AI in 2024 Ushers in New Cybersecurity Dynamics

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With the continued development of artificial intelligence and quantum computing, 2024 is poised to bring major developments as organizations increasingly adopt and innovate using these cutting-edge technologies.

However, this technological boom is accompanied by an increase in sophisticated cyber threats.

One major concern is malicious actors’ misuse of generative AI (or AGI).

Businesses now face countless complex challenges: the rise of ransomware attacks, the rise of state-sponsored cyberespionage, and the growing task of securing the ever-expanding Internet of Things (IoT).

At the same time, misuse of the technology leads to the development of more advanced passive surveillance malware, which targets specific systems, programs, and vulnerabilities.

Additionally, incorporating AI into cyberattacks will streamline these processes, reduce costs, and lead to more sophisticated phishing and disinformation campaigns.

“Cybercriminals and government agencies are already leveraging AI to create phishing campaigns, write malicious code, or identify vulnerable systems to exploit,”

said Mihoko Matsubara, chief cybersecurity strategist at IT services and consulting firm NTT.

The other side of artificial intelligence in cyber defense

However, AI will also impact cybersecurity strategies and technologies by improving detection and analysis capabilities.

The result will improve defensive response to misinformation, phishing, malware, and abnormal behavior.

It will also pave the way for automated and effective security operations, addressing workforce challenges.

Cybersecurity professionals have also found generative AI useful for automating tasks, analyzing data, and checking for vulnerabilities.

For example, research conducted by NTT Security Holdings has found that generative AI increases efficiency and accuracy in quickly identifying phishing sites, Matsubara offered.

Nicole Carignan, Vice President of Strategic Cyber AI at Darktrace, added that generational AI has opened the door to providing offensive tools to more emerging threat actors.

These tools will only be as effective as those who manage them.

In the long term, expect offensive AI to be used throughout the lifecycle of an attack.

This can include using natural language processing or large language models to understand written language and craft contextual phishing emails at scale.

Alternatively, it could involve using image classification to accelerate the leak of sensitive documents once the environment is compromised and attackers search for valuable material.

“AI will allow machines to deploy unique attacks at scale, always transforming at machine speed,”

Carignan told TechNewsWorld.

Key Trends Towards a Better Security Landscape

Artificial intelligence promises to influence cybercriminals’ behavior and cybersecurity strategies by 2024.

NTT cyber experts see four other major trends with far-reaching impacts on the security landscape this year and beyond.

Maintaining confidence in the election results will be critical, according to David Bebout, chief information security officer at NTT.

The ability to manually validate and score results to address questionable issues will become increasingly important in the United States.

“This shift towards flexibility and verification of results is expected to gain even greater importance in 2024,”

he told TechNewsWorld.

The second prediction for improving cybersecurity is based on the implementation of the Zero Trust framework.

The security landscape is becoming increasingly cloud-based, underscoring the need for improved authentication methods to address emerging threats.

Such as bypassing MFA using techniques such as JSON Web Token (JWT) injection attacks.

As a result, Zero Trust will go from being a hot trend to a framework implemented in many parts of organizations to improve security defenses.

“Zero Trust is no longer a buzzword, but rather a core concept that organizations will implement to improve their cybersecurity measures,”

Taro Hashimoto, a visiting fellow at CSIS and senior director of cybersecurity at NTT, told TechNewsWorld.

Quantitative Readiness for 2024

NTT’s third cybersecurity forecast for 2024 focuses on the looming quantum threat.

The new year is unlikely to see widespread adoption of emerging quantum technology by hackers and threat actors.

However, there is an urgent need to prepare for its arrival.

The following steps are being taken: The White House has issued a memorandum directing federal agencies to begin preparations, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published prototype versions of several post-quantum cryptography (PQC) algorithms.

Given the long time needed to migrate systems, in 2024 we will see a continued focus on preparing systems and applications for quantum computing, according to Kazuhiro Gumi, president and CEO of NTT Research.

“While the timing of threats posed by scalable quantum computers remains speculative, the need to prepare for this threat is real,”

he told TechNewsWorld.

The challenge is managing cryptographic security for those who do not have access to quantum capabilities.

In addition, it is essential to plan defenses against those with such capabilities once they become more widespread, Gomi added.

Advances in Cryptography and Encryption

In 2024, cyber researchers expect cryptography and encryption research to continue exploring new ways to protect data at rest and in the cloud.

The development of advanced encryption systems, such as attribute-based encryption (ABE), presents an interesting prospect for their real-world adoption.

However, privacy concerns remain due to the lack of guaranteed privacy in interactions with AI models.

Since these interactions can include more sensitive information than traditional search queries, researchers may explore the possibility of allowing private interactions with such forms.

One potential area of interest across the cryptography research community is expanding private search queries to include private interactions with AI systems, said Brent Waters, director of NTT Research’s Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab.

“The rapid rise and utility of large language models like ChatGPT has transformed many industries.

However, privacy concerns can hinder the potential of these technologies.

“I imagine the research community will study the possibility of having private interactions with these AI technologies,”

he told TechNewsWorld.

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Cybersecurity

AI can have a positive impact on the cybersecurity field beyond just automating tasks. From automating intelligent responses to behavioral analysis and prioritizing remediation of vulnerabilities, AI is already adding value to cybersecurity, said Piyush Pandey, CEO of ERP security company Pathlock.

“As AI automates more tasks in cybersecurity, the role of cybersecurity professionals will evolve, rather than become a commodity,”

he told TechNewsWorld.

“Talented cybersecurity professionals with a growth mindset will become increasingly valuable because they provide Practical insights to guide AI implementation internally.”

The generational rise of artificial intelligence is creating an arms race between companies, governments, and cyber criminals on a scale not entirely unlike the atomic age, according to Pandey, referring to the film “Oppenheimer.”

He believes that the growing claims about the role of artificial intelligence in security solutions are a harbinger of its accelerated use in email security over the coming year.

“Perhaps as quickly as cloud security solutions have transformed cybersecurity systems during the pandemic,”

he predicted, highlighting the potential for rapid development in this area.

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