Top Cybersecurity trends to look out for in 2024

By Ritesh Chopra, India Director, Norton

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As we usher in 2024, the digital horizon is brimming with new cybersecurity challenges. With that in mind, our threat researchers have been hard at work examining the threat landscape of the past year to predict what the biggest threats of the next year might be.

There has been a constant onslaught of ransomware assaults over the past year, many of which have developed into double and triple extortion schemes. With the introduction of generative AI, AI and machine learning also gained prominence, as did the possibility of malevolent usage by attackers.

Following are the cybersecurity predictions and trends for 2024 to be aware of:

On-Device AI Processing for Privacy, New Security Concerns:

In 2024, there’s a significant shift in AI, especially Large Language Models (LLMs), moving from cloud-based models to on-device processing. This change aims to enhance privacy and data security by reducing the risk of cloud-related breaches. However, it introduces new security risks as malicious actors may exploit on-device AI models.

Generative AI Changes Bring Both Positives and Negatives:

The upcoming year will witness substantial advancements in generative AI, particularly in creating unprecedented media content. Positive aspects include features like text-to-video, simplifying content creation. However, the emergence of realistic deepfakes raises concerns about the blurred line between truth and fiction, potentially leading to the spread of fake videos and misinformation.

BYOAI in the Workplace Increases Data Breach Risks:

“Bring Your Own AI” (BYOAI) will become prominent in the workplace in 2024, with employees using personal AI tools for work-related tasks. While this brings convenience, it raises concerns about mixing personal and work data, potentially leading to inadvertent data leaks. The challenge lies in balancing the benefits of personal AI tools with the security measures implemented in workplace AI tools.

AI-Fueled Scams Surge on Social Media:

Social media is expected to witness an influx of AI-driven frauds in 2024. Cybercriminals may leverage AI to create convincing fake content, including deepfakes and personalized ads, targeting individuals based on their preferences. The realistic nature of AI-crafted content makes it challenging to distinguish between genuine and fraudulent information.

Evolution of Email Scams with AI:

Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks are evolving into Business Communication Compromise (BCC) in 2024. Cybercriminals are using AI and deepfake technology to mimic trusted figures, such as bosses or colleagues, making it harder to identify fake communications. Enhanced digital defense measures, like two-factor authentication for emails and verification through different channels, are recommended.

AI Tools as Targets for Malware and Hacking Attempts:

The popularity of AI tools makes them attractive targets for cybercriminals. Users may unknowingly download AI apps containing malware, leading to various risks, from personal information theft to system hijacking. Cybercriminals may also target the backend systems of complex AI models, posing threats to sensitive data.

Sophistication of Digital Blackmail:

Digital blackmail is evolving beyond basic ransomware in 2024, focusing on personalized attacks that delve into individuals’ identities. Modern ransomware tactics aim to steal company secrets and harm reputations, introducing a higher level of harm. Cybercriminals use imaginative methods, such as fake images and videos, to make threats more convincing.

Small Businesses as Targets:

Small businesses are not exempt from cyber threats, and in 2024, they may face new forms of digital threats and sophisticated swindles. Cybercriminals are becoming more creative, using tactics like fake images and videos to enhance the credibility of their threats.

In conclusion, the cybersecurity landscape in 2024 is undergoing significant transformations with the integration of AI technologies. While these advancements bring opportunities, they also pose new challenges that require vigilant preparation and informed strategies to navigate successfully. As a trusted partner, Norton aims to provide insights and solutions to help users and organizations secure their digital environments in this dynamic era.