17 Emerging Cybersecurity Trends

The cybersecurity landscape has been marked by a series of interesting trends.

From the anticipated surge in cyber expenditures to the dissatisfaction of organizations with their endpoint security solutions, and internal gaps prompting companies to seek cybersecurity help, 2024 promises significant changes in the cybersecurity scene.

In this article, I’ll share 17 cybersecurity trends you can expect in the security landscape for 2024.

1. Mid-sized businesses face risks without cybersecurity experts on the team.

percentage of mid-sized businesses that dont have cybersecurity experts

For mid-sized businesses, cyber attacks are the biggest worry on the block.

What’s eye-opening is that 61% of these businesses don’t have dedicated specialists solely focused on cybersecurity.

Equally concerning is that 24% of them don’t even have an incident response plan in case of a cyber emergency.

That’s not just a red flag, it’s downright alarming.

Without dedicated cybersecurity experts and a clear plan for when things go south, these businesses are leaving their doors wide open to cyber threats.

2. Cloud cybersecurity skills are needed most.

top cybersecurity skills needed
Source: Fortinet

More than 50% of organizational leaders are grappling with the daunting task of recruiting and retaining cybersecurity professionals.

This shortage of skills is a big problem because it adds extra risks for their organizations.

Here’s the nitty-gritty: jobs in cloud security, security operations, and network security are difficult to fill.

In fact, 46% of companies say that getting people with cloud security skills is their top struggle.

Following closely is the struggle for cyber threat intelligence skills, acknowledged by 37% of companies.

3. 40% of companies ready for security awareness initiatives in 2024.

Organizations have long recognized the importance of boosting their cybersecurity defenses, and now, a compelling trend is emerging.

Arctic Wolf Networks found that an impressive 40% of companies are actively gearing up to implement comprehensive security awareness programs in 2024.

This surge is driven by an understanding that cybersecurity isn’t just an IT concern, it’s a collective responsibility.

Research has shown us that a great portion of security breaches result from employees falling victim to phishing scams or inadvertently mishandling sensitive information.

So, companies are investing in awareness training to empower their workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to thwart these evolving cyber threats.

4. AI drives cybersecurity products to new heights.

incorporating AI with cybersecurity

According to a survey by CompTIA, more than half of the organizations (56%) are already incorporating AI and machine learning (ML) into their cybersecurity strategies.

The introduction of generative AI takes these efforts to a whole new level.

For example, 53% of organizations are using AI to keep an eye on network traffic and identify malicious software, while 50% are using AI to analyze patterns in user behavior. 

Additionally, 48% of organizations are employing AI to automatically respond to cybersecurity incidents.

This signals a significant shift towards harnessing AI’s capabilities to enhance the effectiveness of cybersecurity measures.

5. Breaches are becoming more costly.

estimated cost of breaches
Source: PwC

In 2023, about 27% of organizations reported experiencing a significant data breach that cost them over $1 million.

Fast forward to 2024, and it’s anticipated that this unsettling trend will escalate, reaching an estimated 36%.

This suggests a growing challenge for organizations to fend off cyber threats, with a higher likelihood of substantial financial consequences resulting from data breaches.

6. Rise of ransomware 2.0.

The evolution of ransomware, termed “Ransomware 2.0,” marks a serious shift in cyber threats.

Previously, ransomware attacks involved encrypting an organization’s data and demanding a ransom for its release.

However, the current variant involves a dual-threat methodology. Attackers now not only encrypt data but also exfiltrate it to an external location before encryption.

The subsequent threat involves the potential release of this sensitive information unless the demanded ransom is paid.

The reason this trend is interesting for 2024 is that it’s a new level of cyber danger.

It’s not just about losing access to your data, it’s also about the risk of your private information being exposed to the world.

7. Downtime emerges as primary risk post-cybersecurity breach.

potential risks of breaches
Source: Rackspace Technology

When asked about the top three potential risks following a cybersecurity breach, a noteworthy 60% of respondents identified downtime as a primary concern.

