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2024 Cyber Threats to Watch Out for and How to Avoid Them

2024 is looking like an exciting year for innovation, but with advancements in tech comes new cyber threats. How can businesses and individuals stay ahead of these emerging cyber risks? And what can be done to raise awareness and safeguard critical data? 

This blog aims to answer these questions by highlighting the key cyber threats to watch out for in 2024 and offering practical solutions to mitigate them.  

Next-Level Phishing

Phishing, a form of social engineering, remains the most common cyber threat. However, recent developments point towards a worrying trend of ‘next-level phishing.’ This involves leveraging AI to craft more convincing phishing attempts, making it increasingly difficult to differentiate between legitimate and malicious communications.  

To protect against AI-driven phishing attacks, it’s essential to educate users about phishing trends. It’s also important to utilise advanced security software and multi-factor authentication. Regularly updating systems, monitoring email traffic, and using secure email gateways is another way to protect your business from phishing. Additionally, maintaining an incident response plan, encrypting data, and conducting backups are crucial for comprehensive security. 

Human Error: The Biggest Cyber Threat

An IBM study highlighted that human error is the main culprit behind 95% of cybersecurity breaches. To address this, companies must invest in comprehensive awareness training, establish robust policies and procedures, and conduct random phishing tests and simulations. Creating a culture of cybersecurity mindfulness can significantly reduce the risk of breaches caused by human error.

Unmanaged Devices

Unmanaged devices are a significant security vulnerability. Microsoft’s Digital Defence Report states that between 80 and 90% of successful ransomware attacks originate from such devices. Businesses must implement stringent device management and security protocols to mitigate this risk. Regular updates, strict access controls, and continuous monitoring are key steps in securing all endpoints and unmanaged devices. 

Human-Operated Ransomware Attacks Targeting SMBs

Small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly targeted by human-operated ransomware attacks, with about 70% of these attacks focusing on organisations with fewer than 500 employees. Proactive measures like robust backup strategies, employee training, and investing in advanced threat detection systems are crucial for these businesses to defend themselves effectively. 

For more information on securing your small business’s digital assets, read our small business guide to cyber security.  

Cyber at Board Level

Gartner predicts that by 2026, 70% of boards will include a cybersecurity expert. This shift highlights the need for businesses to integrate cybersecurity into their core strategic planning. Cross-departmental collaboration and board-level attention to cybersecurity can enhance an organisation’s overall resilience against cyber threats. 

Talent Shortages in 2024

With the expectation of talent shortages leading to over 50% of major cyber incidents by 2025, businesses must be strategic to mitigate these risks. Investing in employee training, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and exploring partnerships with cybersecurity firms can help bridge the talent gap. 

Password Attacks are Worse Than Ever

Password attacks have surged dramatically, with attempts increasing from around 3 billion to over 30 billion per month in 2023. This cyber threat necessitates stronger password policies, the use of multi-factor authentication, and educating employees about the importance of password security. 

Everything Begins with Identity

In cybersecurity, identity is the cornerstone. Understanding and managing digital identities effectively is crucial in safeguarding against cyber threats, unauthorised access and breaches. Businesses must focus on robust identity and access management systems, ensuring that only authorised individuals have access to sensitive information. 

Have you considered these latest cyber threats in your security strategy for the new year? 

As we navigate through 2024, staying ahead of these cyber threats is essential for the safety and integrity of your people, processes, and data. Proactive measures, continuous education, and adopting a holistic approach to cybersecurity are the keys to successfully combating these cyber threats.  

Start 2024 Off with a Stronger Security Posture

With the number of high-profile cyber attacks rising every year, a cyber security assessment is one of the most important investments your business can make. Hackers are exploiting security gaps in companies of all sizes and sectors to steal critical data and information. 

848 offers environment-specific cyber security assessments to full audits that aim to move your business into a proactive security state. Book a cybersecurity assessment with the 848 Group to reduce your cyber risk today. We have a highly specialised team of cyber security experts to deliver your assessment and help you protect your business from data breaches and attacks.