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Staying Ahead of the Game: Top Cybersecurity Trends of 2024

In today's ever-evolving digital landscape, staying informed about cybersecurity trends is not just an option; it's a necessity. As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, so too do the tactics and strategies employed by cybercriminals. Whether you're an individual looking to protect your personal information or a business leader responsible for safeguarding sensitive data, understanding the latest cybersecurity trends is critical.

Jim Broome, President and CTO, DirectDefense

Jim Broome, President and CTO, DirectDefense, shared his top cybersecurity trends to watch for in 2024:

1. Bad actors will continue to leverage AI for advanced social engineering techniques: Threat actors are perfecting social engineering techniques because of AI and its ability to create deep fakes; i.e. synthetic videos and fake virtual identities that are closer to the real thing than ever before. Companies need to be vigilant about social engineering attacks and train employees to be aware of what these attacks look and sound like since it is so vastly different from traditional attacks of this nature.

Additionally, we’ll see attackers take advantage of vulnerabilities within AI platforms that companies are using to gain access. 2024 will likely carry an emphasis on which policies and procedures companies should be following to safely implement and use AI tools within their organizations. We don’t expect to see mandated policies and procedures around AI use as it would be extremely difficult to enforce, so the onus will fall on companies to deploy AI tools responsibly.

2. Ransomware attacks shift to a “calling card” after the network has been breached: Ransomware makes this list every year, but what will be different about 2024 is how it’s being used in an attack. Historically, attackers have used ransomware as the primary attack vector; however, next year we’ll see it being used as more of a “calling card” with attackers deploying it after they’ve already broken in and locked you out of your on-prem cloud. The goal for 2024? Make sure attackers aren’t getting into your network in the first place – and make sure your backups aren’t accessible.

3. SSO gets scrutinized: Gone are the days of “one password to rule them all!” While single sign-on (SSO) is a great way to streamline logins for employees, it’s also a great way to hand over widespread access to an attacker. When SSO is abused, attackers will log into multiple accounts and databases at the same time, so a company is unable to fix everything all at once and ends up scrambling to identify, respond, and remediate as fast as possible. Next year we’ll see more defenses for SSO - organizations should disallow SSO for operationally critical applications like security and network infrastructure applications

Hackers will spend more money on attack campaigns for the promise of a larger payout in the end: A financial infusion increases the scale and magnitude of an attack, which delivers a better payout to the attackers. Bad actors have always been able to make money from cyber attacks, but they’re beginning to truly monetize the business of cyber attacks, which allows them to grow in sophistication and severity. Organizations should take note for two reasons: 1) threat actors have the means to find a way into your network, even if previously blocked, and 2) it means if your data is being held at ransom and you have no backup plan or alternate recourse, expect to be making a big payout to get it back.



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