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Nov 21, 2023

The Evolution of Al, Cyberwarfare, and the Future of Work in 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 →


The Evolution of AI

Depending on who you ask, AI, both its promise and its threat, is either understated or overhyped. But consensus seems to be that we should expect novel and numerous malware applications, phishing attempts, and denial-of-service attacks, all powered by AI. This means that attackers will be able to launch more attacks with less effort and more speed.

For attackers, AI technology lowers the bar on both entry and adoption- they don’t need the required know-how of the past to launch their own attack. The responsibility to combat this risk is now on the cybersecurity industry and its ability to step up and create solutions.

At the moment, the majority of security vendors are not doing nearly enough or taking the problem as seriously as they should. As a whole, vendors are iterating on existing solutions and adding functionality like chatbots or speed in delivery of processes and functionality, while ignoring deeper use cases and threats. What is needed is an understanding of how quickly AI is changing our attack surface, even as we approach a major milestone in AI cyberwarfare.

The Impact on the World of Work

The use of AI in cybersecurity is already having a profound impact on jobs and that impact will only continue to grow. Some jobs will be replaced by AI, others will be transformed. It will affect us all over the next decade. For example, AI will automate many of the tasks currently performed by cybersecurity analysts and free up time to focus on more critical tasks, such as developing new security strategies and responding to major security incidents.

However, AI will also create new jobs in cybersecurity. There will be a need for people to develop, train, and maintain AI-powered cybersecurity solutions. There will also be a need for people to analyze the data generated by AI-powered cybersecurity solutions and to identify new threats. We can’t possibly predict what it will look like, but cyberwarfare and cybersecurity will take up more space in our daily lives than at any point in history.

Tools like defensive AI will also operate at a higher level. The change will be similar in scope to the widespread adoption of automation in manufacturing. Compare a modern day factory today compared to 10 or 15 years ago; machines now produce the car parts on a factory line and humans regulate and monitor the machines to ensure that everything is running efficiently. We will see AI used in the same way with human monitoring but with incredible speed of delivery – beyond human ability.

Fundamentals of the IT Landscape Set to Change

Over the next year, the IT landscape will fundamentally change, making the era of cloud computing adoption look small by comparison. Over the past few years, the wider world changed during COVID and introduced entirely new security paradigms. Today, all of our data is stored in certain ways, structured for human consumption and accessibility. In the future, data can be anywhere and stored however it is needed. AI will make it accessible. We can compare this new version of data storage and access to the evolution of warehouses for supply chain requirements. Items aren’t stored in the way that humans need or think: books, food, electronics are all bunched together. Robots simply find the closest available spot for a box, and remember where it is. The storage is no longer meant for humans – it’s a smart warehouse that can handle itself.

This shift will cause huge challenges for cybersecurity and will likely necessitate the creation of entirely new tools and security paradigms. With data everywhere and not structured for human consumption, and with AI itself being an integral part of how we access and manipulate data, security will have to change drastically, likely resulting in the creation of new fields to address these challenges.

Cyberwarfare Sophistication

Cyberwarfare is already a sophisticated discipline, but it is only going to become more so in 2024. With the increasing availability and sophistication of cyberwarfare tools and techniques as well as nation-state sponsored cyberattacks that are able to exploit vulnerabilities in even the most well-protected systems, attacks are likely to be tailored to specific targets and exploit vulnerabilities not yet known to the public.

AI is already having a significant impact on cyberwarfare. For example, AI is being used to develop new cyberwarfare tools and techniques, automate attacks, and make attacks more difficult to detect. As the advantages of AI grow, we can expect to see AI play an even greater and more central role in cyberwarfare.

Cyber Espionage Plots

In recent years, there have been a number of undercover exposes on cyber espionage plots. In 2022, Microsoft discovered a group of Chinese hackers targeting US defense contractors and government agencies. The group, known as Hafnium, was able to exploit a vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange Server to gain access to the targets’ systems.

In 2021, the US government accused Russia of carrying out a massive cyber espionage campaign against US government agencies and businesses. The campaign, known as SolarWinds, involved hacking into the software supply chain of a US company and inserting malware into its software updates. This malware was then installed on the systems of thousands of customers, including the US government.

In 2024, we can expect to see more cyber espionage plots being uncovered. Firstly, the value of the data that can be stolen through cyber espionage is increasing. As businesses and governments become more reliant on digital systems, the amount of sensitive data that is stored online is growing. This data can be used for a variety of purposes, including gaining a competitive advantage, influencing policy decisions, or blackmailing individuals.

Second, the tools and techniques that cyber espionage actors use are becoming more sophisticated and widely available. This makes it easier for even less skilled actors to carry out successful attacks. Finally, the number of cyber espionage actors is increasing. In addition to nation-state actors, there are now a growing number of criminal groups and other non-state actors engaged in cyber espionage.

2024: The Year of Mainstream AI Adoption

The impact AI will have on our way of life will pale in comparison to the impact cloud computing had ten years ago. And like with any technology, it will be used for good and bad. In this age of generative AI, it’s clear that a purposeful, strategic combination of comprehensive data and sophisticated intelligence to efficiently drive key outcomes will be a winning formula.

At Armis we have always put data and asset intelligence at the heart of everything we do. More recently we have evolved to become THE Asset Intelligence Cybersecurity Company and continue to build on our foundation with an AI Powered Platform Armis Centrix™. You can read more about what this means in Conor Coughlan, our CMO’s blog here. Utilizing the most effective tools to provide world-leading cybersecurity technology enables you to see, protect, and manage your assets.

2024 Cyber Predictions

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