As we step into 2024, the cybersecurity and compliance landscape is evolving more rapidly than ever before. As a result, it can be confusing and overwhelming to stay on the forefront of the security demands that your organization faces.
From the increasing sophistication of cyber threats to the rise of AI, understanding these trends is key to staying ahead in the game. Let’s take a look at the emerging trends and shifting practices that will shape the cybersecurity industry in the coming year. I’ll also share some insights and strategies to help you navigate these changes.
1) Cybersecurity Skills Gap
There aren’t enough cybersecurity professionals to meet the increasing demands in the industry. The skills gap will only increase as threats increase and more companies realize they need to take their cybersecurity more seriously than they have. We’ll see a tightening of the cybersecurity and compliance market all through 2024 and for years to come.
Likewise, as the demand for cybersecurity goes up, so will the demands for IT personnel. While the IT skills gap trails behind infosec, it will become a more prevalent issue throughout the coming year.
It’s critical for companies to start hiring cybersecurity professionals now, without delay. Expect these hires to be expensive, because they’re in demand — but don’t hire just anyone you can get your hands on. An under qualified professional will be a fundamental waste of money and won’t do your company any good.
You can reduce costs while also hiring top expertise by bringing in a fractional cybersecurity firm that can fill the gap in a more cost effective manner while also providing training to internal personnel.
2) Influence of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) was the buzzword of 2023. On the one hand, an increasing number of companies will want to leverage AI for protection — to dynamically identify threats to the organization as a preventative tool.
On the other hand, that same capability is already being leveraged by bad actors, so they can expediently change and adapt their attack patterns. AI will be incredibly valuable to the bad guys to increase their speed of identifying attack targets.
There’s an idea out there that AI can do anything you dream of, but you need to use caution with AI. When you use AI, you feed it data. Know where that data is going and where it’s being stored. Be very judicious about the sensitivity of the data you provide to AI machines.
This is really no different from the vetting one would do for any new vendor or service you’re contemplating leveraging.
Forward-looking security personnel will push to regulate employee use of generative AI. This will be a focal point, and expect policy changes among organizations in relation to AI, across the board.
3) Morphing Landscape of Security and Compliance
Over the last few years, we’ve seen an increasing awareness of the need to take security seriously. This trend will continue over the next year. As security needs increase, expect to see these changes in the cybersecurity landscape:
- Cyber liability insurance. Only five years ago, cyber insurance applications were about ten questions long. Now they’re tens of pages long. Expect insurance requirements to tighten, and premiums to continue skyrocketing. Insurance agencies will enhance their capabilities to detect when an organization’s security profile doesn’t reflect its attestations. Also watch for fewer agencies to carry cyber insurance as their risk profile increases.
- Cybersecurity regulations. Expect requirements to grow in number and in rigor. For example, PCI DSS 4.0 has more requirements than PCI 3.2.1, and CMMC was introduced to provide tighter regulations for DoD contractors. New online privacy standards are continually being developed at state and national levels, as well.
4) Cyber Management Demands
Finally, the light bulbs are turning on at the executive level of organizations. As cybersecurity awareness grows, we’ll see an increasing need for organizations to have greater visibility into their infosec portfolios. Executives will demand more information and transparency from CISOs and directors overseeing information security.
These directors will need tools and technologies that allow them to quickly identify their status at a glance, and to provide easy-to-understand reports to the executive leadership. Organizations will need tool sets that integrate with one another and provide monitoring and reporting capabilities across the organization.
5) More (And More Sophisticated) Phishing Attacks
In 2024, phishing attacks will become harder to spot, and they will become more common. Bad actors will become more sophisticated, employing complex phishing attacks that are harder to recognize.
Likewise, we’ll see a continuously evolving ransomware landscape that produces more successful ransomware attacks on organizations.
State sponsored phishing attacks have been prevalent for years, and they will continue to expand through 2024. Private and commercial organizations need to realize that they are direct yet incidental targets of government sponsored attacks. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to get personal information about a senator from their car dealer or phone carrier than from government systems.
Are You Prepared for 2024?
As we look ahead into 2024, the cybersecurity and compliance landscape will face rapid and significant evolution. The increasing sophistication of cyber threats, the rise of AI in both defensive and offensive capacities, and the growing awareness of cybersecurity at the executive level are just a few of the critical factors shaping this dynamic field.
As we navigate the complexities of cybersecurity in 2024, it is imperative for organizations to stay informed, agile, and proactive. By fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness and preparedness, your company can not only mitigate the risks but also seize new opportunities in an ever-evolving security landscape.
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