As we march steadily into 2024, cybercriminals will continue finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities and breach defenses. Individuals and organizations must remain vigilant to counter these evolving threats. Here are some key cybersecurity trends predicted for 2024 and advice for protecting yourself:
Ransomware Attacks Become More Targeted
Ransomware will remain a dominant threat, but attacks will become more focused on high-value targets like critical infrastructure. The ransom demands could also increase drastically. All organizations should implement comprehensive backups, employee training, and incident response plans. Regularly test backups and keep them offline to recover without paying ransoms.
Supply Chain and Third-Party Attacks Expand
The amount of access and trust granted to vendors and partners allows hackers to breach multiple companies by compromising just one supplier. Perform thorough security vetting and monitoring of all third-party access. Limit permissions and integrate your security systems with those of partners to detect threats early.
What the Forecasts and Data Predict
- Ransomware damage costs to reach $30 billion globally, up 75% from 2022 according to Cybersecurity Ventures. Attacks on hospitals, schools, and government agencies will rise 25% as hackers exploit underfunded security.
- Supply chain attacks will double from 2022 levels per Fortinet’s predictions. High profile attacks like SolarWinds make vendors ripe targets. Companies must vet third parties with audits and monitor access diligently.
- VPN usage in the workplace projected to rise 40% by 2024 per TechJury. Gartner predicts 30% of organizations will require VPNs for all remote access. As virtual interactions increase, so will VPN adoption.
- 20% of large enterprises will be quantum-safe by 2024, per a Cloud Security Alliance survey. Quantum computing could break current public key cryptography by 2030. Migration to post-quantum encryption will accelerate.
- Deepfake video/audio detection accuracy will lag creators by over 10% through 2024 per Sensity AI. Lawmakers will push social platforms to expand deepfake identification. Users should verify dubious media.
- Critical infrastructure cyber attacks in 2022 increased 138% year-over-year per Check Point. Ransomware threat groups like Black Basta increasingly target essential services. Owners must prioritize cyber defense.
- 51% of data breaches in 2022 involved hacking per Verizon’s report, up from 44% in 2021. Brute force and vulnerability exploitation rising sharply indicates organizations must harden security layers.
- Artificial intelligence investments in cybersecurity will reach $38 billion by 2026 predicts Juniper Research. AI’s adaptability is essential against sophisticated threats. Smart automation frees up security staff.
Emerging Threats and Recommended Actions
AI and Quantum Computing Present New Challenges
The continued growth in quantum computing power and AI capabilities will enable new forms of cybercrime. AI could allow more convincing phishing emails, social engineering scams, and disinformation campaigns. Quantum computers may be able to crack current encryption methods. Stay on top of new cyber-defense strategies like quantum-resistant cryptography.
Critical Infrastructure Targeted More Frequently
Hackers will test defenses of essential systems like power grids and water treatment plants with greater frequency and sophistication. Ensure these facilities implement multilayered security and monitor systems vigilantly. Report suspicious cyber activity related to critical infrastructure.
Ransomware Threats Rising:
- Damages from ransomware predicted to reach $30 billion globally, up 75% from 2022 (Cybersecurity Ventures)
- Attacks on hospitals, schools and government expected to increase 25% as hackers target vulnerable organizations (Interpol)
- 45% of businesses surveyed experienced a ransomware attack in the past year (Cybint)
- Implement robust data backups and regularly test restoring systems
- Train employees on ransomware prevention and detection
- Develop comprehensive incident response plans
Supply Chain Attacks Proliferating
- Supply chain attacks forecasted to double from 2022 levels (Fortinet)
- 67% of organizations concerned about software supply chain attacks (Sonatype)
- Small vendors often targeted first as entry point to larger partners (Mandiant)
- Vet third party security practices through audits and assessments
- Monitor vendor access and permissions diligently
- Integrate security systems with partners to identify threats faster
Privacy Drives VPN Adoption Higher
- Workplace VPN usage projected to rise 40% by 2024 (TechJury)
- 30% of companies will mandate VPNs for all remote access by 2024 (Gartner)
- VPN services reached over 1 billion mobile app downloads globally in 2022 (DataReportal)
- Carefully review VPN providers’ policies, jurisdiction and logging practices
- Use reputable paid VPN services rather than free options
- Don’t assume VPNs provide complete anonymity if illicit activity is involved
The cyber threat landscape in 2024 will challenge individuals and organizations on many fronts. Ransomware, supply chain attacks, and privacy concerns drive an increasingly complex risk environment. But with vigilance, preparation, and collective diligence, we can navigate the upcoming challenges.