Equally significant, 56% of companies highlighted the fear of losing intellectual property or data.

This adds depth to the findings, illustrating the pronounced concern for safeguarding proprietary information and sensitive data.

Plus, 46% of respondents expressed concerns about revenue loss, emphasizing the financial implications of a cybersecurity breach.

This aspect is particularly interesting as it shows the direct link between cybersecurity and the economic well-being of organizations.

8. Top 2 risks in 2024 — cybersecurity and talent management.

biggest cybersecurity risks

Another significant trend in cybersecurity is the ongoing challenge faced by organizations in managing cybersecurity and retaining cybersecurity talent.

These issues have consistently held the top spots among concerns in 2023, and it’s projected to persist throughout 2024.

What’s more interesting is that experts foresee this challenge continuing to be a top priority for organizations all the way through to 2027.

This indicates a prolonged and consistent struggle for companies to attract and keep skilled cybersecurity professionals, highlighting the critical importance of addressing talent management and retention strategies in the cybersecurity field.

9. Shifting cybersecurity dynamics influenced by rising insurance costs.

increase in cyber insurance costs

Curious about the secrets behind resilient cybersecurity plans? What if I told you cyber insurance is emerging as a strategic cornerstone for organizations?

A notable 26% of respondents revealed that the upswing in cyber insurance costs, coupled with potential policy losses, has emerged as a pivotal factor steering their cybersecurity strategy.

Now, why is this noteworthy, you ask? Organizations are viewing cyber insurance not merely as a financial safeguard but as a strategic maneuver to mitigate the ever-looming risks, especially those tied to ransomware attacks.

10. Deepfakes will drive 15% of successful account takeovers in 2024.

Looking into the cybersecurity landscape of 2024, a notable trend is the use of deepfake technology in 15% of successful account takeover attacks.

This involves tricking people using manipulated audio or video to get them to share sensitive information or transfer money to criminal accounts.

It’s a concerning development in cyber threats, as bad actors increasingly rely on deepfake tricks to compromise digital security.

The consequences go beyond just losing data — there’s a real risk of financial losses.

11. Cyber expenditures set to increase in 2024.

Another notable trend in cybersecurity is the anticipated rise in spending on cyber defenses in 2024.

79%, of organizations express their intent to increase their cybersecurity budgets, which is a notable jump from the 65% recorded in 2023.

This trend is expected to be especially noticeable among big companies with revenues over $5 billion.

Plus, that heightened commitment to cybersecurity spending will be prevalent in industries like technology, media, and telecom.

12. 30% of organizations unsatisfied with current endpoint security solutions.

organizations unsatisfied with endpoint security solutions

Here’s another surprising trend that has surfaced in 2023. A notable 30% of surveyed organizations have mentioned that their current endpoint technology tools are providing the least value.

While there are many endpoint tools available, not all are created equal in terms of effectiveness.

Some organizations may find themselves grappling with tools that fall short in delivering the desired security outcomes.

In certain cases, businesses might have invested in endpoint tools that, despite their capabilities, simply don’t align with the specific needs of the organization.

This misalignment can result in a gap between the intended purpose of the tool and its actual impact on security measures.

13. Internal gaps prompt 48% of companies to seek cybersecurity help.

reasons to work with external cybersecurity providers

48% of respondents revealed that they partner with external cybersecurity providers because they lack internal expertise.

This is interesting as it signals a significant gap in in-house knowledge, prompting organizations to seek external help to bolster their cybersecurity measures.

Meanwhile, 18% of respondents shared that they collaborate with external cybersecurity providers because they lack internal time.

This finding adds another layer of intrigue, indicating that time constraints within organizations play a role in the decision to seek external support for cybersecurity.

14. BEC attacks forecasted to continue targeting finance and insurance sectors.

cost of business email compromised

In the “Arctic Wolf Labs 2023 Threat Report,” an interesting graph highlights the cost of Business Email Compromise (BEC) by industry, with the finance and insurance sector taking the lead in 2022.

Organizations in finance heavily rely on email for payments and wire transfers.

