The cyber threat landscape is constantly changing with new technology and cyberattack methods. Security leaders have worked to mitigate the risks associated with artificial intelligence (AI) while also working to meet a number of federal regulations and guidelines.

IBM recently released their 2023 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, analyzing cyberattacks throughout all of 2022. In almost one-quarter of all incidents remediated in 2022, the deployment of backdoors at 21% was the top action on objective.

At 27%, extortion was the clear impact of choice by threat actors, according to the report. Manufacturing accounted for 30% of incidents that resulted in extortion, as cybercriminals continued the trend of exploiting a strained industry.

Phishing remains the leading infection vector, identified in 41% of incidents, followed by exploitation of public-facing applications at 26%. There were twice as many thread hijacking attempts per month in 2022, compared to 2021 data. Ransomware’s share of incidents declined from 21% in 2021 to 17% in 2022.

The number of incidents resulting from vulnerability exploitation in 2022 decreased 19% from 2021, after rising 34% from 2020. The total number of vulnerabilities tracked in 2022 was 23,964 compared to 21,518 in 2021. Industrial control systems (ICS) vulnerabilities discovered in 2022 decreased for the first time in two years — 457 in 2022 compared to 715 in 2021 and 472 in 2020.

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