From AI to Zero Trust: Decoding Cybersecurity Trends for 2024
January 02, 2024

Chris Steffen and Ken Buckler
Enterprise Management Associates (EMA)

In 2024, we will continue to see globally significant advancements in information security and regulatory compliance spending for organizations of all sizes. From zero trust architecture to the integration of AI-driven solutions and the growing emphasis on regulatory alignment, 2024 will redefine how organizations safeguard sensitive information, navigate compliance complexities, and fortify their API ecosystems. Understanding and adapting to these transformative trends will be pivotal for businesses aiming to stay resilient, secure, and compliant in a time noted for rapid technological advancements and stringent regulatory landscapes. Here are our predictions for information security in 2024.

AI and AI Security: Everyone's Talking About AI

The AI market witnessed an explosive growth in 2023, marked by the introduction of groundbreaking solutions like ChatGPT, Bard, and DALL-E. However, a cause for concern emerged when many of these AI advancements were hastily developed without due consideration for security. As we step into 2024, there's a palpable sense of urgency within the cybersecurity sector to address these vulnerabilities. The focus is now on retrofitting AI solutions with robust security measures, guardrails, and enhanced data protection protocols. This remedial effort acknowledges the oversight of prioritizing speed over security in 2023. It's a challenging endeavor, but a necessary one to instill confidence and ensure a safer technological landscape for the future.

Data Security and Privacy: Number One on the CISO Radar — For a Reason

In data security, three pivotal trends are emerging. Zero trust continues to gain prominence, redefining traditional security strategies and advocating continual authentication and stringent access controls. Next, the integration of AI-powered measures that are harnessing machine learning to fortify threat detection and response mechanisms is poised for substantial expansion. Last, privacy-preserving technologies, such as homomorphic encryption and blockchain integration, signify a concerted effort to bolster data integrity while safeguarding individual privacy. These trends underscore an industry-wide shift toward proactive and adaptable security strategies, emphasizing both technological innovation and regulatory compliance as vital pillars in combating evolving cyber threats.

Mobile Security: Increased Mobile Focus and Mobile Threats Impact Everyone

In 2024, a notable shift is expected in the mobile landscape with the anticipated expansion of third-party app stores on Android and iOS devices. Propelled by legal decisions in the EU, Apple and Google are now compelled to enhance access to their mobile operating systems, ushering in an era of third-party app stores and in-app payment processing. While this move promises benefits for consumers and app developers, it also opens the door for exploitation by malware and ransomware creators, resulting in an uptick in mobile threats. The hope is that security software developers will proactively brace for this surge, fortifying their solutions to counter the impending increase in threats to mobile devices.

API Security: A Connected World with Connected Security Concerns

API security will continue to be a priority. First, we revisit the idea of zero trust, since the adoption of zero trust for API architectures is gaining interest — from access controls to overprivileged accounts to controlled vendor access to sensitive data. Second, AI-driven solutions are revolutionizing API security and management. Machine learning can be used to detect and respond to evolving threats in real time, creating better protection against attacks. Third, the concept of DevSecOps is gaining traction with implemented security throughout the API development lifecycle. These trends signify a concerted effort to fortify API ecosystems against sophisticated cyber threats, emphasizing the importance of adaptive security frameworks and proactive measures to safeguard sensitive data and ensure system integrity.

Identity and Access Management: The Shift Toward Identity Threat Detection and Response

As we navigate the aftermath of the zero trust buzzword frenzy, it's evident that identity is emerging as a pivotal element in any zero trust framework. The industry is poised for a transition beyond the realms of traditional identity and access management, steering toward a more comprehensive approach involving identity threat detection and response. The imperative now is to evolve toward proactive identity threat prevention, similar to the established technologies addressing network and host intrusions. Recent noteworthy breaches, like those at MGM Resorts and Mr. Cooper, underscore the urgency of fortifying our defenses against threats that exploit vulnerabilities in identity management systems.

Regulatory Compliance: Bringing InfoSec and Business Priorities Into Alignment

Security will continue to play a significant role in the regulatory compliance space — or maybe the other way around! Data privacy regulations continue to evolve and expand, requiring organizations to adopt more robust measures to ensure compliance with evolving standards, such as GDPR, CCPA, and other region-specific directives. Technological advances, such as AI and automation, are utilized to reconcile compliance processes, enabling more efficient data management, risk assessment, and reporting. 2024 will be the year that we focus on AI regulations: how to ethically and responsibility utilize AI systems in an organization's environment. These regulations will focus on how AI systems are trained, the transparency in their training, and accountability on how those systems are trained and used. There will also likely be some regulatory efforts around how organizations can protect themselves from increasing use of AI systems for phishing attacks, malware, and other malicious endeavors.

Closing Thoughts

As we step into the intricate landscape of 2024, the realm of cybersecurity and information management unfolds with both promise and challenge. The surge in AI technologies commands our attention, urging a recalibration of our security postures to address vulnerabilities hastily overlooked in the fervor of innovation. Simultaneously, the data security arena witnesses a paradigm shift, aligning itself with the pillars of zero trust, AI integration, and privacy-preserving technologies. Mobile security faces a transformative juncture, balancing the boon of expanded app ecosystems with the looming danger of increased threats. API security, too, stands at the forefront, weaving a narrative of connected security in a connected world. The identity and access management frontier evolves beyond traditional boundaries to recognize the pivotal role of identity threat detection and response. Regulatory compliance converges with technological progress, shaping the path toward ethical and responsible AI utilization. As we navigate this ever-evolving industry, businesses must not only adapt but lead, embracing these trends as beacons to guide us through a dynamically growing digital era.

Listen to more about our predictions in the Cybersecurity Awesomeness Podcast

Click here for a direct MP3 download of Episode 41

Chris Steffen is of Research Covering Information Security, Risk, and Compliance Management at EMA, and Ken Buckler is Research Analyst covering Information Security at EMA
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