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ThreatX 2024 Predictions: How to Combat the Rise of Cyber Threats and AI-Driven Attacks in 2024

vmblog-predictions-2024 

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

How to Combat the Rise of Cyber Threats and AI-Driven Attacks in 2024

By Andrius Useckas CTO & CISO at ThreatX

In 2023, industries witnessed exponential security threats impacting masses, and in the year ahead it's safe to say that this trend will only continue to increase. Cyber criminals are, more than ever, harnessing the power of AI to deploy attacks, and there has been a surge in dual ransomware attacks aimed at achieving their malicious intent. The good news is security teams are not unprepared. As we look ahead into the upcoming year, it's essential to stay up to date on what threats will cause the most destruction and how organizations can remain protected.

The threat of dual ransomware assaults in 2024 will escalate

A concerning trend has been rising in 2023 and continues to loom on the horizon as we look forward to 2024: the rise of dual ransomware attacks. It's estimated that 1.7 million ransomware attacks occur every day equating roughly to 19 attacks every second. This is a massive growth since 2022, when ransomware only accounted for a fifth of all cyber-attacks. Financial motivation has been a driving force for most cyberattacks, but recently the stakes have been made even higher.  

As sanctions on Russia increase, there is a renewed surge of innovation and persistence in cybercrime, as seen in a recent trend of "dual attacks." In this type of attack, after an initial breach, attackers strike again, severely hampering victims' recovery efforts and testing the resilience of network defenses. It's a constant cat-and-mouse game, with attackers leading the charge with new technology adoption. As we enter 2024, cybersecurity professionals must invest in technology and tactics that will help them identify potential vulnerabilities in emerging technologies earlier in their adoption, so threat actors aren't able to repeatedly exploit vulnerabilities.

AI will be used for both offense and defense in 2024

AI became the new buzzword in 2023, as organizations and consumers alike adopted various artificial intelligence systems. The problem is: cybercriminals adopted the same systems to help them effectively penetrate an organization's defenses and trick people into sharing confidential information. While AI can be used for good, it's only improving the ROI of bad actors, allowing them to attack faster and execute with more sophistication. The attacks themselves won't change, but attackers will be able to automate processes and more easily exploit information. Just as professors can employ AI to identify AI-generated papers, organizations must use the same type of models to detect attacks such as phishing attacks and computer-generated access requests. 

The role of ethical hackers will become indispensable in tomorrow's cyber defense

As cyber threats grow in sophistication, organizations must evaluate their risk levels and vulnerabilities. While automated tools offer valuable assistance, they can only get security teams so far before threat actors' creative techniques outpace them. In 2024, the importance of ethical hackers cannot be overstated. Emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning still play an important role -but ethical hackers are unique in their abilities to think and act like malicious hackers. Their expertise remains a linchpin, pinpointing vulnerabilities that automated tools might miss at a level of accuracy needed by organizations. With future attacks poised to be more cunning and advanced, ethical hackers are a frontline defense, blending human intuition and technical acumen to guide and fortify organizations' defenses against unseen dangers in the threat landscape.

There is no doubt that industries across the board will continue to innovate in the coming year. However, these great technological strides do not come without great risk. In 2024, we can expect heightened AI implementation, increasingly cunning threat actors, and smarter technology. But if organizations equip themselves with the appropriate security strategies now, they ensure they are doing their part to stay ahead of cybercriminals. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrius Useckas 

Andrius has a varied career ranging from ethical hacking, penetration testing and security product development for the US Department of Defense, senior consulting positions for Fortune 500 enterprises, and corporate CISO responsibilities for large enterprises. Andrius has an exceptional blend of software development skills combined with extensive knowledge and experience of the network and security industries.

Published Thursday, November 30, 2023 7:38 AM by David Marshall
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