7 Cybersecurity Trends and Predictions for 2024 | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Cybersecurity is paramount for businesses and individuals alike, with an increasing number of threats popping up every month. So, understanding how the cybersecurity landscape is changing is important if you want to stay safe.

As 2024 approaches, there are a number of cybersecurity trends and predictions to be aware of.

1. Increased AI-Powered Attacks

Throughout 2022 and 2023, we’ve seen just how advanced AI systems currently are. The most notable AI-based service launched during this time is ChatGPT, a language processing tool powered by artificial intelligence. Not long after its launch, stories began surfacing about cybercriminals using ChatGPT to write malware. While the malware only seemed to be a simple Python-based script, it showed that AI can, in fact, be leveraged maliciously.

But things don’t stop with ChatGPT. There are countless AI tools out there today that are being continuously developed, so there’s no knowing how more advanced version of such software can be used to commit cybercrime.

The Department of Homeland Security’s 2024 Threat Assessment stated that cybercriminals will continue to “develop new tools and accesses that allow them to compromise more victims and enable larger-scale, faster, efficient, and more evasive cyberattacks.”

It was also stated in the same report that:

The proliferation and accessibility of emergent cyber and AI tools probably will help these actors bolster their malign information campaigns by enabling the creation of low-cost, synthetic text-, image-, and audio-based content with higher quality.

It seems the continued adoption and development of AI will pose a threat to our cybersecurity, though the degree to which it affects us is yet to be seen.

2. Increased Digital Supply Chain Attacks

digital graphic of globe and transport vehicles behind alert symbol

Supply chain forms the backbone of the commercial world. Without this crucial industry, the efficient production and shipping of products around the globe would be close to impossible.

It’s the gravity of supply chain’s influence that has made it an attractive target for cybercriminals. As the demand for mass production and global shipping increases, so does the impact of hacks on supply chain systems.

According to Cybersecurity Hub, the number of supply chain attacks has risen by 74 percent over the past three years. The site also reported that it takes an average of 287 days to detect a supply chain attack, giving malicious actors plenty of time to steal data or disrupt services. In 2024, we may see this increase in supply chain attacks continue, or even evolve in sophistication.

3. Further Adoption of Zero-Trust Systems

person in suit using tablet with zero-trust spider diagram in front

Zero-trust systems do not rely on any user or group of users to authenticate, monitor, or store data. Additionally, every user present in a zero-trust system must authorize access to a new user, otherwise the system remains off-limits to that individual. In short, a zero-trust system is designed not to trust any one individual. All users are assumed untrustworthy unless authentication is provided by other users.

In terms of cybersecurity, a zero-trust system can be a huge benefit. A lot of current networks—be it those used for data storage, social communication, media sharing, or server hosting—are not designed to be zero-trust. This means that the system puts a level of trust in certain users. If a given user turns out to be malicious and the system has already decided to trust them, cyberattacks become possible.

Zero-trust systems also provide granular access and granular control. This means that no one individual ever has control of or access to the majority of data and power within the network. Each user is provided information on a strictly need-to-know basis. Blockchains work similarly, wherein power and data are spread across the network in a decentralized manner.

4. Further Exploit of EV Security Systems

close up shot of electric car charging

Gone are the days when a car was just a mechanical vehicle with a radio. Now, we can use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and even NFC in our cars. These wireless connections, along with a reliance on software, have opened the door for cybercriminals.

This is especially the case with electric vehicles. A lot of EVs are designed with high-tech features, such as NFC-based door locks, AI hazard detection, Wi-Fi capabilities, apps for charging, and so much more. Both remote and short-range hacks can be carried out by exploiting such features, putting EV owners and other drivers at risk.

For instance, a hacker may exploit an EV charger in order to access information on a given vehicle. When an EV connects to a charger, the two exchange information, such as how much energy is being supplied, how long the EV was charged for, and even the owner’s payment information (if the EV charger is linked to the user’s charging app). If there’s a software vulnerability present in the charging station, a hacker can take advantage of this and infiltrate the connection between the EV and the charger. A user’s location, payment details, and other data can be stolen here.

This is just one of the numerous types of EV hacks that are possible. In order to avoid this, EV manufacturers need to thoroughly vet their software to ensure vulnerabilities aren’t being left behind in the code.

5. Improved Smart Home and IoT Security

picture of living room with smart tech connection grid in front

IoT devices make our day-to-day lives possible. Whether you’re using your smartphone, smart speaker, smartwatch, or anything similar, IoT is facilitating your actions. In short IoT is a blanket term covering all interconnected devices. This network of connected “things” forms its own Internet of Things (IoT). It’s this increased connectivity forming the Internet of Things that has attracted cybercriminals.

The reason for this is similar to the increased focus on EV hacking. Not only do IoT devices rely on software, but they also use wireless connections to communicate with each other. These two elements leave a door open for exploits, be it through software vulnerabilities, malware, or inside actors.

According to a Statista report, global IoT cyberattacks increased by over 243 percent between 2018 and 2022, from 32.7 million annual attacks, to a shocking 112.29 million.

Because of this growing threat, smart home and IoT security is expected to see an improvement throughout 2024. Providing patches for vulnerabilities, offering more security features (such as encryption and two-factor authentication), and conducting regular code audits can all help to fend of cyberattacks aimed towards IoT devices and smart homes.

6. Further Exploit of Cloud Platforms

digital graphic of blue cloud blocks with circuitry within

There’s a good chance you already have data stored on a cloud platform, such as Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. These platforms aren’t easy to hack, but the hordes of data they store make them very lucrative targets for hackers.

While cloud platforms are undeniably a convenient storage option, one’s ability to access data anywhere with the correct credentials creates a problem. If a hacker manages to access someone’s account, they can then look at any data stored on said account—work documents, ID photos, photos and videos, financial information, or anything else.

With this pot of data gold waiting for cybercriminals, it’s no surprise that they’re doing all they can to get inside. While cloud platforms often come with various security features, they’re not impenetrable, and the sheer amount of data stored on these platforms nowadays makes them increasingly attractive to hackers.

7. Continued Topical Email Scams

laptop surrounded by cybersecurity buzzwords

There’s no shortage of scammers looking to profit from current events. We saw a slew of scams arise from the COVID-19 pandemic, but things don’t stop there. The Russia-Ukraine war and the Israel-Palestine conflict have also been used throughout 2023 to squeeze money out of victims through social engineering.

For instance, a scammer may email a potential victim claiming to be a representative for a charity. They provide a link to a donation page so that the recipient can provide some money for the cause. But in reality, the charity is either make-believe, or the sender is impersonating an employee from a well known charitable organization. The scammer may be looking for a one-off payment, but they could also be providing a link to a phishing site designed to steal the victim’s payment details. Either way, the recipient ends up losing out.

As we continue to see more conflicts, tragedies, and scandals arise, there’s no doubt that cybercriminals will continue to try and profit from other people’s hardships.

Each Year Brings New Cybersecurity Threats

As 2023 comes to its conclusion, it’s important to keep 2024’s top security trends and predictions in mind. Remaining security-literate helps you fend off threats and better prepare yourself for malicious campaigns. No one knows for sure what 2024 will bring for the cybersecurity realm, but consider keeping the above in mind, as they’ll very likely make an appearance.


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