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2024 Cybersecurity Trends to Guide your Annual Forecast

Considering 2024 cybersecurity trends should bring significant feelings of unease, dread, and triple verification checks. The threat landscape is evolving just as fast as the risks are being mitigated – and for CTOs – the safety of the org lies in precarious balance. 

Looking down the barrel of the year, how can you begin to start planning for risks that may not exist yet? The infuriatingly difficult answer – you can’t.

What you can do is stay one step ahead of where you think you ought to be. Learn from previous breaches, consider the negative implications of exciting new technology, and think proactively.

We’ve highlighted four 2024 cybersecurity industry trends every CTO should keep a close eye on. Join us as we explore these trends and provide insights into proactive strategies, upskilling initiatives, and the continuous quest to anticipate and mitigate cyber risks.

Four major 2024 cybersecurity trends

1. Next-level phishing attacks 

The key thing to remember about technology is that it develops in tandem. As you start to leverage smarter tools and watch AI develop, malicious applications are developing, too. One 2024 cybersecurity trend to watch out for are phishing attacks that begin taking a deeper approach, making them harder to detect and prevent across an organization. 

Most companies employ multi-factor authentication, phishing tests, and security measures – and phishers are using that to their advantage. This new approach, known as “MFA fatigue attacks“, involves tricking employees into approving multi-factor authentication notifications that enable scammers to gain unauthorized access into personal and professional devices. 

Other new phishing scams are leveraging platforms like PayPal and Google Docs to pirate information. For example, faux employees requesting information, access, and org files add another layer of complexity that many cybersecurity systems can’t easily catch. 

With more schemes on the rise, educating employees at your company and strengthening your organization’s defense against these attacks should be a top priority throughout 2024. 

2. The rise of quantum computing 

Quantum computing can’t be ignored in 2024. Quantum computers can process tons of data and run complex algorithms at lightning speed. Remember what we said about development in tandem?

While tech teams can use quantum computing to create encryption that’s practically impossible to break, it also has the potential to shatter our current encryption systems and override minimum-security protocols. That double-edged sword creates a pretty big risk for keeping data secure. 

On the plus side, quantum computing can actually help spot cybersecurity threats as they’re happening and even predict future ones by spotting patterns in huge datasets. This means we need to start working on algorithms that can stand up against attacks from quantum computers.  

3. Zero trust architecture

Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) is self-explanatory – but let us take a minute to explain perhaps WHY it works so well when implemented. 

Evolving from multi-factor auth, ZTA assumes no trust even for users inside the organization’s network and requires continuous authentication of users and devices regardless of their location. Micro-segmentation, least privilege access, and continuous monitoring are foundational principles, ensuring a robust defense against insider threats and adapting seamlessly to the complexities of remote work and modern network landscapes.

For CTOs, embracing ZTA means safeguarding sensitive data, ensuring regulatory compliance, and building resilience in the face of evolving cyber risks. By implementing identity and access management, network segmentation, endpoint security, encryption, and user education, CTOs can navigate the complexities of the digital age, positioning their organizations at the forefront of cybersecurity innovation and adaptability.

4. The threat of weaponized deepfakes 

Deepfakes have great potential to be weaponized, posing one of the more disturbing 2024 cybersecurity trends. Deepfake tools are readily available online, which means cybercriminals will use deepfake social engineering attacks to gain permissions and access sensitive data.

You can expect deepfake tools to enhance scams and make identity theft a breeze for scammers. Keeping one foot ahead of potential risks is best here – mostly in the realm of authorization, spearfishing, online and cellular financial fraud, and identity manipulation of your C-suite.

Tackling the skills gap in cybersecurity

The demand for cybersecurity skills continues to outpace supply, and that has developed a significant skills gap.  Industry professionals are carrying more responsibilities than ever before – which is leading to unprecedented burnout and ushering cybersecurity experts to career changes. 

Gartner predicts that by 2025, nearly half of all cybersecurity leaders will change jobs. Wow. Worse yet, the study indicates that a lack of talent will be the real cause behind more than 50% of major cybersecurity incidents. 

As a CTO, investing in new talent, cultivating positive workplace environments, and development training to upskill your team will be crucial for effectively mitigating the type of workplace stressors that can create insider risks. 

Think you can only rely on AI to help? Not quite. 

Naturally, AI’s role in areas like malware detection and network security is growing. It promises to help cybersecurity professionals monitor loads of data for potential threats since it can quickly analyze tons of datasets, spot system vulnerabilities, and suggest security measures.  

Just bear in mind that while AI brings many benefits to cybersecurity defense, hackers will similarly use AI to optimize their schemes.  

In brief

By staying abreast of cybersecurity trends and developing proactive strategies, you can safeguard your organization against potential cyber risks. After all, effective cybersecurity isn’t just about responding to threats – it’s all about anticipating them. 

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Jena Hodgson

Jena is a seasoned expert in creating compelling B2B content who built her career at various tech startups, marketing agencies, and corporate enterprises. As a "digital trendsetter," she leverages her analytical and creative skills as a contributing writer for CTO Magazine where she reports on tech trends and innovations in the workplace.
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