Security Leaders Provide 10 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2024

Breaches and cyberattacks are growing more sophisticated each year despite a growing call for the implementation of more stringent security measures.

According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach was $4.35M last year, the highest average on record, whereas the average cost of a ransomware attack was $4.54M. The average cost of a ransomware recovery is nearly $2M, according to Sophos.

As emerging tools and solutions become available for companies to safeguard against different types of threats, 2024 looks to be another year with a lot on the line.

Here, data security leaders share their thoughts on what lies ahead in cybersecurity for 2024:

AI-driven attacks and defenses: Cybercriminals will increasingly use artificial intelligence (AI) to automate and enhance their attacks. In response, cybersecurity defenses will rely more on AI and machine learning for threat detection and automated incident response, creating a continuous battle of algorithms. —Joseph Carson, Chief Security Scientist and Advisory CISO at Delinea

Cross-border compliance will drive SaaS data segmentation: We foresee a significant shift in how companies using SaaS manage their data. As businesses increasingly grapple with diverse compliance regulations across regions, the need to reduce cross-border risk will take center stage. This will lead to a surge in the segmentation of data by region, ultimately aiming to reduce costs and ensure compliance. Particularly, keep an eye on the evolving Salesforce/AliCloud partnership, which is poised to play a pivotal role in this transformation for multinational corporations.— CEO Dmitry Dontov

Make security an enterprise-wide endeavor: There are three top priorities for CISOs and security professionals in 2024. For one, they need to ensure that everyone within the organization understands their responsibility in cybersecurity, not just the security team, which can be accomplished by implementing robust training programs. Additionally, they need to continuously educate employees about phishing scams and the importance of not clicking on suspicious links by incorporating tools to minimize spam and phishing attempts. Finally, security experts need to employ queryable encryption to protect sensitive data even if it is compromised by ransomware.—Lena Smart, CISO, MongoDB  

We will see breaches related to Kubernetes in high-profile companies: While Kubernetes adoption has taken off, most Kubernetes teams haven't implemented adequate posture management controls. They continue to implement the minimal level of security mandated by compliance requirements. This bubble is about to burst. This will manifest as stolen data (data exfiltration) or ransomware. However, this can be easily prevented through effective posture management to ensure that the right egress controls and micro-segmentation is in place. —Ratan Tipirneni, president and CEO, Tigera

The accelerating data explosion will force a security strategy rethink: In 2024, organizations will face a stiffer challenge in securing data across a rapidly expanding and changing surface area. One way they can address it is to have the same visibility into SaaS and cloud data as they have in their on-premises environments—in particular with existing capabilities. And that will be a major cybersecurity focus for many organizations next year. More will recognize that the entire security construct has shifted —it’s no longer about protecting individual castles but rather an interconnected caravan. —Steve Stone, head of Rubrik Zero Labs

Rising geopolitical tensions will drive global cybersecurity concerns: The increasing prevalence of cyber-attacks as a routine component of geopolitical conflict will undoubtedly lead to a continued escalation in cyber risks, particularly targeting critical infrastructure. Moreover, we can anticipate a ripple effect as adversaries extend their cyber attacks to companies and nations supporting allies. This growing cyber threat landscape will necessitate enhanced security measures and international cooperation to mitigate risks effectively. —Karl Mattson, field CISO at Noname Security

New skills unlocked: Cloud architects take on security: Over the last year, executives have come to understand that security must be a key objective in the delivery and deployment of applications – rather than something that is added on as applications move into production. In response, we’ll see more cloud architects that are responsible for the security of their applications. At the same time, solutions originally designed for security practitioners will provide increasing value for developers, so they are able to continuously improve the security of their applications without slowing down development. —Shai Morag, SVP and general manager cloud security at Tenable

2024 will accelerate a passwordless future: Apple, Microsoft, Google, and other tech companies are working with the FIDO Alliance on establishing ‘Passkeys”. Passkeys allow users to log in, similar to unlocking your phone, with a PIN or biometrics. The passkey is a step into the future as it’s being coined as ‘password 2.0.’ Since poor password hygiene, scams, and phishing consistently pose a risk, passkeys solve two significant problems: phishing and data breaches. —Tyler Young, CISO of BigID

The rise of malicious AI-generated content: In 2024, we can expect a surge in malicious AI-generated content. With the backdrop of an election year, nefarious individuals will create fake content, including deep fakes and an overwhelming volume of misleading textual and photographic information. This onslaught aims to confuse and manipulate voters. The repercussions may include rumors, innuendo, and potentially spear-phishing and other targeted attacks against political parties and candidates.—Ed Skoudis, faculty at Ians Research, president at Sans Technology Institute, and founder of Counter Hack

2024 brings increased customer demand for heightened security measures and assurance across all industries: Next year there will be a growing demand for enhanced security measures and assurance from customers across various sectors. With a growing emphasis on safeguarding against a wide array of threats, the year ahead will witness an uptick in supply chain attacks, driven by geopolitical tensions and evolving attack vectors. This increase in the threat landscape will have global ramifications, manifesting in a surge of ransomware incidents, email compromises, and the exploitation of zero-day vulnerabilities across various sectors. Therefore, organizations must prepare for a heightened cybersecurity challenge to protect their digital assets and customer trust. This comes also in tandem with increased scrutiny for budgets all over the board, including on security, so organizations will have to prioritize what matters most when deciding the priorities for security spending. —JP Perez-Etchegoyen, CTO at Onapsis