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According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, the global cost of a data breach last year was USD$4.45 million. This is an increase of 15% over three years.

As we step into 2024, it is important to be aware of emerging technology threats that could potentially disrupt and harm your business. We will explore some emerging technology threats to be aware of in 2024 and beyond.

Emerging Technology Threats in 2024 and Beyond

#1 Data Poisoning Attacks

Data poisoning refers to the manipulation of datasets utilised in training AI (Artificial Intelligence) models. Injecting malicious data can potentially skew algorithm outcomes. This can lead to incorrect decisions, especially in critical areas like healthcare and finance. To counter this, businesses should protect data integrity and implement a robust validation mechanism.

#2 5G Network Vulnerabilities

The adoption of 5G technology introduces new attack possibilities. The increase in the number of connected devices broadens the attack vector. IoT (Internet of Things) devices that are reliant on 5G networks may potentially become targets of cyberattacks. Securing these devices and implementing strong network protocols is imperative to prevent large-scale attacks.

#3 Quantum Computing Vulnerabilities

Quantum computing does multiple tasks simultaneously by using qubits that can exist in multiple states. This offers the potential for solving certain problems much faster than traditional computers. Its immense processing capabilities could crack currently secure encryption methods. Hackers could exploit this power to access sensitive data. It is important to keep up with quantum-resistant encryption techniques to safeguard digital information.

#4 Artificial Intelligence Manipulation

Cybercriminals can exploit AI to spread misinformation. Currently, they are creating deepfakes and use automated phishing attacks. Maintaining vigilance is crucial as AI-driven threats are evolving in sophistication. An effective detection mechanism is needed to differentiate authentic content from malicious AI-generated material.

#5 Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Exploits

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies, collectively known as Extended Reality (XR) are becoming increasingly popular but they also introduce new security challenges and potential exploits. Among some exploits that can occur:

  • Privacy concerns – AR applications overlay digital information onto the real work potentially collecting data about user’s surroundings that raises concerns about privacy invasion.
  • Location spoofing – AR relies on accurate location data which attackers may attempt to manipulate or spoof location information.
  • Insecure data transmission – AR applications involve transmitting data between devices and servers. If this communication is not properly secured, it could be intercepted leading to data breaches and unauthorised access to sensitive information.
  • Virtual harassment – In shared VR environments, users can interact with each other in real-time. Exploits could involve harassment, bullying, and other malicious activities within the virtual space.
  • Malicious VR contentt – Similar to AR, VR can be manipulated to deceive users and spread misinformation.

#6 Evolving Ransomware

Ransomware attacks have evolved beyond simple data encryption. Threat actors now use double extortion tactics and steal sensitive data before encrypting the files. Hackers will leak or sell the data when victims refuse to pay.

Some defences against this evolved ransomware include:

  • Robust backup solutions
  • Regular cybersecurity training
  • Proactive threat hunting

#7 Supply Chain Attacks Persist

Cybercriminals infiltrate third-party vendors or software providers to compromise larger targets. Strengthening supply chain cybersecurity is critical in preventing cascading cyber incidents. Businesses can do this by performing rigorous vendor assessments, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and continuous monitoring.

#8 Biometric Data Vulnerability

Biometric authentication methods using fingerprint or facial recognition are becoming commonplace in businesses. The only lacking part of this authentication method is the inability for users to change the biometric data if a hacking incident occurs. Businesses need to protect biometric data through secure encryption. You need to make sure that service providers follow strict privacy regulations in storing and using biometric data. This will help to prevent identity theft and fraud.

#9 Advanced Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks, a common cyber threat, are now becoming more sophisticated and targeted using AI. As an example, hackers can customise phishing attacks targeting specific individual organisations with publicly available information.

Another example is vishing attacks where the use of voice calls or voice assistants is used to impersonate legitimate entities. These can be very persuasive in getting victims to perform specific actions.

Ongoing employee training is vital to prevent this type of cyberattack. Implementing automated solutions to detect and defend against phishing threats.

Tips to Defend Against These Threats

Below are tips to help defend against these threats:

  • Provide sufficient awareness and education on the latest technology threats.
  • Keep your software and devices updated to fix any security vulnerabilities.
  • Verify the identity and legitimacy of callers or senders. Do not provide any information or take any action before doing so. If in doubt, always double-check with the IT team.
  • Back up your data regularly to prevent data loss in the event of a cyberattack.
  • Invest in a reliable cyber insurance policy that covers your specific needs and risks.
  • Report any suspicious or malicious activity to the relevant authorities.
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Last year’s solutions might not be sufficient to protect against this year’s threats. We can help you with a thorough cybersecurity assessment, so you can know where you stand and what actions you need to take.

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