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Future-Proof Your Tech: Essential Cybersecurity and IT Strategies for 2024

Take advantage of trends and insights for a strong 2024

Out with the old, in with the new. 2024 promises to bring turbulent new challenges to the IT realm and any tech-reliant enterprise. We’ve talked about trends for the new year and big cyber attacks from 2023 and what we can learn from them. But with the new year, it’s important to set goals that will have long-term positive impacts for your organization.

But the difference in looking at trends is identifying what your organization truly needs. Not all companies are the same and have different needs, especially in a changing technology-based field.

Even if you don’t have reporting mandates, create an efficient incident response

Incident reporting mandates imposed by CISA will start to take effect for relevant agencies and businesses in 2024. It requires an organization impacted by a breach event to report the details of said event after discovery. The hope is to gather information as quickly as possible and form proactive responses against malicious actors and ransomware threats.

However, even if your business doesn’t fall under the reporting “umbrella,” it’s strongly recommended to create a streamlined incident report process anyway. There are two reasons: the first is reporting mandates may eventually cover your organization in the future. CISA wants to cover organizations deemed essential, such as fintech, critical infrastructure, and federal agencies

The second is having comprehensive post-breach reports benefits your organization. Insightful reports provide transparency and help you prevent further attacks by detailing how an attack occurred in the first place.

Readying yourself for the advancement of machine learning and AI

Whether your enterprise intends to use AI-based services, the fact remains: the tech space abroad will make a continued push to inject AI into services, markets, and anything they believe AI can “fit.” Some of it is an attempt to cash in on a new trend, others want to corner their own space in the market.

However, AI presents a myriad of problems yet to be addressed. For instance, its threats to cybersecurity infrastructure cannot be overstated. Not just from social engineering based on AI-generated images and prompts, but the ability to automatically generate malicious code based on the prompt(s) and language models.

There’s another unspoken problem of AI “poisoning the well.” Search engines could become polluted with erroneous AI-generated results, ranging from images to articles, based on their saturation online. Bots will take the place of users and “conversation” on various social media platforms. For the layperson, understanding what’s real and fake at first glance will evolve into a challenging problem. Phishing and social engineering are still major threats and AI-generated content will worsen that.

On the tech side, AI vendors and services will seek ways to “streamline” services. Establish a goal to integrate AI into your business model, learn about its security risks, and monitor developments of how it potentially impacts your enterprise.

Expecting aggressive ransomware gang tactics and zero-day exploits

Ransomware gangs and threat actors continued to feel emboldened. It takes significant effort to compromise malware gangs, relying on international cooperation. Protected by encryption and lack of consequence, anyone deploying ransomware has a low-risk but high-reward profile.

Therefore, threat actors will not only take advantage of future ransomware deployment – offered by RaaS – but also seek to find holes in cybersecurity plans via zero-day exploits. Furthermore, ransomware goals have shifted. Previously, there was an emphasis on targeting networks and total encryption of valuable data. Now, there’s an increased focus on data exfiltration. It leaves victims with even fewer choices and flexibility. Either pay the demanded ransom or observe their information published online.

The additional problem with the latter is it increases the chances of more attacks. Compromised data can be used for phishing attacks, BEM campaigns, and zero-day exploits.

Zero-day exploits are also something your enterprise should focus on. These hazardous weaknesses occur when software, servers, SaaS, and business apps (to list a few) go unpatched. Any malicious gang that knows how to take advantage of said zero-day exploits can exfiltrate invaluable data.

Integration of hybrid and remote work environments coupled with cybersecurity demands

Hybrid and remote work options remain popular for a variety of reasons. Not only do they allow more people to enter the workforce since they’re not constrained by geographical distance, but many find they prefer the comfort of job tasks from their living spaces.

Some companies also adopt hybrid environments, using physical locations but also offering remote options. There’s a great deal of versatility for both workers and companies alike when using remote work. Operations can continue from various timeframes, backup services are easier to maintain, and costs can even be reduced by saving on infrastructural costs.

But the tradeoff is, of course, maintaining security. Remote work creates a network of attack surfaces that make it harder for IT and security teams to maintain, monitor, and report on. Blind spots in architecture lead to the development of “shadow IT,” and remote workers are responsible for security.

If you intend to deploy, expand, or otherwise utilize remote/hybrid resources, you need to prepare for the cybersecurity angle too. It’s a good idea to establish a strong cybersecurity policy from the ground up, if not already.

Again, while remote work and hybrid environments provide immense value for the right enterprise, it isn’t without its risks.

Thinking Ahead

Knowing what’s in store for 2024 will help your organization establish long-term goals. Create thorough plans and think about what you want to achieve this year, whether it’s increasing the bottom line, expanding the organization, or integrating new versatile resources.

That’s no easy task, so it’s understandable to need help. If you’d like third-party assistance and resources, you can reach out to Bytagig today for IT solutions and more.

Note: This content was originally published by Bytagig

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