New Year, New Threat: Emerging Technology Threats to Watch Out For in 2024

Alert on a computer screen

Not all technology is benign. The rapid pace at which technology is evolving brings new opportunities and challenges for businesses and individuals alike, but some innovations can pose serious threats to our digital security, privacy, and safety.

The global cost of a data breach last year was USD $4.45 million—an increase of 15% over the last three years. As we step into 2024, it’s crucial to be aware of emerging technology threats that could potentially disrupt and harm your business. The tech experts at Anderson Technologies have outlined the most prescient emerging technology threats to be aware of in 2024 and beyond.

Threats on the Horizon

Data Poisoning Attacks

Data poisoning involves corrupting datasets used to train AI models. By injecting malicious data, attackers can skew algorithms’ outcomes, leading to incorrect decisions in critical sectors like healthcare or finance. Some actions, like protecting training data integrity and implementing robust validation mechanisms, are vital in countering this insidious threat.

Businesses should use AI-generated data cautiously. It should be heavily augmented by human intelligence and data from other sources.

5G Network Vulnerabilities

The widespread adoption of 5G technology introduces new avenues of cyberattack. With an increased number of connected devices, the attack vector broadens. IoT devices, reliant on 5G networks, might become targets for cyberattacks. Securing these devices and implementing strong network protocols is imperative, especially for preventing large-scale attacks.

Ensure your business has a robust mobile device management strategy. Organizations should properly track and manage how these devices access business data.

Quantum Computing Vulnerabilities

Quantum computing, the herald of unprecedented computational power, also poses a threat. Its immense processing capabilities could crack currently secure encryption methods. Hackers might exploit this power to access sensitive data. This emphasizes the need for quantum-resistant encryption techniques to safeguard digital information.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Manipulation

The transformative nature of AI tools means they can be manipulated more covertly. Cybercriminals might exploit AI algorithms to spread misinformation. They are already creating convincing deepfakes and automating phishing attacks. Vigilance is essential as AI-driven threats become more sophisticated. It demands robust detection mechanisms to discern genuine from malicious AI-generated content.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Exploits

AR and VR technologies offer immersive experiences, but they also present new vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals might exploit these platforms to deceive users, leading to real-world consequences.

Ensuring the security of any AR and VR applications you use is crucial, especially for preventing user manipulation and privacy breaches. This is very true in sectors like gaming, education, and healthcare. Always update devices and programs when prompted to patch new vulnerabilities.

Ransomware Evolves

Ransomware attacks have evolved beyond simple data encryption. Threat actors now use double extortion tactics. This consists of stealing sensitive data before encrypting files for a ransom. If victims refuse to pay to decrypt the files, hackers leak or sell the stolen data, causing reputational damage. 

Some defenses against this evolved ransomware threat include:

  • Robust backup solutions
  • Regular cybersecurity training
  • Proactive threat monitoring and response
Supply Chain Attacks Persist

Supply chain attacks remain a persistent threat. Cybercriminals infiltrate third-party vendors or software providers to compromise larger targets. Strengthening cybersecurity in the supply chain vector is critical in preventing cascading cyber incidents. Businesses can do this through rigorous vendor assessments, implementing multi-factor authentication, and deploying continuous monitoring.

Biometric Data Vulnerability

Biometric authentication methods, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, are becoming commonplace. The downside is that users can’t change biometric authentication data once compromised, like they can passwords. Protect biometric data through secure encryption. Ensure that service providers follow strict privacy regulations. These are paramount to preventing identity theft and fraud.

Advanced Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are one of the oldest and most common forms of cyberattacks. Thanks to AI, these attacks are becoming more sophisticated and targeted than ever before. For example, hackers customize spear phishing attacks to a specific individual or organization based on online personal or professional information. Another example is vishing attacks. These use voice calls or voice assistants to impersonate legitimate entities. They convincingly persuade victims to take certain actions.

Ongoing employee phishing training is vital to preventing these carefully crafted phishing campaigns, as well as automated solutions like email hardening tools to detect and defend against phishing threats.

Tips for Defending Against These Threats

As technology evolves, so do the threats businesses face; it’s more important than ever to be vigilant and proactive in your business’s cybersecurity approach. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Educate yourself and your employees about the latest technology threats.
  • Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication for all online accounts.
  • Update your software and devices regularly to fix any security vulnerabilities.
  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments in emails or messages.
  • Verify the identity and legitimacy of any callers or senders. Do this before providing any information or taking any actions.
  • Back up your data regularly to prevent data loss in case of a cyberattack.
  • Invest in a reliable cyber insurance policy that covers your specific needs and risks.
  • Report any suspicious or malicious activity to the relevant authorities.

Need Help Ensuring Your Cybersecurity is Ready for 2024?

Last year’s solutions might not be enough to protect against this year’s threats. Don’t leave your security open to emerging vulnerabilities. We can help you with a thorough cybersecurity IT assessment, so you know where you stand against a future of new digital risks.

Contact Anderson Technologies today to schedule a chat with one of our experts!

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.