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Palo Alto Networks: Navigating AI’s impact on cybersecurity | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


The 2024 cybersecurity forecast from Palo Alto Networks underscores the growing concern among security researchers about the potential exploitation of artificial intelligence (AI) for advancing cyber attacks.

Palo Alto Networks highlights that, despite implemented guardrails, attackers are leveraging generative AI (Gen AI) through techniques like deepfake and voice technology. The company emphasizes that cybersecurity measures must evolve in 2024 to safeguard enterprise-level Gen AI use, addressing issues such as model poisoning, data leakage, and prompt injection attacks.

“In 2023, even mature organizations heavily invested in cybersecurity fell victim to debilitating cyberattacks,” said Ian Lim, regional chief security officer at Palo Alto Networks. He attributes this to the tenacity and ingenuity of attackers who exploit cyber hygiene issues or find novel ways to compromise legacy defenses.

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Lim also pointed out the complexity of the security capabilities within modern organizations, which increases vulnerability. On average, these organizations use 31.58 disparate security tools, leading to significant visibility gaps and hindering effective detection and response.

Operational Technology

The 2023 State of Cybersecurity Report highlights a surge in cybercrime, particularly disruptive attacks in the Philippines. Ransomware targeted critical infrastructures, with cybercriminals leveraging generative AI in their attacks.

Palo Alto Networks anticipates that the use of Gen AI in launching attacks is just one of the threats. The digitalization trend through cloud adoption poses another threat, with 44% of APAC organizations adapting cybersecurity strategies for cloud security. In 2024, as organizations shift towards multi or hybrid cloud projects, a unified security approach will be crucial. Rationalizing cloud security tools across the development lifecycle will enhance visibility, correlation, and security monitoring.

The Cloud Threat Report by Unit 42 highlights the slow response time of security teams, taking an average of 6 days to resolve alerts. With attackers exploiting vulnerabilities within hours, integrated security tools become essential. In 2024, organizations will focus on consolidating cybersecurity stacks for better visibility, reduced costs, and improved results during digital transformation initiatives.

Operational Technology (OT) lies at the core of industrial organizations, but misconceptions about air gaps persist. The convergence of IT and OT, along with cloud connectivity, expands the attack surface. A Zero Trust architecture is crucial to enhancing OT cyber maturity, protecting critical systems, and managing increased risks in 2024.

Hacktivism

The geopolitical climate provides opportunities for hacktivists, who, with the cybercrime-as-a-service model, aim to disrupt major events. This necessitates a reevaluation of risk profiles, particularly in response to hacktivist activities manifesting through Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks. In 2024, organizations must assess their risk profiles in response to the dynamic threat landscape.

“Going into 2024, highly motivated cybercriminals, nation-state attackers, and hacktivists will continue to innovate, expand, and exploit. Not much we can do to slow that down,” says Lim. “However, we could and should definitely address the complexity of our security capabilities with AI to make them more effective and cost-efficient.”

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