Cybercrime is a constantly evolving landscape, and businesses will need to adapt network security strategies to defend against cybersecurity threats in 2024.
In recent years, cybercriminals have learned how to exploit new technologies that present new modes of attack. And cybersecurity professionals are playing catch-up to enhance threat detection and response capabilities.
Staying informed about emerging threats, investing in robust cybersecurity measures, and regularly updating defence mechanisms are crucial for businesses to protect themselves against AI-driven cyberattacks.
Cybercrime can result in substantial financial losses for businesses. Reports reveal that around 60% of small businesses fail after a data breach due to financial struggles.
In some cases, the direct costs of a successful cyberattack are the cause of a collapse. This may include funds paid in ransom, expenses associated with investigating and mitigating the incident, and the cost of implementing enhanced cybersecurity measures.
But, in 84% of cases, it is the indirect costs that cause the biggest losses. Thanks to data protection laws, companies that suffer a data breach have an obligation to inform affected parties. As a result, damage to the reputation of a business prompts customers to leave and investors to pull their funds.
A breach of customer data erodes trust in a business. Customers, investors and employees expect their personal and financial information to be handled securely. A failure to protect this information can lead to a loss of trust, impacting customer relationships and loyalty.
Regulatory bodies increasingly impose strict requirements regarding the protection of customer data and privacy. Non-compliance with data protection regulations can result in substantial fines and legal consequences for businesses. Regulatory authorities may investigate and penalise companies that fail to safeguard sensitive information adequately.
Given the multifaceted nature of cybersecurity threats in 2024, businesses must adopt a comprehensive and proactive approach to protect their IT network. We’ve previously written about the hacking techniques used by cybercriminals in 2023, but what will be the most prominent cybersecurity threats in 2024?
AI-Driven Attacks Are A Serious Cybersecurity Threat in 2024
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) by cybercriminals is an evolving and concerning trend in the realm of cybersecurity. Cybercriminals leverage AI technologies to enhance the efficiency, scale, and sophistication of their attacks.
To date, the preferred method threat actors use to hack into business networks is malware which is typically distributed via email. However, the vast majority of cyberthreats are easy to identify because of how the messages are worded, or because the design of a business logo does not look right.
AI technologies such as ChatGPT and Fotor have helped bad actors to ramp up their game. Emails no longer contain spelling and grammar mistakes, and corporate logos can be replicated identically.
Cybercriminals are also using AI to automate the execution of attacks, making it easier to deploy malware at scale. AI-powered malware can adapt its behaviour, making detection more challenging for traditional security systems.
One way of achieving this goal is to use AI to optimise phishing and social engineering attacks. Cybercriminals use machine learning algorithms to analyse massive datasets, creating highly targeted and convincing phishing emails that are more likely to deceive recipients.
Cybercriminals can also use AI to analyse breached datasets containing usernames and passwords. This information is then used in credential stuffing attacks, where automated tools systematically attempt to access various accounts using the compromised credentials.
However, the threat posed by AI does not end as an enabler for threat actors to ramp up existing hacking techniques. There is a more serious issue for cybersecurity to resolve in 2024.
Adversarial Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence presents both opportunities and challenges in the realm of cybersecurity. While AI can enhance security measures, it also introduces new risks that businesses need to be aware of.
AI can be leveraged by cybercriminals to automate and optimise the execution of cyber attacks. This includes the use of AI algorithms to rapidly identify vulnerabilities, launch targeted phishing campaigns, and deploy malware at scale.
The most prominent AI cybersecurity threat in 2024 is adversarial machine learning. This involves cybercriminals deploying techniques to manipulate AI systems designed for security purposes.
Yes, you read that right. Hackers are using your cybersecurity defences against you!
This involves crafting malicious inputs to deceive AI algorithms. Cyber attackers can use this technique to bypass AI-powered security measures, leading to misclassifications and allowing malicious activities to go undetected.
Adversarial attacks often involve gaining an understanding of the decision boundary of the machine learning model. Attackers analyse the model’s behaviour by probing it with inputs and observing how it responds to different data points.
A common approach is using gradient-based methods. Attackers compute the gradient of the loss function with respect to the input and make small adjustments to the input based on the gradient to maximise the model’s error.
Advanced hackers have also developed the Fast Gradient Sign Method (FGSM) technique. FGSM is a simple yet effective gradient-based method which involves taking the sign of the gradient of the loss function with respect to the input and multiplying it by a small perturbation factor (epsilon). This perturbation is added to the original input to create the adversarial example.
Hackers use iterative methods which repeatedly apply gradient-based attacks with smaller perturbations. These methods are often more potent in creating adversarial examples, as they refine the perturbations over multiple iterations to maximise the model’s error.
In today’s world of cybersecurity, it has become commonplace for businesses to become overdependent on AI for security. Complacency and a reduced emphasis on traditional security measures allow hackers to bypass your security defences and can lead to a data breach.
With the advancement of AI cyber threats, businesses should be looking to upgrade their strategy to identify cybersecurity threats in 2024. Speak to our specialist cybersecurity IT Support in London for more information.
