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Nov 21, 2023

Safeguarding Our Most Critical Systems – Predictions for 2024

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This blog is part of the 2024 Cyber Predictions blog series where Armis Experts share their thoughts on trends and technologies shaping the future of cybersecurity.
Check out all our 2024 predictive blogs →

 

2024 is rapidly approaching and with it a set of fresh challenges and opportunities for protecting critical infrastructure in a wide spectrum of industries globally. From the increasing adoption of cloud-based solutions to evolving regulations, the emergence of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS), and the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI), the next 12 months are set to be eventful to say the least. This blog dives into these key trends and sets out the topics that should be front of mind for security teams, boards, and governments alike.

The Rise of AI Driven Cloud-Based Cybersecurity Solutions

In today’s digital landscape, the demand for robust cybersecurity solutions is at an all-time high. As businesses and industries continue to rely on cloud-based systems for data storage and management, the threat of cyberattacks and breaches is on the rise. This is where the combination of cloud-based cybersecurity solutions and AI technology comes into play. AI brings the ability to swiftly and accurately detect and prevent cyber threats, thereby enhancing the defense of critical infrastructure while  cloud-based solutions simplify deployment and management, making them more accessible to businesses of all sizes. As these advanced solutions gain wider acceptance and adoption, it is expected that concerns and regulatory hurdles related to data security in the cloud will diminish. Ultimately, this will lead to more secure and resilient digital ecosystems that benefit both organizations and consumers.

In the battle of maintaining a balance between innovation and resilience, it’s worth mentioning that certain legislations have made the adoption of cloud deployments in key industries slower. In the United States and Canada, compliance with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Standards had traditionally made the move to the cloud a challenge for power and utilities industries. This upcoming year we foresee a shift to the cloud as the security benefits of cloud-based solutions become increasingly evident for all industries and regulations adapt, bringing more flexible and scalable cybersecurity measures to critical infrastructure.

NIS2 Implementation in Europe: Transforming Cybersecurity Measures

In Europe, the cybersecurity landscape is undergoing significant transformation with the implementation of the Network and Information Systems Directive 2022/0383 (NIS2). This directive lays out stringent regulations, including the requirement for companies to implement packet capture collection capabilities. This necessitates the development of tools for cybersecurity risk management and incident reporting. The shift towards advanced correlation and context analysis is imminent, bolstering cybersecurity readiness and placing intelligence at the heart of every security decision. This transformation is particularly relevant for a wide range of companies now deemed essential entities under the NIS2 directive, intensifying the demand for enhanced cybersecurity measures.

The Growing Threat of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS)

The increasing prevalence of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) has grown steadily and its trajectory is set to continue in 2024. Hackers are becoming increasingly strategic and sophisticated in their methods, leveraging RaaS to easily exploit vulnerabilities in networks and devices. A primary driver of this increased threat is the emergence of tools like Shodan, a search engine that enables hackers to identify and target vulnerable devices and networks. Shodan not only makes these devices visible but also provides hackers with valuable information about their vulnerabilities and exploitability. This means that even devices that were once considered secure can now be easily targeted and compromised by cybercriminals, putting sensitive data and critical systems at risk.

The implications of RaaS are severe for businesses, organizations, and individuals. Cyberattacks can lead to substantial financial losses, damage to reputations, and disruptions in critical services across a wide range of industries, including critical infrastructure, healthcare, finance, and government. In 2024, an increase in attacks is expected as RaaS becomes more accessible and affordable for hackers of all skill levels.

It is crucial for stakeholders to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to secure their networks and devices. We saw in 2023 that it was no longer sufficient to take a reactive approach- sitting back and waiting to remediate security gaps that have been exploited is a ticking time bomb. With this in mind, CISOs and IT Leaders must prioritize adopting a forward leaning security posture to mitigate the growing risks posed by RaaS.

AI’s Influence on the Criminal Landscape

With the good comes the bad, and whilst Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used for innovation and efficiency, it also has the potential to empower criminal organizations. The ability of AI to analyze vast amounts of data and learn from patterns allows it to rapidly identify weaknesses in computer systems, networks, and human behavior. This puts a wide array of industries and critical infrastructure at risk of cyberattacks, as criminal organizations can employ AI to launch sophisticated and targeted attacks.

AI-powered tools can also be used to identify individuals or organizations that may be vulnerable to exploitation. Through social media and other online platforms, AI can gather a wealth of information about potential victims, including their financial status, interests, and behavior patterns. This information can be utilized to craft highly personalized and convincing scams or targeted phishing attacks, making it easier for criminal organizations to deceive and defraud their victims. As AI continues to advance and become more accessible, the potential for criminal organizations to leverage it for their nefarious activities only increases.

Summary

In conclusion, the cybersecurity landscape of 2024 and beyond is characterized by evolving threats and challenges. The rise of Ransomware as a Service, the transformative potential of AI, the adoption of cloud-based solutions for critical infrastructure, and regulatory changes such as NIS2 in Europe are all significant factors shaping the future of cybersecurity.

To stay ahead of these developments, IT, security, and management professionals must remain vigilant, adapt to new technologies, and prioritize cybersecurity as a fundamental aspect of their strategy. With stakes higher than ever, our ability to safeguard critical systems depends on a proactive response to these emerging trends.

The coming year holds both promise and peril for cybersecurity, and it is up to us to ensure that our critical systems remain protected in the face of evolving threats. By understanding these key trends and taking proactive measures, we can bolster our defenses and safeguard the digital infrastructure that underpins our modern world.

2024 Cyber Predictions

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