With the end of the year rapidly approaching, it’s time to make some educated predictions about what 2024 has in store when it comes to technology and cybersecurity.
The past year was defined by some remarkable technological advancements, especially in the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and this has set the stage for what is to come. The next 12 months are likely to see a complex mix of both innovation and security.
The integration of AI, particularly Generative AI, has quickly become a pivotal force in the technology landscape. ChatGPT in particular has disrupted norms and seeped into many facets of daily life.
Its proliferation is also streamlining many business operations, from coding to accounting, and promises to significantly heighten productivity. However, this embracement of AI is also leading to a significant transformation of the cyber threat landscape. With this in mind, the predictions for 2024 are:
AI Will Spur A Rapid Evolution of Cyberthreats
During the year, AI will change the threat landscape in fundamental ways. Firstly, the convergence of human ingenuity with AI capabilities will serve as a ‘force multiplier’ for cyber threat actors. This amalgamation will broaden both their reach and technical prowess.
Security teams have already observed AI’s use in generating ransomware and malware, however in 2024 that use will quickly increase in other ways. The technology will enable cybercriminals to exploit specific areas, quickly detect vulnerabilities, and evade detection.
Also, the evolution of AI holds the promise of ushering in autonomous, computer-based threat actors capable of executing end-to-end cyberattacks. This advancement could empower a single threat actor to perform in the same way as a large group, replacing human technical skills and gaining a competitive edge over security tools and teams.
AI’s role in enhancing existing attack vectors such as phishing will continue, however the technology will also be used to craft new attack vectors thanks to the increasing quality of output produced by Generative AI tools.
The technology even has the potential to reshape human understanding of reality by fabricating deceptive content across various mediums including articles, legal cases, correspondence, videos, advertisements, and historical data.
Additionally, the widening adoption of AI assistants by programmers might somewhat paradoxically lead to an increase in errors in software development, breeding security vulnerabilities within source code.
Studies reveal that developers who rely on AI assistants are more prone to injecting vulnerabilities into their outputs. Cloud services and AI-generated errors may therefore pave the way for unintentional software security flaws.
Dedicated Applications Will Face Obsolescence
The era of dedicated applications and icons will begin to fade during 2024 in the wake of Generative AI’s transformative influence. The foundations will be put in place that will allow the creation of a future where tasks that were once app-bound are seamlessly navigated through AI interfaces. This will make things such as mobile applications for banking, travel, and information retrieval redundant.
UCS will become the future of communication
Unified Communication Services (UCS) will increasingly replace POTS and dedicated VOIP systems during the coming year. This in turn, will offer a seamless, cloud-driven communication experience that transcends traditional phone systems. However, this revolution in communication will also bring with it vulnerabilities and exploits that challenge a once-secure communication landscape.
Subscription Overload Will Increase
The shift towards subscription-based access to myriad products and services will herald a new era in ownership during the coming year. While offering convenience, this evolution will also cause concerns around data loss and security breaches when gaps in subscription licensing occur.
USB-C Standardisation Will Continue and Vulnerabilities Emerge
The standardisation of USB-C will usher in compatibility and ease of use, but will also introduce a new avenue for threat actors to exploit physical connections. This will lead to an upsurge in so-called ‘juice jacking’ and related attack vectors.
A Rise In Exploit Mapping for Ransomware
Ransomware’s evolution will shift from extorting data to selling exploit and vulnerability information. Threat actors will increasingly seek to sell information that can compromise an organisation rather than directly engaging in ransomware attacks.
The Standardisation of Cyber Insurance Will Progress
The maturation of cyber insurance will evolve towards a more standardised approach. This will involve the consideration of core controls and frameworks that can help to mitigate risk and liability across providers.
In summary, 2024 promises to be a fascinating mix of both technological advances and evolving security concerns. Security teams and their CISOs who understand these developments will be best positioned to enjoy the benefits without suffering from any of the potential challenges.