Cyberattacks are projected to cause $10.5 trillion a year in damage by 2025, a 300% increase from 2015 levels, according to McKinsey. These attacks are getting more complex, thanks in part to AI as well as government-sponsored attacks and evolving malware and ransomware threats. At the same time, more businesses are using digital technology, cloud services, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The shift to remote and hybrid work environments adds new security challenges, while geopolitical conflicts like the Russia-Ukraine war have led to increased hacktivism and DDoS attacks. Keep reading to learn about the top cybersecurity trends your business should know about in 2024.
AI-Driven Cyber Attacks
AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard can help companies and individuals with research, brainstorming, and more. Unfortunately, they can also help cybercriminals generate realistic content such as persuasive phishing messages, impersonations of company executives or other public figures, and “deepfake” images and videos. AI can also write computer code, making it possible for more people to create malware, even if they don’t know any programming languages. Here’s what to look out for with AI-created cyber attacks in 2024.
- AI can help automate attacks and evade detection with self-learning algorithms that bypass security measures.
- Sophisticated phishing scams with personalized, convincing phishing messages.
- Automated social engineering tactics to mimic the speech and writing patterns of real people.
- AI-Driven Malware infects computers more efficiently, adapting to bypass security measures and making attacks more effective.
- Deepfake Technology can create realistic audio and video clips, undermining trust in communications.
It can be challenging to distinguish between AI-driven attacks and legitimate user behavior. Businesses need advanced AI-driven security solutions to counteract sophisticated AI attacks.
Rise of Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware attacks are on the rise, in part due to new technologies and hard-to-trace cryptocurrency payments. Here’s what to be aware of regarding ransomware attacks in 2024.
- Increased targeting of critical infrastructure and small to medium-sized businesses.
- Evolution of ransomware-as-a-service, which is when developers sell or lease their ransomware to cyber attackers.
Businesses can protect against ransomware attacks by taking preventative measures and planning response strategies. For example, you should implement robust backup and recovery plans in the event that your data is compromised or stolen. It’s also important to offer regular training and educational programs to employees. They are your first line of defense against cyber attacks.
Cloud Security Challenges
As more businesses (and individuals) rely on cloud storage, cloud-based cybersecurity threats are also increasing. Here’s what you need to know:
- Vulnerabilities in cloud infrastructure include security gaps in multi-tenant environments and challenges in securing cloud data storage.
- Implement strategies for enhancing cloud security such as adoption of cloud access security brokers (CASBs) and end-to-end encryption.
Internet of Things (IoT) Security
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to physical objects embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies. These objects connect and exchange data with other Internet-connected devices and systems. For example, household appliances and cars can be part of the Internet of Things. As more people and businesses adopt these Internet-connected objects, scammers are working hard to exploit vulnerabilities in IoT devices and networks. You can secure IoT ecosystems within your business by conducting regular firmware updates and patch management. You should also be careful and deliberate about network segmentation and granting access control only to those employees who need it.
Zero Trust Security Models
This cybersecurity framework is about shifting from a perimeter-based approach to security to a motto of “never trust, always verify.” That means all users, whether internal or external to your organization’s network, must be continuously authenticated and authorized. Implementing Zero Trust in your business can help you address challenges such as remote workers, cloud storage, ransomware threats, and more.
Cybersecurity Skill Gap
There’s currently a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals in the workforce. As demand for cybersecurity expertise grows, small and medium-sized businesses may have trouble hiring for IT positions. In the meantime, you can bridge the skill gap by investing in employee training and development. You may also want to hire a cybersecurity vendor if you can’t fill internal positions.
Regulatory Compliance and Privacy Laws
It’s important to stay current with evolving global data protection regulations, especially if your business operates internationally. This includes GDPR, CCPA, and other emerging privacy laws. Best practices for compliance management strategies include regular audits and assessments, as well as adoption of privacy-focused technologies.
Insider Threats and Employee Training
Unfortunately, employees aren’t always your first line of defense. Sometimes they can be a saboteur, whether intentionally (malicious activities by disgruntled staff) or not (unintentional data breach caused by an employee clicking on a phishing link).
To protect against intentional harm, make sure access to data is strictly controlled and limited to an “as needed” basis. Monitor who is accessing what on the company network.
As for accidental breaches, you can provide comprehensive and ongoing cybersecurity training to new and existing employees. Education is the best defense against scammers.
About Cogent Bank
At Cogent, we believe banking is personal. That’s why we always go the extra mile for our client relationships. We’re here to help your business stay ahead of the latest cybersecurity threats and trends in 2024. Connect with us today to safeguard your digital assets and ensure a secure future.
Looking for more cybersecurity resources? Check out our blog article on “Disaster Scams in Florida.”