurity can help prevent attacks from occurring in the first place.

Overall, cybersecurity is an important issue that affects everyone who uses computers, smartphones, or other electronic devices. It is important to stay informed about the latest threats and to take proactive steps to protect against them.

Estimated amount of data created on the internet in one minute

Graph showing Estimated amount of data created on the internet in one minute

Source: Loris Lewis via Allacces

Fibre optic cabling increases the speed of the internet, allowing for all this data to be transmitted so quickly in several ways:

  1. Greater bandwidth: Fiber optic cables have a much greater bandwidth than traditional copper cables, meaning they can transmit more data at higher speeds.

  2. Faster signal transmission: Light travels much faster than electricity, which is used in traditional copper cables. As a result, data can be transmitted much more quickly over fibre optic cables.

  3. Reduced signal degradation: Fiber optic cables are less susceptible to signal degradation caused by electromagnetic interference, crosstalk, or attenuation, which can slow down data transmission.

  4. Longer distances: Fiber optic cables can transmit data over longer distances than copper cables without losing signal strength, making them ideal for transmitting data across long distances, such as between cities or countries.

All of these factors combine to make fibre optic cabling significantly faster than traditional copper cabling, allowing for faster internet speeds and more efficient data transmission. As a result, fibre optic cabling is increasingly being used by internet service providers to provide faster internet speeds to consumers and businesses.

Key Findings from the Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023 by the World Economic Forum

Emerging Technology

Respondents to a global Cyber and Business Leader survey carried out by the WEF said that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (20%), greater adoption of cloud technology (19%) and advances in user identity and access management (15%) will have the greatest influence on their cyber risk strategies over the next two years.

However, respondents did not rank other categories of emerging technology significantly lower than the top three. This suggests that the implementation of new technologies will be undertaken in combination, significantly increasing the complexity of an organization’s digital environment and highlighting the need to embed cyber-risk management through all stages of a digital transformation process.

The Cybersecurity Skills Gap

In this year’s Cybersecurity Outlook study, 64% of cyber leaders and 59% of business leaders regarded talent retention as the most important factor as a major difficulty in managing cyber resiliency.

Moreover, less than half of respondents claimed to have the personnel and expertise required to respond to cyberattacks as of right now, especially it seems within the telecommunications industry. 

Talent recruitment and retention continue to be a key challenge for managing cyber resilience. The shortfall between supply and demand for cybersecurity
experts was estimated at 2.27 million in 2021.

Conclusion

According to the 2023 Global Cybersecurity Outlook research, there is still a significant gap between how business leaders and cyber leaders view cyber security or the importance of it.

A key finding of the 2022 version of this study is that this gap is steadily closing.

A record-breaking year for cybercrime has been brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the speeding up of digitalization. Post-pandemic, the global internet economy has grown significantly, but so has cybercrime.

Further Reading

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