5G, cloud and metaverse to make cybersecurity harder in 2023

5G cybersecurity
Image by Bits And Splits | Bigstockphoto

Cybersecurity will become even more challenging in 2023 as 5G and the cloud continue to spread across APAC, companies continue to chase the metaverse, and company boards continue to not take security as seriously as they probably should.

That’s according to Palo Alto Networks, which has issued five cybersecurity predictions for 2023 that will affect businesses across Asia-Pacific.

5G, medical IoT, cloud, metaverse, data sovereignty

1. Accelerated 5G adoption will deepen vulnerabilities

5G connections in APAC are expected to reach 430 million in 2025, according to the GSMA. While cloud provides 5G with greater agility, scalability, and performance, it also exposes the 5G core to cloud security vulnerabilities. Large-scale attacks could come from anywhere, even from within the operator’s network.

2. Securing connected medical devices will be critical

Digitisation enables new healthcare capabilities, e.g. virtual healthcare and remote diagnosis. The prevalence of legacy systems and sensitive data attractive to cyber criminals makes healthcare a soft target. The closer a device is to a patient, the more likely it is to impact patient safety, and the more likely a threat actor will weaponise it.

3. Cloud supply chain attacks will disrupt businesses.

Companies adopting cloud-native architectures are also inherently consuming third-party code in their critical applications. Log4J recently demonstrated how many organisations can be immediately vulnerable due to a piece of dependent code tucked deep into the software packaging process. Attackers have also targeted the volunteers who maintain these open-source code constructs to infiltrate organisations through the package update processes.

4. The debate on data sovereignty will intensify

As the world becomes more reliant on data and digital information, we’ll see more regulations and legislation to control data and protect citizens and ensure continued availability of critical services. As a result, the conversations around data localisation and data sovereignty will likely intensify in 2023.

5. Metaverse will be the new playground for cybercriminals 

The metaverse may be in its infancy, but companies are expected to take advantage of mixed reality experiences to diversify their offerings. An estimated $54 billion will be spent on virtual goods every year – that alone will turn the metaverse into a new playground for cybercriminals.

Please take cybersecurity seriously

While cybersecurity has never not been a challenge, the Palo Alto report says that threats are continuing to escalate as new technologies emerge. In 2022, cybercriminals not only targeted critical infrastructure with ransomware attacks, but also found new ways to exploit the cryptocurrency boom, hybrid working, and, more recently, unsecured APIs.

Palo Alto’s latest ‘What’s Next in Cyber Survey,’ found that almost all respondents admitted their organization experienced cybersecurity incidents and data breaches in the past year, 11 on average.

What’s more surprising – and worrying, says Sean Duca, vice president and regional chief security officer, Asia Pacific and Japan and Palo Alto Networks, only 2 in 5 respondents said that their board’s recognition of cyber risk has increased significantly alongside accelerated digitalization strategies.

“The fluidity of today’s cyberattacks will require business leaders to reimagine their cybersecurity approach constantly,” Duca said. “Leaders must consider innovative solutions, technologies, and approaches that outperform traditional mechanisms. Organizations have much to consider in 2023, but remaining vigilant and aware will empower them to defend against the evolving threats.”

Duca added that organizations will need to adopt the broadest and deepest cyber expertise and threat intelligence into their defences – from prevention-first Al to adopting a Zero Trust strategy and architecture – to stay ahead of the curve. “But, more importantly, they must build resiliency to respond and recover from those that inevitably get through.”

Related article: 2022 was not great, could 2023 bring some stability?

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