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Cybersecurity – Watch for these Trends in 2024

2024 is a new year with limitless opportunities for ALL of us. Unfortunately, ALL includes cyber-criminals as well. Consider these cybersecurity topics as we begin the New Year.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Artificial Intelligence is the hot topic lately and generative AI (generative AI models learn the patterns and structure of their input training data and then generate new data that has similar characteristics) even more so. Many companies have begun to use AI tools for everything from gaining efficiencies to writing computer code. Look for the bad actors to seek more efficient ways to extort money from you by creating more believable (and sneaky) emails along with ever-more elaborate social engineering campaigns. They will use all tools at their disposal to obtain behavioral reconnaissance to target individuals more accurately. You can expect the use of Deepfakes (synthetic media that have been digitally manipulated to replace one person’s likeness convincingly with that of another) for high-value targets and social mis-information purposes. To counter these threats, companies and government technologists will need to invest in AI tools to detect and counter these efforts.

Third-Party Software – Worry about third-party software as well – we have seen numerous attacks on third-party software to compromise organizations. Examples include SolarWinds, LastPass and the giant retailer – Target, to name just a few.  Expect cyber-criminals to continue to look for the weak links in supply-chains and service providers.

Unified Cybercriminals – Cyber-criminals are moving toward sharing reconnaissance with other cyber-criminals. They are using the dark web to share that information (at a price of course) to round out the profiles of millions of us. You don’t have to be the CEO of GE to be of interest to them. The advent of new AI tools and economical computing power is benefiting cybercriminals as well. Individuals with influence and financial resources (personally or within an organization) are now worth their attention.

Free Wireless – Everywhere you go, you are being offered free wireless access. As tempting as it may be, even the well-intentioned wireless network at the local coffee shop can be risky. Think twice, and if you insist on connecting to an open wireless network, please avoid doing secure activities like banking.

As scary as this all sounds (and it is scary) you still have control. Be skeptical, possibly tending to paranoia – always! For example, DO NOT click the link in the email asking you to correct the incomplete address information for the package they tell you Amazon couldn’t deliver. That one seems obviously bogus, but DO NOT click any links, even if you are convinced that it is legitimate. Instead, go to the Amazon website or use your Amazon App to check your orders and make any corrections yourself. Everyone is an opportunity in the eyes of cyber-criminals, each of us represents an opportunity for financial gain, or opportunity to apply influence. Be safe online!

Click here to read the full January 2024 Newsletter.