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Trends in 2024: Cybersecurity

January 10, 2024

The cybercrimes of 2023 are estimated to have cost the global economy a whopping $8 trillion.

As users and organizations look to tighten up their cybersecurity habits in the new year, Thomas Vallario, New York Tech information security and compliance analyst, predicts what’s to come in 2024.

“One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned in the last year is that no organization or individual is immune to cyberattacks,” says Vallario. “It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant you think the information may be—it can be sold and exploited by hackers for their benefit."

Heading into the new year, Vallario advises consumers and organizations to be aware that phishing scams are also evolving quickly, with hackers now leveraging generative AI to create convincing emails.

“Gone are the days of spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and broken English in phishing emails. Using generative AI, attackers anywhere in the world can now send you a perfectly written email in whatever language you speak, and maybe even add some personal details that make it extremely difficult to discern if it is real or fraudulent,” says Vallario.

He also foresees two other global trends emerging: governments around the world enacting proactive cybersecurity regulations, measures that are already becoming a reality in the United States, and an increase in Internet of Things (IoT) cyberattacks. While IoT device security is improving, Vallario notes that it still lags behind the standards for a computer or laptop. Given this, users should be mindful that internet-connected devices—including phones, televisions, and refrigerators, among others—are potential windows for attackers.

Vallario also shares the following tips to protect one’s data in the new year:  

  • Create strong passwords using a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols that do not contain dictionary words. There are plenty of password managers out there—use them. Technology has advanced to a point where the six- or eight-character passwords used 10 years ago can be cracked in a matter of minutes. The longer and more complex the password, the less likely it is to be cracked.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on websites that offer it, especially on your accounts with sensitive information like banks, credit cards, etc. More organizations are offering it every day—take advantage.
  • Keep your software on your devices up to date. Hackers thrive on exploiting software vulnerabilities. Once discovered, it’s a race against time. The updates not only provide improved functionality, but many of them contain security updates to patch the vulnerabilities.
  • Regularly review your privacy settings on your accounts, especially social media. Hackers have become very adept at using information posted on social media for cracking passwords or creating targeted phishing emails. Many developers offer new privacy options from time to time. Check regularly to see what’s available and that all your settings are to your liking. The less information visible to the public, the safer you are.

This article is part of the “Trends in 2024” series, which features perspectives from New York Tech experts on emerging trends, tips, and predictions for what’s to come in the new year.