In 2024, cybersecurity is ramping up for unprecedented complexity. As exciting new advancements in technology clash with sinister credible threats, the risks are everywhere —but so are the potential rewards.
Let’s examine the longest shadows and brightest horizons as the sun sets on 2023.
1. Malice Matures
Cyber criminals are nothing if not inventive, always leading from the front by manipulating new technology. While “classic” phishing attacks and social engineering are already on the radar, 2024 will see new levels of impersonation scams. These devious tactics will continue to balloon in frequency as generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes more sophisticated, putting individuals and whole organizations at risk.
The cyber attack surface itself will continue to expand in 2024. Post-pandemic, we continue to see around 12.7% of employees working from home full-time, with an additional 28.2% working remotely part-time. This seemingly permanent hybrid workforce has led to an expansive IoT (Internet of Things). From personal computers accessing work servers to sensitive documents downloaded on home networks, endpoints for your organization have likely skyrocketed as a result. However, experts warn that IoT security remains lackluster. Personal devices are rarely configured to prioritize security, and all it takes is one errant link for a malicious actor to gain access to your company’s data. That’s why evaluating your remote worker security practices will be important in the new year.
And then there’s the political landscape. The U.S. Presidential election year promises to be turbulent, with experts warning of large-scale cyber disruption. Measures taken by Russian cybercriminals against Ukrainian infrastructure demonstrate the credibility of this threat, where everyday necessities like communications, utilities, and transportation can be affected. Plus the U.S. faces an additional hazard — after campaigns of disinformation during the elections of 2016 and 2020, the 2024 election is likely to face AI deep fakes and even more aggressive “fake news.” When considering your personal part in the democratic process, it’s critical to check your sources, lest you be fooled by a cyberattacker trying to take advantage.
Get serious about cyber defense.
2. Man Takes On Machine
AI made 2023’s biggest headlines in cybersecurity. Next year, scammers are predicted to continue using generative chatbots to mine personal details from their victims to refine their phony emails. Meanwhile, malware will be training against AI-powered detection tools, learning to evade and adapt with alarming speed.
As AI increasingly complicates cyberdefense in 2024, the human element will become critical to your incident response strategy. Yes, AI detection can learn and react in real time to unexpected anomalies. But prepared employees (think Red Team testing and Tabletop Exercises) will be better able to think critically, coordinate quickly, and reduce the negative impact of unwelcome incidents.
3. CyberSec Settles in the C-Suite
In 2023, we met the BISO, a liaison for corporate IT and the herald of a new era for cybersecurity in the boardroom. For years, experts have encouraged organizations to consider IT security in larger corporate strategy, integrating education and incident response into their day-to-day. The BISO represents interest in translating the complexities of cyber-defense for the C-suite — in fact, Gartner predicts that this year is another step toward 70% of boards having a seat for cybersecurity expertise.
Better integrated IT security will look different for every organization. It may be about shoring up your human firewall through real-world employee testing, thoroughly vetting vendors, and/or stepping up how you manage your valuable assets. Identifying what human and physical elements need protecting is just as important as how you’ll protect them.
4. Resilience Takes Center Stage
Cybersecurity is often about taking preventative measures, but increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks are making it harder to guarantee 100% protection. In other words, being deemed secure and compliant on even a rigorous annual security assessment doesn’t mean you’re impervious to later-year threats. What matters is that, if you are attacked, you’re capable of bouncing back.
If you’ve focused on preventative security in 2023, consider shifting your goals to mitigation and response. This is what we call cyber-resilience, and it’s going to be a hot topic in 2024. Being cyber-resilient means you’re able to respond to your customer base, salvage damaged systems, and recover hostage data without paying up to ransomware hackers. It also means refocusing your perspective to analysis and education. How were you attacked, and what can you do differently next time? Were you able to stop the attack at a certain stage? If data was compromised, what can you do to remediate the effects?
5. Partnerships Help Protect
Staying secure in our evolving digital world can feel like an insurmountable challenge. Staying ahead of the curve is key and all the more achievable when you have a reliable partner at your side.
Start with a rigorous IT Security Assessment from BAI Security. Get the complete picture of your security posture and actionable recommendations for quickly reducing risk. Take it a step further and test your cybersecurity readiness with our Red Team Assessment or Ransomware Simulation, which deploy risk-free simulations of real-world attacks to test your resilience against a motivated human hacker.
Start 2024 off on secure footing by contacting BAI Security.