Today, Critical Start released its biannual Cyber Threat Intelligence Report, which highlights the top threats observed in the first half of 2023, and emerging cybersecurity trends impacting the healthcare, financial services and state and local government (SLED) industries. The report also includes actionable insights to help organizations strengthen their security posture and proactively mitigate potential risk.

The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving, and threat intelligence is essential for identifying and responding in real-time. For the report, the Critical Start Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) team analyzed a range of intelligence sources, such as customer data, open-source intelligence, vulnerability research, social media monitoring and dark web monitoring to identify the most pressing cybersecurity threats of the first half of 2023.

Key report highlights:

  • Increases were seen overall in the number of investigated alerts, alerts escalated to customers and alerts that were of high or critical priority. In the first quarter of 2023, the Critical Start Security Operations Center (SOC) saw a 38.88% increase in the number of high or critical priority alerts escalated to customers over the previous quarter.
  • Two-step phishing attacks are on the rise with attackers using convincing emails that resemble legitimate vendor communications, often related to electronic signatures, orders, invoices or tracking information.
  • The new Beep malware is top of mind for organizations and individuals. This threat is delivered via email attachments, Discord and OneDrive URLs.
  • State-sponsored cyber espionage is becoming increasingly common, with threat actors operating out of Russia, potentially India and, and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.