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2024 Predictions

From the desk of

Trey Stokes

You’re a dreamer. You think about the future and what is coming around the corner. You did well last year and you have some extra cash from that holiday bonus. Maybe just maybe you have been thinking about a trip to Vegas and you aren’t afraid of a little gamble. Well get there quick and get your bets in because I’ve got a few freebies for your 2024 cybersecurity and data privacy bingo card.

Some Things Never Change, the US Data Privacy Landscape

While the EU has led with data privacy regulation like GDPR, US data privacy regulation is further behind than Blackberry in the smartphone game. As we move more of our lives online, it is paramount that we have Congress step in and regulate big tech monopolies who abuse user data, more on that later. Unfortunately, 2024 will not be the year. With an upcoming presidential election and a legislative body divided by party lines, its just not in the cards boss. At best, the buck will continue to be passed to the states and you will see more legislation like California’s CCPA.

The Rise of AI-Driven Cyberattack

You aren’t the only one using ChatGPT to cut corners at work. Cyber villains are harnessing AI in increasingly sophisticated ways. How? Well, imagine AI systems crafting phishing emails that are indistinguishable from genuine messages, or designing malware that learns to adapt and bypass the best cyber defenses. Criminals are printing these attacks like the Fed printing bills in 2020. It’s a virtual game of cat and mouse, where the army of mice have machine guns. IT teams are about to be overwhelmed. Sorry Tom, 2024 is Jerry’s year.

Quantum Computing Threats Begin to Loom

Although full-fledged quantum computing may still be a few years out, it’s not science fiction. There’s a growing concern that quantum computing could break traditional encryption methods. Businesses need to prepare for Y2Q or Year to Quantum which I estimate to be 2025. In 2024 technology leaders will research and test sophisticated encryption methods that can withstand quantum cyber threats. This will be a growing concern for nation states and large enterprises.

IoT Security Takes Center Stage

With everything from coffee makers to cars getting smarter, the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing like TikTok, which I’ll get to in a moment. Did you know that 35% of manufacturing facilities collect data from smart sensors or 47% of energy executives indicated they have implemented IoT? Great, sounds like innovation but is it all upside? Did you know that these devices can be used as botnets to attack other targets or that this fall 22M Telsa’s were recalled sighting a vulnerability in the vehicles auto-pilot feature. I predict a surge in attacks targeting IoT devices, pushing manufacturers and users alike to prioritize security in these smart gadgets.

Remote Work Security Evolves

The year 2020 gave us COVID and COVID let the remote work genie out of the bottle. In addition to the nightmare this has created for management teams who struggle in incorporate remote work flexibility into their culture, this has created new cyber headaches. In 2024, I anticipate a continued evolution in securing remote work environments. This accelerates the push to Zero Trust Networking (ZTN) and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) network architecture. CIOs and CISOs will implement these advanced network security solutions and robust identity verification methods, like biometrics to cater to the diverse and dispersed workforce.

TikTok Take Over

Currently weighing in at number 6 in the social media rankings with over 1.22B users, its TikTok.  As consumption trends continue to shift to more short form video content and TikTok’s algorithm continues to spoon feed users the dopamine hits they crave, this platform will hold current users for longer periods of time and gain new adds to surpass Facebook’s 3B claiming the number one spot. Why does this matter and where is the cyber angle? This is a very contentious election year and the CCP who controls the application is saying, hey baby, it’s show time. They are going to press their thumb, then their fist, on the scale to serve up misinformation about candidates on both sides of the aisle to create confusion and discontent among American voters. In the year 2024 this little app will be the most impactful piece of technology, bigger than EV’s, bigger than AI, it’s TikTok. Scroll with caution.

So there you have it 2024 all wrapped up in a nice bow for ya. I hope that you keep an eye out for those AI driven phishing emails and think how big tech is using your data. Best wishes to everyone this year, either way I’m sure things will be interesting.