5 Cybersecurity Predictions and Trends to Watch in 2024

Radware’s cybersecurity experts offer insights into the 2024 threat landscape. From the profound influence of AI and the intricacies of auction sniping to the evolving concept of identity as a perimeter and the relentless challenges posed by web application threats, these trends highlight the multifaceted factors reshaping the cybersecurity landscape.

Prediction #1: An AI Arms Race Will Transform Both Offense and Defense in the Cyber Domain
David Aviv, CTO Radware

In just over a year, AI attack tools have advanced from simple amplification to sophisticated open-source code that enables bad actors to customize assaults that exploit vulnerabilities with precision. By leveraging AI’s ability to scrape vast amounts of online data, attackers are building profiles on potential victims to gain an in-depth understanding of infrastructure and payloads. This “intelligence gathering” function of AI will only become more sophisticated, paving the way for hyper-targeted multi-vector attacks capable of overwhelming both public networks and internal database systems.

As AI capabilities outpace traditional security defenses, the cyber threat landscape will undergo a fundamental shift. Attacks will progress from today’s conventional denial-of-service floods to autonomous operations capable of self-termination based on predefined cues. Advancements in machine learning will grant these attacks an “intelligence” to evade detection by mimicking legitimate traffic patterns, posing substantial challenges for detection and mitigation.

For organizations to stay ahead of these looming AI threats, security strategies must also leverage AI. Defenders need adaptive models that can spot subtle anomalies and preempt sophisticated AI-driven assaults before critical systems face crippling intrusions. The next few years will see an “arms race” as AI transforms both offense and defense in the cyber domain.

Prediction #2: The Demand for Managed Security Service Providers Will Accelerate
Marius Baczynski, Director of Cloud Security Services, Radware

As we look ahead to 2024, it’s clear that it will mark the reign of Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) in the cybersecurity landscape. 

Companies are finding themselves under mounting pressure to strengthen their security posture, while facing challenges on multiple fronts.

• The complexities of multi-cloud and hybrid environments have compounded cybersecurity challenges for businesses. Organizations are hosting applications across a changing mix of on-prem infrastructures and public and private cloud services. An overwhelming 98% of organizations use a combination of at least two of these environments, intensifying the need for robust cybersecurity measures. 

• Simultaneously, cyber-attacks have surged both in frequency and sophistication, posing significant threats to businesses worldwide. Malicious web application attacks alone surged 500% during the first half of 2023 compared to the same period last year.

• Political and religious hacktivism is on the rise, with no company being immune to the ideological motivations behind these attacks. 

• Supply chains are under constant cyber threat, further exacerbating vulnerabilities. The U.S. SEC’s recent lawsuit against SolarWinds and its CISO is raising the financial stakes and corporate consequences of future breaches.

• In addition, the shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, coupled with the downsizing of security teams and tightening budgets, have left companies in a precarious position to defend against cyberattacks. 

As a result of these market challenges, look for the demand for MSSPs to accelerate in 2024. The demand is a strategic and practical response by companies trying to figure out how to effectively protect critical assets in the face of a constantly evolving threat landscape. The perfect storm of challenges in 2023 is poised to create a perfect opportunity for MSSPs in 2024. 

Prediction #3: Auction Sniping Will Become More Accessible
Pascal Geenens, Director, Threat Intelligence for Radware

With retail’s biggest shopping season in full swing, online marketplaces should be on alert for auction sniping. Auction sniping is the practice of placing a bid on an auction item (such as those found on sites like eBay) at the very last possible moment, preventing other bidders from having the opportunity to counter-bid. This strategy can secure a desired item at a potentially lower cost since it circumvents the bidding war. 

Some auction sniping platforms automate this process, allowing users to input the maximum amount they’re willing to bid and then automatically placing the bid at the last possible moment. These tools have made this strategy more accessible and widespread. However, auction sniping, like using scalping bots, can be seen as unfair or frustrating by other users who prefer a more straightforward bidding process. Some auction sites have policies against sniping or use anti-sniping measures like bid extension, where the auction is extended by a certain amount of time if a bid is placed in the last few minutes.

Prediction #4: Identity as a Perimeter Will Gain Traction 
Prakash Sinha, Sr. Director, Technology Evangelist, Radware

Protecting distributed applications is challenging and difficult with traditional web application firewalls (WAFs) and API gateways. As a result, we can expect to see a very quick adoption of an identity-as-a-perimeter approach as well as a zero-trust architecture, which augments identity as a perimeter and eliminates implicit trust. 

Identity as a perimeter recognizes that in today’s digital landscape, the network perimeter is no longer sufficient to secure the modern enterprise. It has become porous and less defined due to factors like cloud computing, mobile devices, remote work, and third-party integrations. Based on an identity-centric approach, look for more companies to shift their focus to verifying and managing the identities of users, devices, applications, and services in 2024. This involves using strong authentication methods, identity, and access management (IAM) solutions, and role-based access controls (RBAC) to ensure that only authorized entities can access specific applications and network resources.

Prediction #5: The Web Application Threat Environment Will Expand…and Consolidate
Eyal Arazi, Cloud Security Manager, Radware

Web application security in 2024 will be defined by two seemingly contradictory forces. On one hand, as new technologies and mechanisms are added to web applications and they become more sophisticated and complex, their threat surface will inevitably expand. In 2024 and beyond, look for hackers to continue to exploit emerging application vulnerabilities such as APIs and client-side vulnerabilities. The rise in client-side supply-chain threats in the form of Formjacking or Magecart attacks is just one example of this scenario. 

On the other hand, as the threat surface expands, more threat vectors will simultaneously be consolidated into a single attack. For example, expect to see malicious actors mix a variety of vectors in 2024—like an application DDoS attack with a bot attack or an API manipulation attack—or even use a combination of all three. This dynamic of expansion and consolidation will create new security requirements in 2024. To ensure they have adequate protection, organizations will be under pressure to adopt security tools which provide comprehensive, centralized defenses across a growing array of attack vectors.

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