Five Cybersecurity Trends Predictions for 2024

According to Cybersixgill, threat research experts, AI’s evolution will continually improve both organizations’ cyber defense efforts and cybercriminal activities. At the same time, increasingly complex regulatory requirements, continued consolidation of cybersecurity tools, a widening attack surface, and heightened global geopolitical issues will all play a significant role in driving the direction of cybersecurity. As organizations increasingly adopt Threat Exposure Management (TEM) – a proactive approach to cybersecurity – Cybersixgill believes that cyber threat intelligence (CTI) will emerge as a foundational component of TEM and play a central role as leaders across organizations make critical, strategic business decisions.

“Over the past year, we’ve witnessed significant developments in cybersecurity, including the emergence of generative AI and its ability to enhance organizations’ threat intelligence efforts, and the rise of Threat Exposure Management, a program of consolidation to identify and mitigate risk and strengthen cyber defense proactively,” said Sharon Wagner, CEO of Cybersixgill. “With these advancements, curated threat intelligence is gaining prominence and accessibility, delivering relevant, contextual data based on a company's attack surface and the effectiveness of its security stack. As security teams home their strategies against malicious actors, these trends will play an even bigger role in the coming year and beyond.”

Cybersixgill’s predictions for the top 2024 cybersecurity trends are as follows:

Prediction #1: AI will evolve to become more broadly accessible while cybersecurity vendors continue to address the reliability, diversity, and privacy of data.

AI’s value is rooted in the breadth and reliability of data, which Cybersixgill predicts will significantly improve in 2024 as AI vendors advance the richness and fidelity of results.

AI will become broadly accessible to practitioners, regardless of their skillset or maturity level.

As concerns for data privacy with AI grow, companies will form their own policies while waiting for government entities to enact regulatory legislation. The U.S. and other countries may establish some regulations in 2024, although clear policies may not take shape until 2025 or later.

Prediction #2: AI will be used as an attack tool – and a target. Black hat hackers will increasingly use AI to improve effectiveness, and legitimate use of AI will surface as a prominent attack vector.

Cybersixgill believes that in 2024, threat actors will use AI to increase the frequency and accuracy of their activities by automating large-scale cyberattacks, creating duplicitous phishing email campaigns, and developing malicious content targeting companies, employees, and customers.

Malicious attacks like data poisoning and vulnerability exploitation in AI models will also gain momentum, which cause organizations to provide sensitive information to untrustworthy parties unwittingly. Similarly, AI models can be trained to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in computer networks without detection.

Cybersixgill also predicts the rise of shadow generative AI, where employees use AI tools without organizational approval or oversight. Shadow generative AI can lead to data leaks, compromised accounts, and widening vulnerability gaps in a company’s attack surface.

Prediction #3: Tighter regulations and cybersecurity mandates hold the C-suite and Boards accountable for corporations’ cyber hygiene. Companies must prove vulnerability prioritization and risk management with evidence-based data.

In 2024, as attack surfaces widen and the frequency and scale of attacks grow, regulatory mandates will hold business leaders more accountable for their organization’s cyber hygiene. The C-suite and other executives will need a clearer understanding of their organization’s cybersecurity policies, processes, and tools. Cybersixgill believes companies will increasingly appoint cybersecurity experts on the Board to fulfill progressively stringent reporting requirements and conduct good cyber governance.

Changes to the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) v. 4.0 will pressure retail, healthcare, and finance companies to follow the new reporting requirement by March 2024. These requirements will drive a more vital need for proactive threat intelligence to help mitigate risk, continuously identify gaps, and strengthen cyber hygiene.

Prediction #4: The need for proactive cybersecurity combined with continued tool consolidation will underscore the necessity of cyber threat intelligence in critical business decision-making.

Cybersixgill predicts that in 2024, more companies will adopt Threat Exposure Management (TEM), a holistic, proactive approach to cybersecurity, of which cyber threat intelligence (CTI) is a foundational component. As a result, they will need robust CTI solutions delivering focused insights to mitigate business and operational risk significantly.

Cybersixgill also predicts that the consolidation of CTI will gain prominence as it combines with other capabilities, including attack surface management, digital risk protection, and AI. CTI will be viewed as a strategic enabler as organizations assess incumbent vendors' benefits.

Prediction #5: Geopolitical and other issues will broaden attackers’ motivations beyond financial gain, resulting in a growing pool of targets, attack vectors, and tactics.

In 2024, 40 national elections will occur worldwide. As threat actors’ motivations stretch beyond financial gain, Cybersixgill predicts an uptick in attacks targeting entities without profit centers, such as schools, hospitals, public utilities, and other essential services, as bad actors aim to gain power and influence and cause general disorder.

Cybercriminals will increasingly offer their skills and expertise for hire through ransomware-as-a-service, malware-as-a-service, and DDoS-as-a-service offerings.

Affiliate programs will continue to grow as powerful cybercriminal gangs franchise their ransomware technology, scaling operations to a network of lesser-skilled individuals for distribution, making the extortion business accessible and profitable to a larger pool of threat actors.

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