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Mitiga 2024 Predictions: The Cyber Threat Landscape - Three Trends that Will Shape 2024

vmblog-predictions-2024 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2024.  Read them in this 16th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

The Cyber Threat Landscape: Three Trends that Will Shape 2024

By Ariel Parnes, COO and Co-Founder, Mitiga

As we approach 2024, the cybersecurity landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace. The rapid adoption of modern technologies, together with an ever-changing threat environment, requires a forward-looking approach to cybersecurity. In this article, I will explore three key predictions that will shape the cybersecurity industry in the coming year.

SaaS Breaches Take Center Stage

The reliance on Software as a Service (SaaS) applications has grown exponentially, with enterprises integrating tens to hundreds of apps to advance business and streamline operations. However, their rapid adoption often lacks proper visibility and control, creating significant organizational blind spots. The good old "Shadow IT" risk has evolved into "Shadow SaaS," leaving many organizations more vulnerable than ever to cyberattacks.

In 2024, we can expect to see SaaS applications become a primary target of cyber adversaries, exploiting the lack of visibility and control to access sensitive and valuable data. Security leaders will have to face the fact that this type of attack will be inevitable. They will need to focus on ensuring their organization is ready to rapidly and efficiently respond to and reduce the impact of such attacks, rather than seeking to prevent them entirely.

Rise of Psychological Operations in Cybercrime

The digital landscape is not just about technology; it is about the psychological tactics employed by cybercriminals. Criminals have been using this type of tactic inside attacked organizations for a while now-for example, by leaving threatening notes to stakeholders and employees-as well as in the public domain. Spreading disinformation on social media has also become common.

With the new SEC regulation mandating disclosure of cyberattacks within a four-day window, we will see a significant uptick in the adoption of psychological operations by cybercriminals in 2024, especially in the public domain. Criminals will leverage the pressure on the victims to publicly disclose information about cyberattacks within four days to exert even more pressure, exploit organizational vulnerabilities, and force certain actions. Rapid investigation is crucial in combating psychological operations, as it enables an immediate understanding of the ongoing attack and arms the organization with the necessary tools to counteract misinformation. It is imperative for organizations to improve their readiness, both technologically and organizationally, to combat this new type of warfare.

Advanced AI Drives Sophisticated Social Engineering

The availability of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) and large language models (LLMs) has revolutionized the way cybercriminals conduct social engineering attacks. In 2024, we will see a surge in both the volume and sophistication of these attacks. Criminals will leverage AI capabilities to analyze vast amounts of open-source intelligence (OSINT) and craft highly personalized campaigns that resonate deeply with their individual targets. The era of generic spear phishing campaigns is over; the future lies in hyper-personalized attacks. Organizations must adapt their defenses to anticipate and counteract this new breed of social engineering.

In summary, the threat landscape in 2024 will be characterized by the prominence of SaaS breaches, the rise of psychological operations in cybercrime, and increased sophistication in AI-driven social engineering attacks. As we navigate this evolving threat landscape, it is crucial for organizations to be proactive in preparing for and addressing these challenges to safeguard their assets and maintain the trust of their stakeholders.

Leaders must lean into a mindset that "assumes breach," seeking out partners and solutions that enable visibility into their cloud and SaaS estates and support rapid investigation when cloud threats become cloud incidents. Taking those actions will ensure that modern enterprises achieve a higher level of organizational resilience in the new year-not simply mitigating risk but enabling business.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ariel Parnes 

Ariel Parnes, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Mitiga, is a retired Colonel of the Israel Defense Forces' 8200 Cyber Unit, where he served 20+ years in a wide range of roles in the areas of intelligence, information technology, offensive and defensive cyber operations, and cyber warfare. He was awarded the prestigious Israel Defense Prize for technological breakthroughs in the cyber field.

Published Wednesday, November 22, 2023 7:45 AM by David Marshall
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