Cybersecurity Predictions for 2024: What to Expect

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With global spending on cybersecurity already surpassing $1 trillion in 2021 and set to grow by a further $300 billion in 2024, the risk of cyberattacks continues to be a huge concern for organisations. As technology advances to further protect individuals and organisations, sadly, so does the sophistication of strategies used in cyberattacks such as data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other cybercrimes. Fortunately, organisations are committed to prioritising cybersecurity, investing in cybersecurity talent, and professional development to strengthen their teams from the risks of cyberattacks. However, with a 64% increase in cyber incidents last year alone, there are lots of areas individuals and organisations need to be aware of in 2024. So, what are the main cybersecurity threats we can expect in 2024 and the predicted trends to help mitigate these risks as we progress through the year?

What are the leading cybersecurity threats of 2024?

Each passing year, we see new and increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks that can cause serious harm to individuals and businesses alike. These include;
  1. Ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common in recent years, and this trend is likely to continue in 2024. It is estimated that there is a ransomware attack around the world every 14 seconds, which sees hackers infiltrate a system or network and encrypt the data, effectively locking the victim out of their own data.   In 2024, we can expect to see more sophisticated and targeted ransomware attacks that are designed to extort large sums of money from their victims. We have already seen criminal groups niching into specialisations and actively recruiting members who have specialist higher education or experience in specific fields as part of a Ransomware-as-a-Service cybercrime profit-sharing model.
  1. Internet of Things (IoT) attacks
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the growing number of connected devices that we use in our everyday lives, from smart home devices to wearable technology. Despite there being over 15.14 billion IoT devices being used, these devices are often poorly secured, making them vulnerable to cyberattacks. Throughout the year, we can expect to see more cyberattacks that target IoT devices, such as botnets that can take control of connected devices and use them to launch more significant attacks. In the first six months of 2023, there were 57 million attacks on IoT devices, and while organisations are strengthening their networks, IoT devices usually have a lot of potential areas of vulnerability.
  1. Social engineering attacks
Social engineering attacks are a form of cyberattack that relies on manipulating people rather than technology. These attacks can take many forms, from phishing emails to fraudulent phone calls. In 2024, we can expect to see more sophisticated social engineering attacks that are designed to trick people into divulging sensitive information or downloading malware.
  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) attacks
As AI continues to advance, so too do the threats that it poses. As AI adoption grows, more cyberattacks will use AI to identify vulnerabilities in systems and networks. Hackers may also use AI to create more sophisticated malware that is better able to evade detection.
  1. Nation-state attacks
Nation-state attacks are cyberattacks that governments or state-sponsored groups carry out. These attacks can be highly sophisticated and can cause serious damage to their targets. With growing geopolitical uncertainty and instability, we expect to see more nation-state attacks targeting critical infrastructure, such as power grids and transportation systems.
  1. Insider threats
Insider threats are cyber security threats that come from within an organisation. These threats can be intentional, such as an employee stealing sensitive data, or unintentional, such as an employee inadvertently downloading malware. In 2024, we can expect to see more insider threats as organisations become more complex and employees are given access to more sensitive data. While these are just a few of the types of cyber events we expect to see more of, what we can be sure of is that cyberattacks will be even more sophisticated and dangerous than those that we face today. It is essential that individuals and businesses take steps to protect themselves from these threats by implementing strong cybersecurity measures, having robust training and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. Here are just some of the ways we can expect cybersecurity to bolster their defences in 2024;

Cybersecurity trends of 2024

  1. More Artificial Intelligence (AI) in cybersecurity
Many industries have widely adopted AI, and cybersecurity is no exception. In 2024, we expect to see more AI-powered solutions that detect, prevent, and respond to cyber threats in real-time. These solutions will be more advanced and sophisticated and will be able to detect and respond to threats that are not yet known. The other advantage of AI working with cybersecurity professionals is that it can increase efficiency by automating processes and sifting through masses of data at a rate that is unachievable in a manual setup. While it is not enough to rely solely on AI to fight cybercrime for the organisation, working in harmony with AI can help automate security testing processes, such as patch management.
  1. Increased use of blockchain technology
Blockchain technology is best known for its use in cryptocurrencies, but it has potential in the world of cybersecurity as well. By using blockchain, it is possible to create more secure and transparent systems that are resistant to tampering and hacking. This year, we can expect to see more organisations adopting blockchain technology to secure their data and systems. This may be through creating a secure, resilient private blockchain, or it may be reviewing existing blockchain network risks and ensuring these are effectively managed using a blockchain security model.
  1. Biometric authentication
Passwords are a common authentication method, but they are not always secure. In 2024, we can expect to see more companies adopting biometric authentication methods, such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition. While many organisations are implementing biometric authentication already, the trend for 2024 will see organisations looking for multimodal or multifactor authentication (MFA) and liveness or behavioural authentication will grow. Linking to the growing cybersecurity risk of IoT devices, we can expect more organisations to adopt MFA into their IoT devices. This will not only support access control but also create more personalised experiences too.
  1. Rise of quantum computing
Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionise many industries, including cybersecurity. In 2024, we can expect to see more companies adopting quantum computing technology to enhance their cybersecurity defences. Quantum computing is particularly useful for encryption and decryption, as it can perform these tasks much faster than traditional computers. It is expected that quantum computing will be worth $10 billion in 2024 and offers many opportunities by expanding computing power and, therefore, detecting more complex cybersecurity threats.
  1. Greater focus on cybersecurity education
As the risk of cyberattacks increases, there will be a greater focus on cybersecurity education. In 2024, we expect to see more organisations invest in cybersecurity talent and train their existing team to better respond to security threats. This will be especially important for small businesses and individuals who may not have the resources to hire a dedicated cybersecurity team. If you’re looking to bolster your cybersecurity team, then TSG offers a range of training options. For example, our ISTQB Advanced Security Tester certified course is ideal for software testers looking to advance security throughout the end-to-end software process. Alternatively, our Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) training can boost your cloud computing environment and mitigate risks to your cloud setup. We also have many more security-focused courses, from BCS certificates to CISSP, which you can explore here. Overall, the world of cyber security is constantly evolving, and it is vital to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies. By adopting these predictions for 2024, individuals and businesses can better protect themselves from cyber threats and stay ahead of the curve.

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