As we approach the year 2024, cybersecurity leaders face an ever-expanding threat landscape, increasing technology stacks, and often limited budgets. In this rapidly evolving field, it is crucial to stay ahead of emerging trends to defend enterprises effectively.
Four cybersecurity experts have shared their insights into the top security trends for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and other security leaders as we head into 2024.
Generative AI: A double-edged sword
The year 2023 witnessed an explosion in the adoption of generative artificial intelligence (AI), and this trend is set to continue its rapid ascent in the cybersecurity landscape. While generative AI has the potential to fuel more sophisticated cyberattacks, it also offers advanced defense and detection capabilities.
Kelli Vanderlee, a senior manager at Mandiant Intelligence, part of Google Cloud, emphasizes that we have only scratched the surface of what generative AI can achieve for both attackers and defenders.
Google Cloud’s Cybersecurity Forecast 2024 predicts that AI will be harnessed by threat actors to power professionalized and scaled phishing attacks and scalable information operations. With AI, threat actors can create convincing social engineering campaigns at scale and generate fake news, deepfake photos, and videos.
To counter these emerging threats, cybersecurity teams must bolster their AI capabilities. Yuval Wollman, Chief Cyber Officer and Managing Director at UST, a digital technology solutions company, stresses the importance of integrating AI tools with cyber threat intelligence, attack surface management, and detection and response mechanisms. This integration is crucial to combat the increasing number and sophistication of cyberattacks.
AI-enhanced threat analysis
Generative AI is not only a tool for threat actors but also a powerful asset for cybersecurity teams. Wollman predicts that cybersecurity professionals will leverage AI to expand their threat analysis capabilities.
With generative AI, teams can create predictive content based on behavioral patterns and attack history, enabling a proactive approach to defense.
Despite the growing role of AI in cybersecurity, it is important to note that it cannot replace human expertise entirely. Andrius Useckas, CTO and CISO at ThreatX, an API and web application protection company, underscores that AI is still rule-based.
To ensure robust security, organizations must continue to rely on annual penetration tests and ethical hackers who can replicate real-world attacker strategies effectively.
The human element in cybersecurity
While AI is a powerful ally in the battle against cyber threats, the human element remains indispensable. As technology advances, attackers continue to find innovative ways to exploit vulnerabilities.
Thus, cybersecurity professionals should not overlook the importance of human expertise in identifying and mitigating emerging risks.
CISOs should prioritize ongoing training and development for their teams to stay updated on the latest cybersecurity threats and best practices. Additionally, fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness among all employees is crucial to minimize the risk of social engineering attacks.
IoT vulnerabilities and edge computing
As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to proliferate, it introduces new challenges for CISOs. IoT devices often have limited security features, making them vulnerable targets for cyberattacks.
Security leaders must consider the implications of IoT devices in their networks and implement robust security measures to protect against potential breaches.
Moreover, the rise of edge computing, which processes data closer to the source rather than in centralized data centers, presents security challenges.
Edge devices are susceptible to physical tampering and unauthorized access, requiring heightened security measures to safeguard sensitive data.