Norton released its top cyber trends to watch in 2023, emphasizing that the economy will have the greatest impact on the spread of cybercrime next year. Experts predict the pressures associated with economic uncertainty and rising costs will create the perfect environment for scammers to take advantage of people when they are more vulnerable.
It’s expected that cybercriminals will trick victims into surrendering personal information, emptying their bank accounts, or spending money for products, services or “lottery winnings” that never arrive.
“We anticipate scammers will continue to prey on the vulnerability of people as economic pressures rise in 2023,” said Kevin Roundy, Researcher and Technical Director at Norton.
“Cybercriminals love to exploit seasonal opportunities, and consumers are facing a perfect storm of rising prices in the middle of the busiest shopping season of the year when scammers are particularly active. Scams are always harder to detect during the holiday season because consumers expect deep discounts and may believe prices that would normally seem too good to be true. This year, inflation and other unfavorable macroeconomic factors are likely to make people particularly eager to find good deals and they may therefore be at greater risk than in previous years. Taking a few proactive steps today could help you to be safer all year long.”
Norton Labs top predictions for 2023
- Scammers will prey on vulnerable consumers: Expect a rise in financial-based scams such as assistance scams faking government assistance programs to steal Personal Identifiable Information (PII); shopping deal scams setting up fake e-shops promoting low-cost products to steal personal information or cash out without delivering the order; and romance scams asking emotionally vulnerable consumers for money or gift cards.
- Short-staffed companies will be more open to vulnerabilities: Operating with smaller staff, short-staffed companies will experience a jump in data breaches and ransomware attacks.
- Advances in AI will make scamming easier: Expect scammers to continue to wield AI in their crimes as this technology becomes even more accessible and easier to use. As language and video AI models advance, scammers can imitate real people in real time with deepfakes to trick people into giving over their financial and personal information.
- Anticipate more breaches: Cybercriminals are finding ways to breach standard multi-factor authentication technologies. Companies that continue to use weak two-factor authentication (2FA) practices will leave themselves and their customers open to serious data breaches, which can lead to mass leaks of consumer information. We can expect to see more data breaches, making it even more critical to continue to use unique, complex passwords across your accounts.
With the number of cybercrimes potentially soaring in 2023, Norton is arming consumers with best practices and knowledge to protect themselves digitally. To help protect against these evolving threats:
- Be skeptical: Cybercriminals often pose as popular companies, organizations or people in your network. Never directly click on buttons or links without digger deeper and verifying who is actually sending them to you.
- Manage your passwords: Make sure your password is unique and avoid using the same one across different accounts. Add another layer of security by using a password manager such as Norton Password Manager to safely store and help create secure and complex passwords.
- Use “unphishable” factors for MFA: Unphishable factors, such as biometrics, device-level security checks, hardware security keys, and cryptographic security keys are nearly impossible for cybercriminals to intercept, making MFA and 2FA practices more secure.
- Get privacy, security and identity protection: Consider getting all-in-one protection for your devices to help keep your internet browsing private.