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Cyber Security Trends 2023

Given the global tensions, the nine trend statements of the TÜV TRUST IT GmbH group of companies TÜV AUSTRIA for 2023 are increasingly under the sign of qualitatively and quantitatively increasing cybercrime and targeted measures to counteract this development. In addition to the familiar topics of BCM, ISMS and the threat of ransomware, the focus is on systems for attack detection, including OT facilities. On the part of cybercriminals, the cybercrime as a service business model will also experience an upswing.

Systems for attack detection

Attack detection systems, such as those operated in a Security Operations Centre (SOC), monitor IT and OT infrastructures and report possible attack attempts at an early stage. This reduces the risk of data loss, production downtime and other damage caused by cyber attacks immensely. From May 2023, CRITIS companies will be obliged to use them. Especially in the OT sector, the demand will increase enormously, so that systems for attack detection will experience a significant boost.

Production systems at the centre of cybercrime

Due to the increasing networking of industrial plants, production systems will attract more attention from cyber criminals in the future, so that the topic of OT security will become more important for plant operators. As a result, an increased demand for OT monitoring and advice on concepts for securing OT systems is expected. Furthermore, this will acquire greater significance in relation to the IEC 62443 standard.

Legally compliant implementation of cloud services

Due to the high flexibility and potential cost savings, the use of cloud services is steadily increasing. In addition, there are global supply chain problems that also affect cyber security products. Supply problems in this area support the trend towards central cloud solutions in companies. Even if cloud services are provided by third-party providers, companies are obliged to ensure legally compliant implementation. This will bring the topic of data protection and compliance further into focus. There is already a strong increase in project enquiries.

Business Continuity Management systems (BCMS)

The establishment and implementation of a Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) will play an increasingly important role, not only but especially for CRITIS operators. Many companies have paid little attention to this in recent years, but it is an important component of the company’s cyber security concept alongside the ISMS.

Defence strategies against ransomware

Ransomware is currently one of the biggest threats to IT infrastructures and both the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) forecast a further increase in risk. Companies will therefore increasingly take precautionary measures by having the resilience of their systems checked and, if necessary, implementing extended measures to protect against ransomware.

Political tensions influence cyber security

Considering the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine and the related global political and economic tension, cyber security in Europe is likely to be even more affected in 2023. We expect more targeted attacks on large infrastructures and state institutions worldwide, which could turn cyberspace into a theatre of war. Cyber security will therefore have an even greater political relevance in the future than it has had in the past.

Cyber security systems in use against fake news

Awareness and the ability to reflect will remain the key pillars in the fight against fake news. However, images, videos and audio files can now be modified, meaning “faked”, in such a professional way with the help of artificial intelligence that this is hardly recognisable to the naked eye. In the future, AI technology will be used to achieve the opposite, namely to counteract fake news. AI systems make use of machine learning, which enables them, for example, to analyse regularities in image structures and detect changes.

Cybercrime as a Service will spread

As in recent years, cybercrime as a whole will continue to increase, which will be due, among other things, to the global political conflicts in the coming year, from which the economy is also suffering enormously. Cybercrime is by far no longer a newly discovered source of income, but as such it will spread even further and also develop qualitatively. Thus, we see the concept of cybercrime as a service as a growing threat. This business model relies on clients who pay the cybercriminals for access to servers or sensitive company data, for example.

Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) in the financial sector

It is enormously important for financial companies to maintain operational stability even in the event of a disruption. This is to be ensured in the future by the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA), which is expected later this year. The new regulations contained therein affect almost all financial companies and their service providers and they aim to mitigate cyber threats in the financial market of all EU member states. Affected companies will therefore increasingly focus on projects that ensure compliance with the new requirements during the implementation period starting in 2023.

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