The economy will have the most impact on the volume of cybercrime that hits consumers this holiday season and in the new year, cybersecurity specialist Norton said in its newly released cyber predictions.
Economics Trigger Scams
Economic uncertainty and rising costs will create a near perfect storm for scammers to take advantage of people when they are more vulnerable. Scammers typically go after victims’ personal information to empty their bank accounts or to illicitly buy goods and services, Norton said.
As Kevin Roundy, researcher and technical director at Norton, explained:
“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."
What's Ahead For 2023
Here are Norton’s Top Predictions for 2023:
- Expect a rise in financial-based scams, such as faking government assistance programs to steal personal identifiable information (PII) or shopping deals to steal personal data without delivering the order.
- Companies operating with smaller staff will experience a jump in data breaches and ransomware attacks.
- Expect scammers to continue to wield artificial intelligence in their crimes as this technology becomes even more accessible and easier to use.
- 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.
To help protect against these evolving threats Norton is recommending the following best practices:
- Never directly click on buttons or links without digging deeper and verifying who is actually sending them to you.
- 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 to safely store and help create secure and complex passwords.
- Un-phishable factors, such as biometrics, device-level security checks, hardware security keys, and cryptographic security keys are nearly impossible for cyber criminals to intercept, making MFA and 2FA practices more secure.