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Top Six Cyber Threats in 2024

New and evolving technology continues to be rapidly incorporated into our personal lives and workplaces — from AI to the growing use of IoT in networks. And we have seen more sophisticated cyber threats leveraging that same technology. While cybercriminals are gearing up for 2024, here are six top cyber threats you should be preparing for right now.

1. Artificial Intelligence Exploitation

AI tools have grown exponentially in 2023, and cybercriminals are increasingly leveraging these tools to do damage and harm. AI can help bad actors automatically generate targeted malware and enhance the effectiveness of phishing campaigns.

AI is also increasingly used in social scams, from impersonating someone we know on a phone call to impersonating executives or politicians to spread disinformation. Thankfully, cybersecurity experts are also using AI in defense of their systems and networks in several ways, including:

  • Detection — AI can analyze networks to detect suspicious activity and send alerts to mitigate these risks more effectively. Additionally, AI can detect malware, determining if new files or scripts will cause harm.
  • Threat management — IT professionals are using AI to obtain information from a broader range of sources to understand evolving threats. As these new threats enter systems and devices, AI can help generate and broadcast more accurate alerts, sending them to the right people to ensure a better response.

2. Internet of Things (IoT) Vulnerabilities

The explosive growth in the deployment of IoT devices is leading to faster and better experiences for users. With more devices communicating with each other, there are also more potential cyber threats. Cybercriminals can take advantage of weak passwords and insecure software and firmware updating mechanisms.

Organizations must manage all the IoT devices on their network by making sure the software and firmware are updated, scanning these devices routinely for malicious activity, and training users on proper security techniques, such as regularly changing passwords and ensuring that automated updates are turned on.

3. Zero-Day Vulnerabilities

A zero-day vulnerability is a vulnerability that the cyber security team is not yet aware exists on their systems and has had “0 days” to address. While these vulnerabilities and threats continuously exist, some examples have made headlines, including the Equifax breach and the WannaCry ransom, which exploited an unknown vulnerability in a Microsoft operating system, causing a global impact.

There are a few actions to take right now to protect against zero-day attacks:

  • Manage all vulnerabilities — Institute a strong vulnerability management process to regularly identify and remediate risks as well as assess and report on potential vulnerabilities.
  • Manage all patches — Continuously identify and deploy all software updates to all network devices and all IoT devices that can access your organization’s network. Once updates are installed, run tests to be sure the updated software is working properly.

4. Ransomware and Extortion

Ransomware attacks have been on the rise, and it’s likely to remain a significant cyber threat in the coming years. Hackers will likely evolve their tactics, becoming much more sophisticated and targeted. In 2024, we can expect cybercriminals to target critical infrastructure, demand higher ransomware, and employ advanced encryption techniques that will make it even more challenging for victims to recover their data.

Organizations must prioritize cybersecurity and put advanced measures in place such as backups and disaster recovery, multi-factor authentication, email security, and security awareness training to thwart ransomware attempts.

5. Mobile Malware

The proliferation of smartphones and the increasing dependency on mobile applications will make mobile devices a prime target for cybercriminals in 2024. With the exponential growth in mobile transactions, personal data stored on these devices becomes a goldmine for hackers. Mobile malware will likely become more complex and harder to detect, posing a considerable threat to organizations.

Malicious applications, disguised as legitimate software, will exploit vulnerabilities in operating systems, compromising personal information, financial data, and even allowing unauthorized access. To mitigate the risks, users must remain vigilant and cautious when downloading applications, only using trusted sources and keeping their devices updated with the latest security patches.

6. Deepfake Misinformation

Deepfake technology, which produces realistic but fabricated audio or video content, could be misused to spread disinformation, manipulate public opinion, or even impersonate individuals for malicious purposes. In 2024, we can expect deepfake techniques to become more accessible and sophisticated, amplifying the spread of false narratives and causing significant damage to public trust.

Become Defensible Against Top Threats in 2024

Cyber threats will only continue to evolve in 2024 and organizations must be aware of the risks in order to become defensible against them. By implementing adopting robust managed security services, you can better protect your organization against the evolving threat landscape. Learn how TPx can help strengthen your security posture by contacting a TPx representative today.

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