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2023 Cybersecurity Trends: The Rise of ‘Quasi-APTs” and State-Sponsored Threat Actors

Recently, Cybersixgill shared the 2023 trends that will significantly impact cybersecurity and reshape the threat landscape. Over the next five weeks, we will delve into each trend and what government organizations and businesses can do to go beyond responding and proactively preventing attacks with tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Cybersixgill is a deep and dark web threat intelligence platform that analyzes dark web activity undetectably and autonomously.

Cyber combat is increasingly complex, from the use of advanced technologies and new attack surfaces that need protection to the motivations and alliance of threat actors. Adding further complexity is the rise in state-sponsored and independent groups, which have motivated attacks ideologically and financially.

In 2023, Cybersixgill predicts cyber warfare will become increasingly challenging as it stretches across global geographies, and these new types of attacks present significant risks to governments, business organizations, and individuals.

2023 Trend #1: The rise of new kinds of ‘Quasi-APTs’ and state-sponsored and financially motivated threat actors.

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  • The rise of  “Quasi-APT” becomes a more entrenched cyber threat with capabilities equal to those of nation-state-sponsored threat actors. CISOs must maintain constant vigilance, ensuring their organization can track, monitor, and remediate threats from multiple focal points. It’s not only the well-known advanced persistent threats (APTs) anymore, but your average Dark Web actor or the local anonymous chapter.
  • In 2023, the Quasi-APT’s emergence will escalate due to the democratization of cyberweapons and the democratization of access enabled by powerful technology now accessible to cybercrime underground. For as little as $10 a piece, threat actors can purchase access and gain a steady foothold in their targets' systems, attaining a beachhead into highly secured organizations without having to bother with the complex, drawn-out process of gaining initial access on their own. By outsourcing access, attackers of all levels of sophistication can leapfrog several steps, jumping yet another step closer to the level of an APT – hence the birth of the quasi-APT.

The cybersecurity industry will see an uptick in unexpected partnerships between nation-state actors and threat actors who are financially motivated and geographically diverse. Critical infrastructures are of key concern, as they will be targeted for ideological and financial reasons. These multi-geography partnerships could be harder to tackle from a law enforcement and cybersecurity perspective, given their multi-national character.

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What do organizations need to do in response and preparation for this? Automated threat intelligence and robust vulnerability management programs are now more critical than ever for enterprises, as they must cope with thousands of compromised endpoints.

Want to learn how Cybersixgill can help you assess, measure, prioritize, and address emerging threats? Contact us to discuss your threat intelligence needs and goals. To schedule a demo, please visit here.