By the end of the coming year, the cost of cyberattacks on the global economy is predicted to exceed 10.5 trillion dollars.
This staggering amount reflects the growing need to consider cybersecurity as a strategic priority at the individual, organizational and governmental levels.
As in any other area of business and technology, artificial intelligence (AI) will have a transformative impact on offense and defense. Its impact will be felt in each of the trends discussed here.
Recent years have seen an accelerating pace of technological advancement in many areas, and cyber threats are no exception. As they say, forewarning is best – so read on to find out what my predictions are for the cybersecurity trends everyone should be on alert for as 2024 approaches.
The cybersecurity skills crisis
The shortage of professionals with the skills needed to protect organizations from cyberattacks remains a recurring theme throughout 2024. In fact, the situation appears to be getting worse: research reports that a majority (54%) of cybersecurity professionals believe the impact of the skills shortage on their organization has worsened over the past two years. We can expect efforts to address this situation to include a continued increase in wages paid to those with the necessary skills, as well as greater investment in training, development and upskilling programs.
Generative AI adopted by both sides of the battle
As AI grows in sophistication at a frankly alarming rate, we will continue to see increasingly sophisticated and intelligent AI-based attacks. These range from deepfake social engineering attempts to automated malware that intelligently adapts in order to evade detection. At the same time, it will help us detect, avoid or neutralize threats through real-time anomaly detection, intelligent authentication and automated incident response. If cyberattack and defense in 2024 is a game of chess, then AI is king – with the ability to create powerful strategic advantages for whoever plays it best.
Next-Level Phishing Attacks
Social engineering attacks that involve tricking users into giving attackers access to systems will also become more sophisticated. Generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT) enable more attackers to craft smarter, more personalized approaches, and deep fake attacks will become more and more frequent. The answer to this problem will largely rely on organization-wide awareness and education, although AI and zero trust will also play an increasing role.
Cybersecurity in the boardroom
In 2024, cybersecurity is a strategic priority that can no longer be compartmentalized within the IT department. Gartner predicts that by 2026, 70% of boards will include at least one member with subject matter expertise. This allows organizations to move beyond reactive defense, meaning they can seize new business opportunities that come their way by being prepared.
IoT Cyber Attacks
More devices communicating with each other and accessing the Internet means more potential “ins” for cyberattackers to take advantage of. As the work-from-home revolution continues, the risks posed by workers connecting or sharing data on poorly secured devices will continue to pose a threat. Often, these devices are designed for ease of use and convenience rather than secure operations, and consumer IoT devices can be at risk due to weak security protocols and passwords. The fact that the industry has generally dragged its feet in implementing IoT security standards, despite the vulnerabilities being apparent for many years, means that it will continue to be a weak point in cybersecurity – although this is changing (more information on this). below).
Cyber Resilience – Beyond Cybersecurity
Two terms often used interchangeably are cybersecurity and cyber resilience. However, this distinction will become increasingly important in 2024 and beyond. While cybersecurity emphasizes attack prevention, the growing emphasis on resilience by many organizations reflects the harsh truth that even the best security cannot guarantee 100% protection. Resilience measures are designed to ensure business continuity even after a successful breach. Expanding recovery capacity in an agile manner while minimizing data loss and downtime will be a strategic priority in 2024.
Less than zero trust
The fundamental concept of Zero Trust – always verify – is evolving as systems become more complex and security is integrated into business strategy. Zero trust states that there is no perimeter within which network activity can be considered secure. As the threat landscape evolves, this principle extends beyond the corporate network to encompass the ecosystem of remote workers, partner organizations, and IoT devices. In 2024, zero trust is evolving from a technical model of network security to something adaptive and holistic, enabled by real-time continuous authentication and AI-powered activity monitoring.
Cyberwar and state-sponsored cyberattacks
The war in Ukraine, set to enter its third year, has revealed the extent to which states are willing and able to deploy cyberattacks against military and civilian infrastructure in 2024. It is a safe bet that in the future, wherever military operations take place, throughout the world, they will go together with cyberwarfare operations. The most common tactics include phishing attacks designed to gain access to systems for disruption and espionage, as well as distributed denial-of-service attacks aimed at disabling communications, utilities, transportation and infrastructure. security. Conflict aside, major elections will take place in 2024 in countries like the US, UK and India, and we can expect an increase in cyberattacks aimed at disrupting the democratic process.
Soft skills are becoming increasingly essential for cybersecurity professionals
Cybersecurity professionals will increasingly be called upon to take on more complex workloads in 2024 as the threat landscape becomes increasingly sophisticated. This doesn’t just apply in a technical sense: those tasked with countering cyber threats will also find themselves tasked with more complex social and cultural aspects of threat mitigation. This will lead to an increasing reliance on soft skills such as interpersonal communication, relationship building and problem solving.
Governments and organizations are increasingly aware of the risks that cyber threats pose to national security and economic growth. The potential social and political consequences of large-scale data breaches are also a major factor in the emergence of new regulations around cybersecurity issues. For example, businesses in the UK have until April 2024 to ensure they comply with the Product Safety and Telecommunications Act, which sets out the minimum security requirements that networked products must adhere to (e.g. they should not ship with a default password). ). Implementation of the similar EU radio equipment directive has been delayed until 2025, but the topic will likely remain high on lawmakers’ agendas throughout 2024.
You can learn more about future technology and business trends in my books, The future Internet: how the metaverse, Web 3.0 and blockchain will transform business and society, Future Skills: The 20 Skills and Competencies Everyone Needs to Succeed in a Digital World And Business trends in practicewhich won the 2022 Business Book of the Year award. And don’t forget to subscribe my newsletter and follow me X (Twitter), LinkedInAnd Youtube to learn more about future trends in business and technology.