Dennis Underwood
Published on
December 21, 2022

Top Network Attacks and Security Issues to Look For In 2023

Want to stay on top of your organization's cybersecurity? Look out for these top network attacks and security issues in 2023.

As the world continues to become increasingly dependent on the internet, cyber security threats become more and more prevalent. Network attacks and security issues pose a serious threat to businesses, organizations, and individuals.

In recent years, cyber security has moved out of the IT department and into the executive suite. As assaults have multiplied and possible regulatory and loss of consumer confidence consequences have escalated, it has emerged as a concern at every level of the organization.

In 2023, there will be a number of different network attacks and security issues that need to be addressed. This includes phishing attacks, ransomware, distributed denial of service attacks, malicious software, data breaches and especially identity theft. 

It is important to be aware of these threats and the steps that can be taken to protect against them. Here are the various network attacks and security issues to look for in 2023 and the measures that can be taken to protect against them.

Different Types of Network Attacks

A network attack is an effort to obtain unauthorized access to a company's network in order to steal data or conduct other destructive actions. There are two main categories of network attacks, passive and active. During a passive network attack, the attackers will breach a network and gain access to sensitive data, but will not alter any data. During an active attack, attackers will alter the data, most commonly by deleting or encrypting it.

Other types of network attacks are endpoint attacks, vulnerability exploit attacks, and advanced persistent threats.

Endpoint attacks seek to access user devices and servers, usually through a malware attack. A vulnerability exploit uses software vulnerabilities to breach the system's security. Advanced persistent threats are complicated threats that are often multi-layered. These involve network attacks, but there are also other types of attacks that are usually involved.

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Top Issues to Look For In 2023

As we move into 2023, we must be more vigilant than ever about our data security. Here are a few of the top issues that you should be aware of:

1. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Attacks

Multi-factor authentication attacks are malicious attempts to gain access to a user's account or system by bypassing any two-factor or multi-factor authentication measures in place. This attack is particularly difficult to defend against as the attacker has multiple methods of gaining access, and the attacker has stolen the identity of the victim.

Common methods of attack include social engineering, phishing, brute force, and other methods of exploiting authentication systems. To protect against multi-factor authentication attacks, users should ensure that all authentication measures are properly implemented and that all users know the security measures in place.

2. Shadow APIs

Shadow APIs are a dangerous threat to businesses and organizations. Shadow APIs are those APIs that are used without authorization, either unintentionally or maliciously. These APIs can be used to access sensitive data like customer information and financial transactions, potentially leading to data leaks and other security threats. 

Shadow APIs can also be used to perform unauthorized operations such as creating, deleting, and modifying data, leading to data integrity issues. Additionally, malicious actors can use 

3. Code and SQL Injection Attacks

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Numerous websites take input from the user without validating and sanitizing them. Then, attackers may submit a form or access an API, providing malicious code in place of the intended data values. The server executes the code, allowing attackers to hack it. 

4. Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks are a type of cyberattack that involves attackers using malicious software to encrypt data on a target computer or network. The attackers then demand a ransom payment in order to decrypt the data. Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common in recent years, with attackers targeting both businesses and individuals.

Organizations are particularly susceptible to ransomware attacks as they often lack the resources to defend themselves properly. Once an attack has begun, it can be difficult to contain, as the attackers often gain control of network resources and can quickly spread their malicious software throughout a network.

Individuals are also at risk from ransomware attacks, as personal computers and devices can be targeted. In some cases, attackers may attempt to extort money from individuals by demanding a ransom payment in order to decrypt the data or restore access to the device.

Related: Downtime After Ransomeware: The Silent Killer

5. Man in the Middle Attacks

A man-in-the-middle attack includes attackers intercepting data between your network and outside sites or inside your network. If communication protocols are not protected or attackers discover a means to overcome such security, they may steal data that is being communicated, gain usernames and passwords and compromise their sessions.

6. Cloud Security

The Internet of Things (IoT) has made cloud security more vulnerable due to inadequate security measures for these connected devices. IoT devices often lack the necessary security measures to prevent unauthorized access, such as authentication and encryption, and are often easy to hack or otherwise compromise due to poor default passwords and weak authentication protocols. 

Furthermore, these devices often lack the ability to update their security measures, meaning that any newly discovered vulnerabilities cannot be patched. This makes it easier for attackers to exploit these devices and gain access to the underlying cloud infrastructure, granting them the ability to steal data, disrupt services, and launch other malicious activities.

