Cyber Security Trends to Watch in 2024

Cyber Security Trends to Watch in 2024

December 23, 2023

With new and ever-more sophisticated threats emerging every year, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest cyber security trends in Australia and the world at large. While threats are, of course, the main concern for most business owners, the latest cyber security news also paints a picture of innovation and progress. Along with the emerging attack vectors and problematic vulnerabilities, we have some fascinating new technologies to introduce you to in the sections below. 

Let’s dive into the digital depths and discover the key trends that will shape cyber security in 2024

1. Widening Cyber Inequity

The World Economic Forum’s Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2024 raises concerns about ever-widening cyber inequity. Though it adds yet another tech term to the endless list of jargon you have to know as a business owner, cyber inequity is an important one to understand. It refers to the growing disparity in cyber resilience between different organisations, particularly between large corporations and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMBs). 

This inequity is driven by factors such as lack of prioritisation, experience, regulation, and connectivity. For many small businesses, the costs of cybersecurity also present an issue. While this is clearly a problem for those SMBS affected, the security concerns can extend to well-protected large enterprises too. This occurs when more vulnerable organisations form part of the supply chain of more equipped corporations. This can create vulnerabilities that impact the security of the entire supply chain. Put simply, this growing rift means no business is completely safe, making cyber inequity a major priority to address in 2024.

Whether you’re the decision-maker for an SMB or a major corporation, there are two powerful steps you can take to protect yourself from the dangers of cyber inequity. 

  1. Conduct a supply chain audit and then take informed steps to improve the transparency and security of your supply chain. 
  2. Ensure you have strong cybersecurity measures in place, including 24/7 monitoring of your system and network. 

Managed service providers like Invotec can conduct an independent IT security audit, giving you a comprehensive report detailing your risk profile. You’ll also receive a strategic action plan, laying out the precise steps needed to strengthen your security and address potential threats. To learn more, visit our Security Audit and Risk Assessment Guide.   

2. Geopolitical Tensions and Cyber Threats

Geopolitical instability is increasingly influencing the cyber security industry. As political tensions rise, so do cyber threats, making it more important than ever for business owners to bolster their defences. A cavalcade of global events are due to roll out in 2024, with elections in over 68 countries, ongoing military conflicts, and the continuing influence of generative artificial intelligence (AI). Each of these elements presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities in cyber security. 

In this geopolitical context, the cyber domain has become a battleground for information control, espionage, and disruption. Let’s take, for instance, the upcoming elections in 2024. Seven of the world’s most populous nations will be holding elections, presenting significant opportunities for bad actors to escalate their attacks and exploit vulnerabilities. 

Risks like voting system security, misinformation, data theft, infrastructure attacks, foreign interference, and phishing attacks could be enacted by rogue hacktivists or even state-sponsored cybercriminals. Similarly, current military conflicts have led to heightened cyber threats, targeting of critical systems, and a rise in the development of sophisticated cyber warfare. Understanding these events is crucial if you want to be well-prepared for the increased risk of cyber attacks.

3. The Impact of Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies are having a profound impact on cyber security. As these technologies advance, they bring with them new challenges, opportunities, and threats. Aussie businesses must stay ahead of these developments to ensure they are adequately protected. 

One of the most interesting emerging technologies impacting cyber security is quantum computing. Once fully realised, quantum computers could break many of the cryptographic systems currently in use, posing a serious threat to data security. On the other hand, quantum computing also presents opportunities for creating new, more secure cryptographic systems. 

Similarly, the growing importance of Internet of Things (IoT) security is another trend to watch. As more and more IoT devices come online, ensuring their security has become a critical concern. While these technologies offer numerous benefits, they also increase the attack surface for cyber threats. So if you’re taking advantage of things like networked security cameras, smart lighting systems, or even smartwatches and digital assistants, you must be proactive in securing these devices and protecting your network.

4. The Rise of Cloud Security

With the increasing adoption of cloud technologies, cloud security is becoming a major focus. While we’re big fans of the cloud and the ease, flexibility, and convenience it can bring, there’s no getting around the fact that it presents unique security challenges. You must have the right measures in place to protect your data, and this imperative is only going to grow stronger in 2024. 

Security Today reported that global cloud spending should grow by 20% or more in 2024. As assets increasingly shift to hybrid and multi-cloud environments, threat actors will shit their focus too, following the trend and seeking vulnerabilities to exploit across interconnected cloud deployments. For this reason, you must be ready to double down on your data protection measures and cloud security strategy.

