2023 witnessed some big changes that significantly impacted the cyber security landscape amid global conflicts, economic instability, and the emergence of revolutionary generative AI tools. The year was marked by a rapidly changing environment with substantial attacks on large corporations and governments across the globe.
The 2024 Cyber Threats
Ransomware will continue to be a major threat in 2024, and with the adoption of new tools and tactics we could see it growing in size and complexity. Malware families are increasingly collaborating through underground forums, and socially engineered tactics are becoming more sophisticated, targeting individuals and businesses to compromise devices and personal information.
The use of artificial intelligence by cybercriminals is a growing concern. Malicious large language models (LLMs) can generate human-quality text, translate languages, and produce various creative contents. These models have beneficial applications but are also being used for spreading misinformation, creating fake news, social engineering and conducting cyberattacks.
Cybercriminals are continually adapting their tactics and techniques to exploit new vulnerabilities and maximise their gains. Organisations increasingly need to stay informed of the latest trends and adapt their cyber strategies to outmanoeuvre these evolving threats.
Key Concepts for 2024
'Exposure' refers to the vulnerabilities and attack surfaces that malicious actors exploit, encompassing technical, human, and systemic weaknesses. The interconnected nature of digital systems has expanded potential threats, making managing and reducing exposure crucial for data and infrastructure protection.
Conversely, 'Resilience' focuses on an organisation's ability to withstand and recover from cyber-attacks. It involves not just robust defences but also the capacity to respond effectively to breaches. This includes having well-practised incident response plans, adaptability to new threats, and the capability to maintain critical operations under adverse conditions.
The Rise of Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM)
CTEM is set to become a cornerstone strategy in 2024, enabling organisations to proactively identify and address vulnerabilities. It extends beyond identification, demanding a comprehensive understanding of exposures and enabling organisations to alter their posture, manage security controls, and mitigate risks efficiently and effectively.
The Growing Importance of Exposure Management
The Surge in Insider Threats
With a notable 76% of CISOs expecting an increase in insider-related data loss, the focus is shifting towards understanding and managing internal security threats. Insider threats, influenced by various social and economic factors, have become increasingly unpredictable and challenging to manage.
Continuous Identification and Remediation
The cyber security market is evolving from a reactive to a proactive stance, emphasising continuous identification, prioritisation, and remediation of exposures. The diversification of cyber threats underscores the necessity for an extensive understanding of an organisation's security posture.
Artificial Intelligence: A Dual-Edged Sword
Deepfakes & Generative AI
Technologies like deepfakes and generative AI are rapidly advancing, creating realistic simulations that present significant risks including impersonation, reputation damage, and financial fraud. The integration of AI into social engineering attacks has led to more complex and deceptive tactics.
AI in Cyber Security Operations
AI is becoming integral to security operations, enhancing incident response capabilities and allowing rapid data processing. An Integrity360 Twitter Poll conducted in 2023 indicated that 73% of respondents view AI as crucial for security operations. While AI introduces new threats, it also enhances defences, making it a promising cyber security tool.
In 2024 the dual focus on exposure and resilience, coupled with the strategic implementation of CTEM and informed management of AI technologies, will be crucial for navigating the complex and evolving threats in the cyber world. This approach will be pivotal in maintaining security and integrity in a year that promises rapid digital change.