IoT Adoption Could be A Serious Cybersecurity Threat in 2024
The adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in businesses brings numerous benefits, such as increased efficiency and data-driven insights. However, it also introduces new dimensions to the cybersecurity landscape, posing various threats due to the interconnected nature of devices and the massive amounts of data they generate.
At the moment, the IoT ecosystem comprises devices from different manufacturers, leading to a lack of standardised security protocols. Inconsistent implementation of security measures and the absence of universal standards can make IoT devices vulnerable to exploitation.
Not only that, but many IoT devices, particularly home appliances, have weak authentication mechanisms, including default or easily guessable passwords. Unauthorised access to devices can occur if manufacturers do not prioritise robust authentication and authorisation processes.
Issues arise due to data transmitted between IoT devices and servers. Because these devices communicate wirelessly there is a higher risk of data transfers being intercepted if not properly secured. Unsecured wireless communication makes it easier for attackers to eavesdrop on sensitive data.
Communication between IoT devices has to be adequately encrypted, otherwise, the device is susceptible to interception and tampering. Weak encryption can expose sensitive information, such as personal data or command signals.
The interconnected nature of IoT devices means that a security breach in one device can potentially affect an entire network. Compromising a single device might provide a gateway for attackers to pivot and infiltrate other devices or systems within the ecosystem.
Firmware and software also develop vulnerabilities. If manufacturers do not regularly update and patch these vulnerabilities, malicious actors can exploit them to gain unauthorised access, control devices, or launch attacks.
In some cases, IoT devices lack proper management interfaces or tools. This can make it challenging for users and administrators to monitor and update device software, leaving them exposed to known vulnerabilities.
To address these threats, it is essential for manufacturers, organisations, and individuals to prioritise IoT security. This includes implementing strong authentication mechanisms, regularly updating device software, encrypting data, and promoting awareness of IoT security best practices.
As the IoT landscape continues to evolve, proactive measures are crucial to mitigate potential risks and enhance the overall security of connected devices.
Protection Against IoT Cybersecurity Threats in 2024
Companies that allow work-from-home employees to access your business network from a personal device such as a smartphone or tablet increase the risk of IoT cybersecurity threats. There’s a good chance that at least one IoT device will be operated from a handheld device.
The IoT ecosystem, therefore, makes device management complex. Any digital device requires regular updates and patches applied to the firmware and software. Manufacturers may release security updates to address vulnerabilities, but the timely application of these updates is crucial for maintaining a secure environment. And you can’t rely on every single one of your employees to update every single one of their IoT devices.
Patch management services will play a crucial role in protecting against cybersecurity threats in 2024. Addressing vulnerabilities that are inevitable in an IoT ecosystem ensures that devices are updated with the latest security patches as soon as they are released. You will not need to rely on any of your employees to update software manually.
IT professionals should also segment your network to isolate IoT devices from critical business systems. This helps contain potential breaches and limits the impact of a compromised IoT device on the broader network.
In addition, enforce strict access controls to limit the number of individuals who can interact with or manage IoT devices. Only authorised personnel should have the ability to configure, update, or access IoT devices and their associated systems.
You should also enforce the use of strong, unique passwords across all accounts and devices and ensure that default credentials are changed during setup. Consider implementing multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security and monitor which devices have had their passwords changed.
There are also other advanced cybersecurity strategies you can deploy such as implementing strong encryption protocols to protect data transmitted between IoT devices and conducting thorough security assessments of IoT devices and their manufacturers before integration.
You should also be using remote monitoring software that can detect unusual or suspicious activities related to IoT devices. Anomalies in network traffic patterns could indicate potential security incidents.
However, we appreciate that some options to prevent cybersecurity threats in 2024 are beyond the capacity of many in-house IT teams. Speak with our IT support in London to find out how we can support you in the fight against cybercrime.
Hybrid Cloud Infrastructures
Although hybrid cloud environments offer numerous benefits, including flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency, they also expand the attack surface by combining on-premises infrastructure with cloud services.
More entry points create additional opportunities for cyber attackers to exploit vulnerabilities and gain unauthorised access to your business network. According to cybersecurity software manufacturers, BitDefender, misconfigured cloud settings are one of the leading causes of successful data breaches.
Managing identities and access controls across hybrid environments can be challenging for IT professionals who have no prior experience of cloud technologies. Hybrid cloud environments require expertise in both on-premises and cloud security practices. A shortage of skilled professionals with expertise in both domains can result in security gaps and misconfigurations.
This is where our IT support professionals in London can play a key role in supporting your on-site team. Our cloud specialists and cybersecurity experts can help you to effectively set up, manage and monitor your hybrid IT environment to ensure that human error is avoided.
Avoiding Cybersecurity Threats in 2024
To mitigate these cybersecurity threats in hybrid cloud environments, organisations should implement a comprehensive security strategy. This includes regular security assessments, continuous monitoring, strong identity and access management practices, encryption of sensitive data, adherence to compliance standards, and employee training.
Additionally, businesses should stay informed about the evolving threat landscape and deploy best practices for securing their business network at the devices that have authorised access.
For more information and support, contact Micro Pro today and speak with one of our cybersecurity specialists for a no-obligation consultation.