Another trend to watch in this space is the rise of Cloud Native Protection Platforms (CNAPPs). Growing in popularity, CNAPPs provide a unified and automated cloud security solution, making them an attractive option for business owners looking to strengthen their cloud security posture. Automation in cloud security is also expected to take off in 2024, with 78% of companies currently assessing cloud security through automation. As the year progresses, an increasing number of businesses will likely implement automated cloud security solutions. 

5. The Importance of Data Security

As more and more data is generated and stored digitally, protecting this data from cyber threats is of utmost importance. From personal photographs to critical business information, data is at the core of almost everything we do. It lives in our smartphones, laptops, cloud storage, and even in our wearable devices. From social media interactions to online purchases, we’re constantly generating and sharing it. 

This omnipresence of data makes it vulnerable to various threats such as hacking, identity theft, and data breaches. As technology advances throughout 2024, so will the skills of cybercriminals. Cyberattacks are set to become even more sophisticated than they already are, posing significant threats to individuals, businesses, and governments alike. The repercussions of these attacks can be devastating, leading to financial losses, reputational damage, and legal consequences. So, reviewing your data security measures should definitely be on the agenda for the first quarter of 2024. 

6. The Role of AI and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning are creating more sophisticated attacks. As these technologies continue to evolve, they will play a significant role in both cybersecurity threats and defences. On the positive side, AI and machine learning can help you automate threat detection and response, thereby improving efficiency and reducing the time needed to mitigate cyber threats. However, these technologies also present challenges as malicious actors are now employing machine learning to exploit vulnerabilities and launch more sophisticated and automated attacks.

AI algorithms – particularly machine learning and deep learning models – can analyse massive volumes of data and identify patterns that human analysts might miss. This ability facilitates early detection of threats and anomalies, preventing security breaches and allowing systems to become proactive rather than reactive in threat hunting. In 2024, the focus is on enhancing the accuracy and speed of threat detection, enabling businesses to proactively identify and neutralise threats before they cause significant damage.

Unfortunately, these technologies are also being deployed by cybercriminals who are using them to launch more sophisticated and targeted attacks. This includes everything from advanced persistent threats (APTs) that lurk undetected in networks to highly effective phishing attacks that use machine learning to improve their success rates. 

This tension between threats and opportunities underscores the importance of staying ahead of the curve and continuously updating your cybersecurity strategies. If you’d like to learn more about the threats you may face in 2024, take a look at our guide to AI risks for business owners

7. The Growing Number of DDoS Attacks

Unfortunately, 2023 saw a significant increase in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and this trend is set to continue in 2024. Cybercriminal groups, geopolitically motivated hacktivists, and malicious actors are happily taking advantage of the relatively low cost of DDoS attacks. Thanks to protocol-level zero-day vulnerabilities and the massive botnets made possible by everyday digital and IoT devices, they’ve been able to execute record-breaking attacks on various targets. 

What is a DDoS attack exactly? In the simplest possible terms, these attacks create a sort of digital traffic jam. Imagine a bunch of cars (data) flooding a road (your internet connection) all at once, causing a huge amount of congestion. This makes it hard for other cars (legitimate data) to reach their destination (your computer or server). In the digital world, this means your website or online service can become slow or even unavailable, disrupting your online activities. 

According to The Register, one of North America’s biggest and most influential financial institutions was targeted by a powerful DDoS attack in September 2023. Described as “a tsunami of packets,” the attack peaked at 633.7 Gbps, with the criminals using a broad range of attack vectors in their attempt to disrupt the online banking system. 

Public notoriety is a common goal, which is why banks, government institutions, and critical public infrastructure providers are popular targets. However, in many cases, threat actors simply want to cause damage, impair productivity, and create financial losses. This is why they’re happy to target any company known to have insufficient IT security, regardless of size or industry. For this reason, it’s vital that Aussie businesses prepare themselves for these types of attacks. The best place to start is with a robust plan that will allow you to respond instantly and effectively. 

Cyber security in 2024

These trends highlight the dynamic nature of cybersecurity in 2024. From understanding the implications of AI to grappling with the rise of DDoS attacks, every trend presents both challenges and opportunities.

Though the threats are increasingly complex and intimidating, remember that you’re not alone in this journey. If you’re ready to take the next step in bolstering your cybersecurity, Invotec’s skilled IT consultants are here to help. Whether you want to audit your current security measures, add 24/7 monitoring for peace of mind, or overhaul your entire IT infrastructure, our team of experts is just a call or email away. Call 1300 468 683 or use the contact form below to submit your query. 

Don’t wait for a breach to happen. Secure your digital future with Invotec

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