7. Insider Threats

Insider threats are a major security concern in cyber security. An insider threat is an individual with access to an organization’s network, systems, or data who maliciously uses their access privileges to damage the organization. Insider threats can come from current or former employees, contractors, or anyone with access to an organization’s systems or data.

The most common type of insider threat are malicious insiders, or those who intend to do harm. Malicious insiders might steal confidential data, sabotage systems, or even attempt to bring down the entire network. Other types of insider threats include negligent or careless employees who unintentionally expose the organization’s systems or data to cyber threats.

8. Spyware and Malware

Spyware and malware are malicious software programs that are designed to gain access to a user’s device and gather information without their knowledge or permission. Malware can be used to gain access to a user’s social media accounts, send out spam emails, delete files, and even steal your identity.

Malware and spyware have become more dangerous with the rise of remote work due to the increased attack surface and ease of access. With more people working from home, more vulnerable systems and devices are connected to the internet. This makes it easier for malicious actors to exploit these systems and gain access to sensitive data or gain control of them. Additionally, employees who are not as security-savvy may be unaware of the risks when using unsecured networks or devices, making them more vulnerable to attacks. Finally, the rise of cloud computing and collaboration tools has also provided new attack vectors for malicious actors to exploit.

9. DDoS Attacks

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is an attack that attempts to make an online service or website unavailable by flooding it with requests from multiple computers. The goal of a DDoS attack is to overwhelm a server or network with malicious traffic, making it unable to respond to legitimate requests, and thus denying service to legitimate users.

DDoS attacks are often launched by botnets, which are networks of computers infected with malicious code. Botnets can be used to launch multiple simultaneous attacks on a target, making them difficult to defend against. The malicious traffic generated by a DDoS attack can range from a few hundred requests per second to hundreds of thousands of requests per second.

DDoS attacks are becoming increasingly common, as attackers can easily rent access to a botnet for a relatively low cost. As a result, organizations of all sizes must be aware of the threat and take steps to protect themselves. It is important to have a good understanding of the types of attacks you may be up against, and to have a plan in place to respond to them. Organizations should also have measures in place to detect DDoS attacks and respond quickly to mitigate the damage.

One recent example of a high-profile DDoS attack was during Blizzard’s highly anticipated launch of the game Overwatch 2. A DDoS attack that lasted beyond the launch day made the game virtually inaccessible for most players two hours after the game was released. 

Learn: Why Aren’t Security Tools Stopping Ransomware

The Evolution of Network-Based Attacks

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Since the increased number of people working from home due to the pandemic, network-based attacks have changed significantly. Attackers are taking advantage of the lack of security measures that many people have in place when working remotely, such as unsecured Wi-Fi networks, weak passwords, and unpatched devices. 

As a result, attackers are able to more easily steal data and identities with phishing attacks, malware, and ransomware, as well as other malicious activities. Once they get the identity-based information from the user, they are able to use the API’s legitimate functionality to steal data or commit data extortion.

Attackers have also been able to exploit the increased usage of cloud-based services and applications, as well as the increased use of remote access tools. As a result, the trend has moved away from targeting networks to targeting applications.

What Happens After Identity Information is Stolen

Once an attacker has your identity information, they will use the API’s functionality to gain unauthorized access to the system. Much like an ATM giving money to a thief with a stolen credit card and pin, the API follows its parameters. 

Since this method gives a high level of access and can be done relatively easily and quickly, this has quickly become a significant problem for the public at large.

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How to Protect Against These Security Issues

Cybercrucible’s Credential Theft Prevention (CTP) is a security tool that helps organizations achieve secure and compliant API functionality. It combines automated testing and manual review to identify potential risks, allowing organizations to identify and address security issues quickly. 

Cybercucible can help with API security by detecting threats, such as authentication and authorization vulnerabilities, injection vulnerabilities, and broken authentication. It can also detect security misconfigurations and other weaknesses in API implementations.

The Data Loss Prevention feature from Cyber Crucible will detect the behavior of data thieves as soon as the first file is about to be stolen, even if they are hiding in business-critical applications. 

Make sure you’re protected from these top network attacks and security issues in 2023 by Cybercrucible’s best-in-class protection.

About the author
Dennis Underwood

Dennis Underwood is a veteran, cybersecurity leader, inventor, and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience. He is an expert at cryptography, intrusion discovery and analysis, having discovered multiple previously unreported intrusions to clients throughout his career. Currently, he is leading a team of like-minded experts delivering next generation intrusion discovery and ransomware response automation tools to consumers.

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