In this ever-evolving digital landscape, cyber crime continues to be a pervasive threat. As technology advances, so too do the tools and tactics employed by cyber criminals. That’s why it is essential for both individuals and organisations to stay vigilant and informed about the latest cyber crime trends. In this article, we will explore the key trends that are expected to emerge in 2024, highlighting the potential risks and challenges they pose. 

The rise of AI in cybercrime

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already made significant advances in various fields, and unfortunately, cyber crime is no exception.  

In 2023, cyber criminals leveraged tools such as WormGPT, a malicious AI chatbot, to enhance the efficiency and sophistication of their attacks. However, this is only the beginning. As the accessibility and commercialisation of AI increases, we can expect to see the increasing use of AI in cyber attacks in 2024. From AI-powered malware to deepfake attacks, businesses must be prepared to combat these sophisticated threats.   

One area where generative AI is particularly concerning is in the creation of highly convincing phishing emails. By using AI algorithms to analyse a target’s online behavior and communication patterns, cybercriminals can craft personalised emails that are almost indistinguishable from legitimate messages. This level of sophistication makes it increasingly difficult for individuals and organisations to identify and defend against phishing attacks. Plus, generative AI algorithms have the capability to autonomously create realistic and convincing content, such as deepfake videos and voice cloning.    

Fortunately, Barracuda offers a comprehensive solution to combat these malicious activities. Barracuda’s phishing and impersonation protection is a cutting-edge solution designed to identify, assess, and remediate any malicious or suspicious activities within email systems, using advanced algorithms and machine learning. This combined with ARO’s  Cloud-to-Cloud Backup and managed cyber security services offers businesses a winning combination to protect against phishing attacks. 

Double Extortion Ransomware

Ransomware attacks have been on the rise, and this trend is expected to persist in 2024. Cybercriminals leverage encryption and extortion tactics to paralyse businesses’ operations and demand hefty sums of money. Previously, when the ransom was paid, the cyber criminal would decrypt your system and you could carry on business as normal. However, now cyber criminals are making double payment for the availability of your systems as well as the confidentiality of your data due to the reputational damage caused by the publication of compromised data. 

To counter ransomware attacks, organisations should regularly back up their critical data, segment their networks, and implement robust security measures. Barracuda is uniquely qualified to protect your business from ransomware, providing effective solutions to defend against every step of today’s ransomware attacks.  

Rising burnout rates will challenge cyber security teams

The demands placed on cybersecurity professionals continue to escalate, and in 2024, we can expect burnout rates to reach unprecedented levels. With the ever-evolving nature of cyber threats, use of AI-powered attacks, coupled with understaffed teams and high-pressure environments, it’s no surprise that the resilience and adaptability of cyber security teams will be tested to their limit. In fact, 66% of individuals who work in cyber security say they have experienced significant work-related stress. 

Burnout not only impacts your security team’s well-being, but it also leads to critical errors when defending against cyber attacks. That’s why it is crucial for organisations to prioritise the well-being of their employees, providing adequate resources, training, and support to prevent their teams from being understaffed and overworked. Additionally, leveraging advanced automation and AI technologies can help alleviate some of the workload and allow cyber security professionals to focus on more strategic tasks. 

The public sector and critical infrastructure will face even more security challenges in 2024

Due to the sensitive information they handle, their little to non-existent security budgets, lack of training, and outdated systems, the public sector has become one of the most targeted sectors by cyber crimminals. In 2023 alone, the average cost of a cyber attack in the public sector cost organisations over £2 million.  

As governments digitise their operations and critical infrastructure becomes more interconnected, the risk of cyber attacks targeting the public sector will increase significantly. Governments and organisations must prioritise robust cybersecurity measures, allocate an appropriate budget to develop a strong security strategy, invest in modernising legacy systems, and foster collaboration between public and private sectors to ensure the resilience of their critical infrastructure. 

Plus, with the increase in remote work and the interconnectivity of systems, the need for robust cybersecurity measures is more pressing than ever. 

What else is to come?

The cyber crime trends discussed in this article represent only a small glimpse into the evolving threat landscape. Beyond these trends, numerous other cyber crime trends are expected to emerge in 2024. These include the proliferation of ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), the exploitation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and the continued sophistication of social engineering techniques such as phishing and voice phishing (vishing), which are becoming more advanced and difficult to detect.  

Given the rapid pace of technological advancements, it is extremely important to adopt a proactive approach to cybersecurity. Staying informed, regularly updating security practices, and investing in comprehensive defense mechanisms are crucial steps toward safeguarding against emerging cybercrime trends. Plus, staying ahead of these trends requires a collective effort, from individuals adopting secure practices to organisations implementing robust cybersecurity strategies.  

As ARO is a managed cyber security service provider for many of the world’s leading security technologies, we offer award-winning cyber security solutions, delivered by expert technicians and tailored to address the specific needs of your business. View our cyber security services to find out more or get in touch and secure your digital infrastructure today