This reliance creates a prime opportunity for threat actors to launch successful BEC attacks, making individuals working in these sectors more prone to falling victim to such schemes.

As we look ahead to 2024, the trend of the finance and insurance sectors being prime targets for BEC attacks is expected to continue.

Firstly, the growing sophistication of social engineering tactics employed in BEC attacks makes them more difficult to detect.

Plus, the increasing integration of AI in cyber attacks poses a growing threat, allowing attackers to tailor BEC schemes with greater precision.

15. 38% of organizations opt for silence on breaches to protect their reputation.

percentage of organizations that dont disclose breaches publicly

In a recent survey, 38% of companies admitted they kept a data breach secret because they were afraid it would harm their reputation.

This finding is interesting because it highlights the significant weight companies place on their public image, even at the expense of transparency.

Meanwhile, 31% of companies revealed they chose not to disclose a breach out of fear of internal repercussions or career consequences.

This adds an intriguing layer to the findings, showcasing the internal dynamics within companies.

It suggests that the fear of personal and professional consequences plays a major role in the decision-making process around breach disclosure.

So, the clash between protecting external reputation and addressing internal fears sheds light on the complexity of breach response strategies in the corporate landscape.

16. CISOs earn 79% confidence for expertly tracking critical data.

percentage of organizations confident of CISOs
Source: KPMG

The cybersecurity scene is buzzing with confidence — 79% of organizations are putting their trust in Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs).

Why? Because they’re convinced that these CISOs have a strong ability to map the location of critical organizational data.

Further substantiating this confidence, a solid 78% of organizations are equally sure that their CISOs have a handle on the extent of sensitive data residing with third parties, and have implemented robust security measures to safeguard said data.

17. Email-based security concerns grow among industry leaders in 2024.

Security experts are worried about email attacks. 76% of professionals think their company will face a serious email-based attack in 2024.

Obviously, it’s not just a gut feeling — these leaders are onto something.

Two likely scenarios make them uneasy. First off, phishing attacks have become super sophisticated, making it harder to spot fake emails that could trick employees into giving away sensitive information.

Secondly, ransomware attacks often kick off through malicious emails, where one wrong click can open the floodgates to a data hostage situation.

Now, what’s interesting is that these leaders might want to consider investing in robust technologies to solidify their email security.

Whether it’s advanced threat detection or robust encryption, staying ahead of these email-based threats is necessary.

Expert Insights on Cybersecurity Trends

Dr Shekhar Pawar

In addition to double extortion attacks, triple extortion attacks in various areas are also possible, where cyber criminals add another layer of threat by disrupting the organization’s services to apply extra pressure. Taking this a step further, quadruple extortion is possible if ransomware attacks impact the third-party associates of the targeted organization.”

Dr. Shekhar Pawar, CEO at SecureClaw Inc
Dan Lohrmann

“Many management teams still neglect cybersecurity or underfund protections. They don’t believe ransomware will really happen to them. They see this as the duty of a few cybersecurity pros and not a company culture where everyone has a role in protecting the organization.”

Dan Lohrmann, Cybersecurity Leader
Marek Stanislawski

“More and more companies consider cyber insurance as an important component of an organization’s broader cyber resilience plan – as always it’s about prevention and cure. There is no 100 percent security and if a company suffers a hacker attack or IT system outage, cyber insurance softens the financial blow and ensures a speedy response with support from IT forensic specialists, lawyers, and communication professionals.”

Marek Stanislawski, Cyber Underwriting Lead at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS)
Vinjaram Prajapati

“Organizations should look at security from a holistic perspective, considering various elements such as risk management, compliance, data protection, authentication, access control, and more. All of this should be implemented so that the organization’s business goals or management are not negatively affected.”

Vinjaram Prajapati, Associate Director – Cybersecurity

Pasha Abdulov is a SaaS content writer with 4 years of experience, specializing in product analytics, reporting, behavior analytics, and data management topics. When he’s not busy writing, he actively learns German, loves exercising, and challenges his mind with Sudoku puzzles.