Cybersecurity trends for 2024

Date of issue

23. 2. 2024

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Cybersecurity trends for 2024

According to all available indications and expert reports from the world of “Big Tech”, 2024 seems to be a turning point in the field of cyber security. By the end of the year, the cost of cyber attacks on the global economy is estimated to reach $10.5 trillion.

A number of trends and challenges are expected to have an immediate impact on the way organisations protect themselves. Two factors will dominate. The increasing number of security threats and the continuing increase in their sophistication.

What can we expect?

1. Increase in cyber attacks using artificial intelligence

With the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), the sophistication of cyber attacks is expected to increase dramatically .

For example, in the area of phishing attacks, spoofed emails will be more difficult to detect, because attackers use information from publicly available sources, such as professional social networks, where they tailor the content to their target and generate it “at the snap of a finger”, in an order of magnitude and size never seen before. Entire generative adversarial networks (GANs) have already been created to create fake messages, voices and images. These new technologies and environments support the so-called. 3D vector of phishing attacks, i.e. using enhanced visual and audio material.

Another example of the use of AI is the creation of new types of malicious code, whether it is tools for exploiting the environment or adaptive forms of malware that can adapt to defence mechanisms and changes in the environment. This type of malware can dynamically change its behaviour and attack patterns based on detection methods and security system responses.

2. Continued development of ransomware

Ransomware attacks will continue to grow this year not only because of their high profitability, but the fact that attackers have been using the ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) model. This allowed even less experienced attackers to carry out attacks. This type of attack will also see greater targeting, with attackers using increasingly advanced techniques and strategies, including geographic targeting.

Organized groups remain a major threat, and they are conducting much more thorough reconnaissance of their targets, thereby increasing their success. For example, they collect information on network architecture, technologies used, security measures and workflows. They create fake MFA confirmation emails or websites that masquerade as legitimate to obtain access credentials and other sensitive information. They also use social engineering to obtain information about the target organization and their employees. This is done by externally researching the organisation using publicly available information such as public profiles of the organisation and their employees on social media, the web and public databases. This makes it relatively easy to obtain key information about the organisation’s structure, key employees and partner-supplier relationships.

3. Cyber warfare, espionage and geopolitical attacks

Given the rising tensions in the Eastern Europe and Middle East regions, their geopolitical attacks can be expected to increase significantly. They can include the dissemination of disinformation and propaganda to manipulate public opinion, destabilise political processes and undermine public confidence in democratic institutions. State actors can target critical infrastructure such as power grids, telecommunications systems, and medical facilities to weaken the economy and security. Cyber espionage and sabotage may be aimed at obtaining sensitive information, affecting production processes, or causing damage to the infrastructure and service systems of target countries.

As the number of connected devices increases, so does the risk of cyber attacks on IoT devices. Attackers will continue to exploit IoT device vulnerabilities to create botnets, which are networks of connected devices that can be used to conduct malicious activities, such as DDoS attacks. IoT devices used in critical infrastructure, industrial systems and medical facilities are also at risk, with the aim of causing damage or affecting operations. This may include attacks on smart cities, energy grids, transport systems and other key sectors.

Many IoT devices have inadequate protection and contain a number of vulnerabilities. For example, weak passwords, lack of communication security and lack of software updates. With the increasing number of smart home devices and wearable technologies, the risks associated with their misuse are also expected to increase.

Planning and effective investment will be key

According to Flexera’s survey, 39% of companies surveyed expect a significant increase in cloud investments, despite the fact that increasing computing capacity and hosting is no longer a focus. So where are these cost increases coming from, often beyond planned budgets? One answer is the development and adoption of artificial intelligence. Another factor is the new NIS2 directive.

Insight and a good understanding of key trends in cybersecurity, including opportunities to leverage ML/AI tools, is central to key strategy planning and investment in advanced protection.

The industry will continue to face a shortage of skilled workers

The growing number of cyber threats has put the IT industry in a deep deficit of skilled workers. According to the Digital Skills & Job Platform, at the end of last year, there were approximately 1 million job openings in Europe with this specialisation, with estimates approaching 4 million globally. The expected demand for cyber experts has long exceeded the supply. As a result, this inevitably means a move to advanced protection methods such as Zero Trust architecture and the involvement of Machine-Learning/AI tools, regardless of the size and importance of the organisation.

Petr Malina, Business Development Manager

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