News & Insights

Cybersecurity in 2023: Reflection, Resilience, and the Road Ahead

Rachael Simpson

Read Time Mins

October 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM), an initiative that began as a modest push by the US Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. From its inception to empower US citizens with the tools to protect themselves online, the flame of CSAM has since spread across borders, igniting global efforts and collaborations in the process. With this year’s theme being “Secure Our World,” there’s an urge to confront the evolving cyber threat landscape and address some hard truths…

“The past two decades have been nothing short of a technological roller-coaster ride. Innovations and evolutions have continually reshaped our daily lives, and in the process, inadvertently expanded the battleground between cyber attackers and defenders.”

Paul Jenkins, CISO – BlackDice

The Good, The Bad, and The Tech

Mobile and IoT Devices

In just over 20 years, we’ve transitioned from personal computers (‘PCs’) to smartphones and a universe of interconnected devices. These 18+ billion gadgets, from our fitness trackers to intelligent healthcare monitors, have transformed our lives – but have also expanded the threat landscape exponentially.

Digital Payments

A convenience that noone can’t do without, digital payments and cryptocurrencies have unfortunately become the lifeblood for ransomware attackers. With over $692 million extorted via cryptocurrency in 2020 alone, there’s a dark side to this digital coin.

Artificial Intelligence

A double-edged sword. On one side, AI aids defenders, making our systems smarter and more capable of predicting and preventing attacks, by understanding patterns. On the other hand, it provides cybercriminals with sophisticated tools to orchestrate their attacks.

Despite these leaps in technology, some things, frustratingly, remain unchanged:

On-premise Data

Even with the cloud’s ubiquitous reach, many organisations cling to their private databases, making on-premises data protection as relevant today as it was two decades ago.

Public Infrastructure Threat

Anxieties surrounding cyberattacks on our critical public infrastructure, like energy systems and dams, persist even today.

Security Infrastructure

While modern frameworks like zero-trust are emerging, traditional cybersecurity pillars—network, applications, endpoints, cloud, and logs—remain foundational.

Moving Forward into the Future

For SMEs, navigating this evolving landscape can be daunting. But hope is not all lost. Adopting best practices, like using password managers and understanding their benefits, is a great starting point. Collaborating with larger entities, learning from them, and sharing insights can lead to a more robust cyber defence.

Yet, as we reflect on the past and brace for the future, one thing is evident: Cybersecurity isn’t just about technology; it’s about people. It’s about ensuring that every individual, no matter where they are, is equipped with the knowledge and tools to defend themselves in the more connected world that we live, work and play in.

To learn more, here are some invaluable resources to guide both individuals and organisations on their cybersecurity journey:

We encourage you to check these resources out.

Now, as everything is defined by change, one thing remains constant: our collective responsibility to “Secure Our World.” Let’s rise to the occasion. 

#SecureOurWorld2023 #CSAM2023