2024 Cybersecurity Trends: 5 Essential Steps to Protect Your Business

December 26, 2023

The year 2023 presented significant challenges for cybersecurity experts. We saw a massive uptick in advanced and sophisticated attacks and socio-economic threats, and AI’s disruptive power sent shockwaves through the industry.

As we turn to the final chapter of 2023, a question burns bright: How can organizations strengthen their security posture and safeguard against the growing threat landscape?

Here are the top 5 trends that are set to dominate in 2024:

1. AI’s Duality: Blessing or Curse?

Artificial intelligence saw an upswing in new use cases, innovation, and adoption in 2023. However, AI acts as a double-edged sword. While it enables organizations to strengthen their security posture, it also elevates the risk of cyber threats. This year saw the emergence of AI-powered attacks, which are more advanced and sophisticated than ever before.

One instance of AI’s use in cyber crimes is leveraging deepfakes, which threaten digital security and public trust. These sophisticated tools use AI to create a hyper-realistic simulation of people, including their voices and expressions, making it increasingly difficult to tell apart AI-generate content and a real person. This deep fake could manipulate the recipient into divulging sensitive and confidential information or taking action. A higher risk lies where hackers can use deepfakes to create fake news or manage news, conveying false information to the public on a scale that could harm the nation at large.

Another way hackers leverage AI is by crafting phishing emails. Hackers often use AI to craft phishing emails, a prevalent cyberattack. By employing generative AI, they can generate personalized emails on a large scale, incorporating unique details to make the messages sound authentic. The assistance of AI results in fewer grammatical and spelling errors, enhancing the overall credibility of the emails and increasing the likelihood of successful attacks.

On the other hand, AI will also empower organizations to evade, mitigate, and prevent attacks at scale and in real time. Real-time anomaly detection, smart authentication, and auto-response to malicious traffic or invasion will become primarily in use with the help of AI. Moreover, AI will help organizations synthesize large amounts of data that can be used to comprehend historical data and recognize patterns, enabling faster threat detection and prediction of potential threats and giving organizations the upper hand in threat detection and prevention.

2. Cyber security skill crunch

In recent years, there has been a shortage of skilled professionals in cybersecurity, causing significant challenges for organizations. Regrettably, this issue is expected to persist into 2024. To address this situation, companies can take proactive measures, starting with leveraging artificial intelligence (AI). It is essential to train AI systems to combat both highly sophisticated and advanced cyber attacks. Nevertheless, AI cannot entirely replace human security professionals. Therefore, organizations

should consider enhancing pay scales, increasing investments in training, and implementing upskilling programs to retain and further develop their existing talent.

3. Involvement of board rooms in cybersecurity

The nature and frequency of cyber attacks have increased significantly in the recent past. Increasing global threats, attacks surfaces, digital evolution, and more require organizations to revamp their security approach. This has led C-level executives to be more involved in the cybersecurity department instead of IT being siloed as it was previously done.

Gartner has a prediction that by 2026, 70% of the boards will include at least one member with expertise in the field. Moreover, with increasing fines for violations, boards will be increasing their focus on the department to maintain regulatory compliance.

As cyber-attacks increase at an alarming rate, c-suite executives are now expected to participate in critical cyber-defense-related decisions. Creating a dedicated cybersecurity committee, getting regular reports and involvement from CISOs, and getting external advisors’ perspectives will become predominant.

4. Rise in election-based cyber crimes

2024 is the year of the election. India, the U.S., Taiwan, South Korea, and Indonesia will hold elections next year, which will likely spike cyber crimes like targeting electoral technology, leveraging AI for creating fake news, hacktivism, spear phishing, and other politically driven cyber crimes. Social media will likely be leveraged as a primary target to spread fake news at scale.

Other crimes likely to rise during this time include spreading disinformation about the electoral process, leaking confidential information, and insider threats.

While these attacks remain inevitable, organizations can take preventive measures to strengthen their cyber resilience and promote media literacy to educate citizens about identifying and combating disinformation, fostering critical thinking skills, and reducing susceptibility to manipulation.

5. Increasing zero-day vulnerabilities

In 2023 and the subsequent years, zero-day attacks caused significant disruptions. While the frequency of these attacks may be decreasing, their impact remains notably high. As phishing and ransomware gain popularity, organizations are strengthening their defenses against such threats.

However, it’s crucial to remain vigilant about zero-day attacks in 2024. Particularly, nation-state attacks and cybercriminal groups pose potential catastrophic risks, contributing to the allure of zero-day attacks.

Several factors contribute to the increasing prevalence of zero-day vulnerabilities. The rapid adoption of new technologies, such as IoT devices and cloud computing, expands the attack surface, providing hackers with fresh opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities. Another factor is the challenge of patching. The development and maintenance of software, especially with increasing complexity, often lead to delays in identifying vulnerabilities. This delay offers hackers the advantage of exploiting a vulnerability before it’s even recognized. Zero-day attacks are lucrative as they grant hackers insider access to the network, creating opportunities for future cyber threats.

Stepping into 2024 with Heightened Cyber Resilience

The cyber threat landscape is changing rapidly, with increasingly sophisticated attacks emerging at an alarming pace. This is further amplified by the rise of AI-powered tools, which can empower even novice hackers to launch devastating attacks. In this environment, organizations must be more vigilant than ever and tighten their cybersecurity posture.

While AI offers promising advancements in threat detection and mitigation, organizations shouldn’t solely rely on it. Consistent adherence to cyber hygiene practices remains crucial. This includes:

Strengthening password security with passwordless authentication: Traditional passwords are a hassle to remember and offer weak protection against hacking. Passwordless authentication is a paradigm shift in user verification that promises heightened security and a seamless user experience. By eliminating the need for passwords altogether, passwordless methods leverage more robust factors such as biometrics and hardware security keys.

Boosting network security: Regularly update software and firmware, restrict access to sensitive data, and segment your network.

Employing intrusion prevention and detection (IDS/IPS) solutions: These tools can identify and block malicious activity before it causes harm.

In essence, the alarming increase in cybercrimes necessitates organizations to adopt the latest technologies like AI for advanced and automated threat prevention and detection. However, it is equally crucial for organizations to adhere to fundamental security measures, provide comprehensive training to empower their employees, and implement a holistic approach to stay ahead of hackers at all times.

To know how Array can help you protect your enterprise from malicious threat actors, reach out to our sales team today.

Shibu Paul

Mr. Paul has 25 years of experience in the field of Digital transformation – IT, IS and telecom – having worked with Sify Ltd, British Telecom Global services (India) and BT Americas in various roles. He was part of the team that launched the first IP network, first private ISP and first Certifying Authority in India. He joined Array in 2009 as country sales head and progressed to leadership positions including Country Manager and Regional Director-APAC.