Metaverse, 5G adoption likely to increase threats
text size

Metaverse, 5G adoption likely to increase threats

A surge in 5G, cloud and metaverse adoption is likely to open the door to more disruptive threats from cybercriminals this year, says cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks.

A global cybersecurity survey by Palo Alto Networks found 96% of 1,300 organisation leaders said they experienced at least one breach or incident in the past year.

Some 22% of respondents said their cybersecurity budgets will increase more than 10% in 2023, according to the "What's Next in Cyber" survey. The top three funding areas are data, cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) security.

Tatchapol Poshyanonda, Palo Alto Networks' country director for Thailand and Indochina, said hackers are looking at countries' critical digital infrastructure, with evidence found in many cases of ransomware and personal data leaks through public health and digital platforms.

Borderless workers need proper solutions to fend off cyber-attacks, he said. There were 44,000 cyber-attacks in Thailand in the first six months of 2022, with losses of 3 billion baht, said Mr Tatchapol.

"Organisations must build resiliency to respond and recover from cybersecurity incidents that inevitably get through," said Ian Lim, field chief security officer for Asia-Pacific at Palo Alto Networks.

"It is imperative to adopt the broadest and deepest cyber-expertise and threat intelligence into their defences to stay ahead of the curve."

The company highlighted five key cybersecurity trends to watch this year.

The first pertains to accelerated 5G adoption, which appears to deepen vulnerabilities.

Thailand has more than 10 million 5G subscribers and its 5G network covers 85% of the country's population.

Cloud will expose the 5G core to cloud security vulnerabilities and large-scale attacks could come from anywhere, even from within the operator's network, said Palo Alto Networks.

Multiple devices are connected with 5G infrastructure, and threats can come from within the 5G network, the firm said.

The second trend involves the importance of securing connected medical devices.

According to Mr Lim, the prevalence of legacy systems and sensitive data attractive to cybercriminals makes healthcare a soft target, and cyberthreat actors will focus on it.

Ensuring the cybersecurity of medical IoT will be as important as ever for patient safety, he said.

The third trend involves cloud supply chain attacks that risk disrupting businesses.

Companies adopting cloud-native architectures are inherently consuming third-party code in their critical applications, said Palo Alto Networks.

Businesses can be vulnerable because of pieces of dependent code tucked deep into the software packaging process.

"Cybersecurity concerns not only single organisations, but also whole supply chains that can be affected, including open-source code that developers use," said Mr Tatchapol.

The fourth trend refers to the intensifying debate about data sovereignty.

According to Palo Alto Networks, as the world becomes more reliant on data and digital information, the volume of regulations and legislation crafted out of a desire to control and protect citizens and ensure the continued availability of critical services will increase.

Geopolitical conflicts are also heightening the consideration of data sovereignty.

The final trend involves the metaverse, which could serve as a new venue for cybercriminals.

With US$54 billion projected to be spent on virtual goods each year, the metaverse could open up a new playground for cybercriminals, the firm concluded.

Do you like the content of this article?