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Cybersecurity in 2024: The Good, The AI, The Bad, and The Ugly

It's a new year, and we're here with the trends and predictions to help you fortify your 2024 digital defenses. Compiled from diverse sources (all duly cited), our cybersecurity outlook is your go-to guide for strategic planning. At SCS, we believe everyone should have the knowledge they need to protect themselves, regardless of company size. We’ve looked at dozens of reports, articles and thought pieces and pulled out what we think is most relevant for mid-market and SMB businesses in 2024.

The Good News 

  • Ransomware may be facing a recession in 2024. While ransomware operations aren’t slowing down, more countries are pledging NOT to pay the ransom and increasingly fewer enterprises are succumbing to the pressure of encrypted systems. Instead they’re choosing to divert funds to rebuild new systems. Ransomware operators are starting to face a cash flow problem, making it challenging to keep up with their resource-intensive campaigns. (1)

  • The Zero-Trust Architecture security model will gain widespread adoption in 2024. The threats faced in the digital landscape are constantly evolving and in 2024, cybercriminals will have access to more sophisticated tools and techniques, making it even more challenging to protect sensitive data. Zero Trust Security is designed to mitigate these evolving threats. Zero Trust principles emphasize the verification of every user and device, regardless of location, making it an integral security component to a robust cybersecurity strategy. (2)

  • Both enterprises and consumers are increasingly adopting passwordless solutions across various sectors. This transition away from traditional passwords empowers individuals to take greater control of their data, especially in response to the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. (3)

  • 2024 will see a need for organizations to be more transparent about cybersecurity practices. With the SEC cybersecurity reporting rules and CISA reporting requirements just around the corner, companies will be under pressure to disclose incidents during the early stages of containment and discovery resulting in faster, more wide-spread alerts of potential threats. (2)

 The AI News, Good and Bad                            

  • The rapid advancement of AI presents both opportunities and challenges in cybersecurity because the same tools that equip attackers with advanced capabilities can also serve useful in cyber defenses. This places the good guys and bad guys on somewhat equal footing. (4)

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning will play an increasingly prominent role in cyberattacks in 2024. With the assistance of AI, particularly generative AI (GenAI) technology, attackers will be able to refine their techniques – increasing  their speed and effectiveness, sophistication and adaptability. GenAI will allow criminal cyber groups to quickly create convincing phishing emails and messages to gain access into an organization. (5)
  • Organizations’ inability to identify the lineage of AI, especially as AI leverages open-source software, could easily lead to an increase in software supply chain attacks in 2024. (6)

  • Cyber security professionals are using AI tools to thwart bad actors as well as to more quickly identify their activities and block their attacks. (7)

The Bad News 

  • Cybercrime will go to the next level: Cyberattackers will implement improved skills, “shift left” attacks, and shifting strategies to adjust to evolving cyberdefenses. (9)
  • Ransomware attacks are expected to continue their upward trajectory in 2024 even though less people (governments and large enterprises) are paying ransom. In addition to targeting corporations, cybercriminals will likely target infrastructure and municipal services. Organizations will need to prioritize protected backup solutions, employee training and vulnerability assessments in order to mitigate disruption and financial loss. (9) There is an anticipated uptick in doppelganger users.
  • The expanding Internet of Things (IoT) landscape introduces new vulnerabilities in 2024. Many IoT devices lack adequate security measures, making them attractive targets for hackers. (9)

  • Specifically, the interconnected nature of modern vehicles, especially electric ones, presents a potential avenue for cyberattacks. As most vehicles on the road today rely on numerous computers and remote connectivity, vulnerabilities are prevalent. A catastrophic attack affecting fleets of electric vehicles, charging stations and connected apps is a conceivable threat. Anyone else thinking of that scene from “Leave The World Behind”? (9)
  • The need for Cybersecurity Professionals is growing but there is still a shortage of qualified resources in the talent pool – a shortage of around 4 million. At the same time, there’s a slowdown of hiring as we start 2024. (10) + (11)
  • The cost of cybercrime in 2023 was staggering and is expected to increase in 2024 and beyond. To be exact, in 2023 the cost to organizations was 8 Trillion globally, or $667 Billion a month. The estimate for 2024 is $9.5 trillion, increasing to $10.5 trillion in 2025. For comparison, the estimated losses from cybercrime in 2015 were $3 trillion. (12)
2024 Outlook Graphic SCS

The Ugly News 

  • Attack surfaces will explode as API, cloud, and edge resources are added to the list of assets companies must defend. With this influx of vulnerable access points, effective cyber defense strategies are expected to become more complex. (8)

  • Supply chain attacks will persist, with threat actors focusing on compromising software and hardware providers to infiltrate downstream targets.  
    • Third-party risk management is no longer an experiment; it’s an expectation. (13)
    • Supply chain risk management will emerge as a top priority, recognizing that a well-prepared and adaptable supply chain is key to business continuity. (2)
    • Compliance officers, in partnership with cybersecurity teams, will need to intensify their scrutiny and risk management over vendors and third parties. (2)
  • As organizations continue expanding their cloud services and applications, each one brings its own disparate identity capabilities — creating a web of disconnected identity profiles and capabilities across cloud, on-premise systems and applications. In the past, organizations hoped to consolidate these identities via a single identity solution or platform, but in today’s reality, organizations are coming to terms with the fact that this approach is neither practical nor feasible. (14) 

  • Advancements in quantum computing may reshape the cybersecurity landscape in 2024. Quantum system performance continues to scale closer to the point of being cryptographically relevant. The immense computational power of quantum computers could break existing encryption algorithms, necessitating the development of new encryption and security measures.  
  • Governments worldwide will continue implementing more stringent data privacy regulations in 2024, placing greater responsibility on organizations to secure customer and user data. While regulations are designed to enforce protections for users and businesses, properly addressing them is a costly endeavor overall. (9) 
Not sure which trends will impact your business the most? We can help. Call 708-593-3516 or email us



The Good News:

The AI News Good and Bad:


The Bad News:


The Ugly News: