Here’s a startling analogy: imagine if we treated the total cost of cybercrime across the globe as if it were a country’s economy. In this scenario, with a cost of 8 trillion USD in 2023, cybercrime would rank as the world’s third-largest economy, trailing behind the United States and China.
Data breaches, ransomware attacks, and phishing attempts have become staples in our daily work lives. So, how should businesses respond to these numerous threats to their efficiency and financial health?
Regularly updating your organization’s cybersecurity strategy is crucial for resilience. Staying abreast of evolving threats and technological advancements enables your organization to identify and address potential vulnerabilities before hackers can exploit them.
With the holiday season upon us and the new year fast approaching, it’s an ideal time for businesses to reassess their data defense strategies. Below, we explore IT solutions to consider for your 2024 cybersecurity wishlist, focusing on where to direct your strategy and security spending.
Before delving into specific wishlist items, let’s first examine the cybersecurity trends expected in 2024, providing context for our recommendations.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to evolve in sophistication. These advancements will allow legitimate businesses to find new ways to improve their performance, simplify operations, and enhance their ability to detect and respond to threats. Meanwhile, cybercriminals will also use AI innovation to keep honing the effectiveness of their attacks—making them faster, more extensive, and more challenging to thwart.
Businesses will need to get serious about their data privacy policies and tactics, considering that by 2025, modern privacy regulations could cover 75% of the global population’s personal data. This potential regulatory change is a natural response to more businesses adopting cloud-based services to host their infrastructure in recent years. In 2024, organizations will likely shift their resources toward data protection strategies that help them meet current or potential future compliance requirements, such as encryption, user consent mechanisms, and data anonymization.
Given that research has pinned employee mistakes as the cause of roughly 88% or even 95% of all data breach incidents, 2024 will likely see user behavior take center stage in cybersecurity conversations.
Businesses will prioritize designing more usable systems and making it easy for employees to comply with security policies. They will also put more effort into conducting user awareness training that gives employees the skills to avoid social engineering attacks and eliminate threats at every stage of the attack chain.
As companies modernize their workspaces, they seek innovative technologies to help them stand out. Yet, they must be cautious since these unfamiliar technologies may also increase security risks.
Take IoT (Internet of Things) devices, like smart thermostats, refrigerators, and security systems, as an example. Our society values them so much for their efficiency, to the extent that experts predict we’ll sharply increase our reliance on these technologies from 15 billion devices used in 2023 to almost 30 billion by 2030. Unfortunately, that will also expand our potential attack surface for bad actors to exploit. Next year, businesses will likely face rising IoT cyberattacks, so they should build IoT-specific cybersecurity strategies in advance to be prepared to mitigate damage.
Quantum computing has also recently become a trending topic in the tech world due to advancements in its ultra-powerful processing capabilities. Even though right now it’s more of a vague concept than a reality, security experts are already sounding the alarm. They predict hackers will leverage that intense processing power to evade encryption – making our data protection attempts irrelevant. Next year, expect to hear more prominent discussions on developing “quantum-safe” data protection strategies.
No matter the digital security challenges that may transform our technological landscape in the coming year, your organization can effectively respond by developing a versatile information security strategy. This strategy should be adaptable to emerging risks while ensuring a dependable IT infrastructure.
When compiling your 2024 cybersecurity wishlist, consider adding these solutions:
If you haven’t already, toss out your traditional perimeter-based security model and adopt a “never trust, always verify” Zero-Trust framework. Your organization must rethink how you view threats and assume hackers will likely breach your system. Act accordingly by building a system that regularly verifies and authenticates users and devices, regardless of location or network connection.
Your 2024 digital security strategy should be holistic, blending various advanced solutions to simultaneously tackle different areas of potential weakness. If you’ve yet to do so, consider tools such as DNS filtering, endpoint-detection-and-response, a secure password vault, and a backup and recovery solution. Also, add end-user security awareness training to ensure your entire team knows how to use your infrastructure safely.
As part of your new Zero trust philosophy, your organization should adopt tools that monitor your network activity 24/7 in real-time. You should have the proper infrastructure to detect suspicious behaviour and respond swiftly to contain any damage.
Your IT security wishlist should include regularly updating and patching your business’s software, applications, and operating systems. This type of vulnerability management is vital in a landscape where cybercriminals typically find their success in targeting the weaknesses of outdated systems.
A bonus: consistent maintenance also helps improve system stability and efficiency, so employees can benefit from a work environment that empowers productivity.
Given the continued rise in artificial intelligence expected in 2024, businesses should create and enforce AI usage policies that encourage employees to use platforms responsibly. You should clearly outline the boundaries for inputting data into generative AI tools so your employees know which proprietary information is off-limits for sharing. That way, if a platform experiences a hack, unauthorized users can’t access your sensitive data.
Work looks differently now post-pandemic: it’s more fluid! Employees often operate across different geographic locations and work from home or other out-of-office locations. In 2024, provide resources that help your team prioritize data protection wherever they complete their tasks. That can include mandating a VPN, wireless network encryption, regular updates on your employee’s at-home router, and other remote work security best practices.
Given the limited protection that traditional passwords offer against the growing sophistication of cyber threats, it’s crucial in 2024 to adopt stronger measures. This will make it more challenging for criminals to steal your credentials and compromise your accounts.
Shift to authentication tactics like hardware-based security tokens or biometric identification like fingerprints or eye scans. You can also put forth the most vigorous defence by combining your passwordless authentication with multi-factor authentication alongside other hardware and software solutions.
For many businesses, their 2024 wishlist may center around one priority: offloading the work of securing your environment and maintaining its optimum and current state to the experts!
Hiring a managed service provider (MSP) to oversee and strengthen your IT infrastructure can be much simpler than managing it in-house. Our team has spent years becoming highly proficient at navigating the required technologies for a consistently secured workspace. They’ve also worked hard to stay updated on evolving threats and best practices.
As a result, you’ll be able to leverage their extensive knowledge and cutting-edge resources for detecting and responding to threats. They also have the bandwidth and dedicated time available for the activities needed to keep your infrastructure stable and reliable. This way, your energy can stay focused only on your mission-critical tasks.
Maintaining a strong digital defence requires businesses to juggle multiple tasks that get more complicated as threats evolve. If your organization doesn’t have the resources to rise to the challenge, you’ll likely be more vulnerable to disruptions from cyber-attacks and data loss.
Our team of technologists at PC Corp is ready to help you implement every cybersecurity tactic that will improve your security posture against current threats. When you hire us for our managed IT services, we’ll focus on building a proactive security infrastructure that keeps your systems available and resilient. With offices in Calgary and Edmonton, we’re particularly well-equipped to provide local IT support to organizations across Alberta.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Let’s discuss how PC Corp can help strengthen your infrastructure to secure your business and empower your team to thrive.