1. Manipulative Engineering

Deceptive engineering persists as one of the prime perilous hacking strategies employed by cyber culprits, primarily because it capitalizes on human fallibility instead of technical susceptibilities. This renders these assaults even more hazardous—it's far simpler to deceive a human than to breach a security mechanism. It's evident that malevolent actors grasp this concept: as per Verizon's Data Breach Investigations report, 85% of all data breaches involve human interaction.

In 2023, manipulative engineering maneuvers were a pivotal means of acquiring employee data and credentials. Over 75% of targeted cyber incursions commence with an email. Deceptive email communications stand as one of the leading causes of data breaches, trailed by the employment of pilfered credentials and ransomware. Phishing and email impersonation persist in evolving to integrate fresh trends, technologies, and strategies. For instance, assaults associated with cryptocurrencies surged nearly 200% between October 2020 and April 2021 and are poised to remain a notable menace as Bitcoin and alternative blockchain-based currencies continue to gain traction and value.

2. Outsider Exposure

Cyber culprits can circumvent security systems by infiltrating less fortified networks affiliated with third parties possessing privileged access to the hacker's main target.

In 2023, third-party infiltrations evolved into an even more pressing threat as corporations increasingly outsourced tasks previously undertaken by full-time staff. Network accessibility will persist as a focal point for criminal factions: Malevolent actors infiltrated the U.S.'s Colonial Pipeline in April 2021 by obtaining compromised credentials and accessing a VPN lacking multi-factor authentication, culminating in a $5 million Bitcoin payout to regain access.

As per a 2021 workforce trends report, over 50% of businesses exhibit a greater inclination to engage freelancers due to the transition to remote work catalyzed by COVID-19. A remote or dispersed workforce will continue to present security hurdles for organizations of varying scales.

3. Inadequate Digital Health Practices

"Cyber health" pertains to habitual practices and routines concerning technology utilization, such as eschewing unprotected Wi-Fi networks and implementing safeguards like a VPN or multi-factor authentication. Unfortunately, studies reveal that Americans' digital health practices leave much to be desired.

Nearly 60% of organizations rely on human memory to manage passwords, and 42% of organizations manage passwords using sticky notes. Over half (54%) of IT professionals do not mandate the utilization of two-factor authentication for accessing company accounts, while merely 37% of individuals utilize two-factor authentication for personal accounts. Less than half (45%) of Americans express willingness to change their password following a data breach, with only 34% asserting they regularly change their passwords.

4. Cloud Vulnerabilities

One might anticipate that the cloud would ameliorate security over time; however, the converse is true: IBM reports that cloud vulnerabilities have surged by 150% in the past five years. Verizon's DBIR found that over 90% of the 29,000 breaches scrutinized in the report stemmed from web application breaches. According to Gartner, cloud security presently constitutes the most rapidly expanding segment in the cybersecurity market, with a 41% surge from $595 million in 2020 to $841 million in 2021.

Novel advancements in cloud security encompass the embrace of "Zero Trust" cloud security architecture. Zero Trust systems are devised to operate as though the network has already been compromised, implementing obligatory verifications at each step and with every sign-in rather than bestowing sustained access to recognized devices or devices within the network perimeter. This security mode garnered traction in 2021 and is anticipated to witness widespread adoption in the year.

5. Mobile Device Susceptibilities

Remote users not only lean more heavily on mobile devices, but pandemic directives also promoted the extensive adoption of mobile wallets and contactless payment technology to curtail germ transmission.

A larger user base translates to a larger bullseye for cybercriminals. According to Check Point Software's Mobile Security Report, over the span of 2021, 46% of enterprises encountered a security incident involving a malicious mobile application downloaded by an employee.

Cybercriminals have also commenced targeting Mobile Device Management systems, which, paradoxically, are crafted to enable corporations to manage corporate devices in a manner that safeguards corporate data. Since MDMs are linked to the entire array of mobile devices, malevolent actors can exploit them to assail every employee at the enterprise simultaneously.


In conclusion, the environment of cybersecurity threats continues to expand speedily, powered by technological progress and collaborative shifts. From social engineering strategy to cloud exposures and mobile device vulnerability, companies and individuals face an ever-expanding range of risks. Provident measures, including resilient digital clarity practices and adopting progressive safety architectures like Zero Trust, are critical to ease these threats efficiently. As we drive the intricacies of the digital era, caution and constant adaptation remain pivotal in securing against cyber extortion.