Cybersecurity AI trends in 2024 according to Edgio
Thursday, December 21, 2023
Tom Gorup from Edgio shares his 2024 cybersecurity and AI predictions for 2024, including how the skills gap will widen, that AI will be increasingly used for cybersecurity teams, why AI-enhanced security will cause bad actors to change their tactics, that DDOS attacks will rise, and tons more.
Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, it is clear that the cybersecurity skills gap will only continue to widen. However, by leveraging AI tools and investing in the development of skilled cybersecurity professionals who can work effectively with these tools, organizations can better protect their networks and data from cyber threats and ensure they remain resilient in an increasingly volatile security landscape.
AI trends in Cybersecurity
AI will play a significant role in addressing the skills shortage in the cybersecurity industry. Machine learning and other AI-based tools will help security teams automate a wide range of tasks, freeing up existing staff to focus on more complex issues while reducing the complexities that come with disparate tooling. For example, AI-based tools can be used to identify patterns in network traffic and activity logs, reducing the need for human analysts to comb through large amounts of data manually or the requirement for technology-specific expertise to understand the logs.
AI can also be used to train security professionals more efficiently. Through simulation-based training programs, security personnel can be trained to recognize different types of cyber threats and attacks in a safe, controlled environment that can replicate real-life situations. This allows them to gain experience and practice their skills without risking potential damage to their organization's network. Taking that one step further, AI models can be trained on internal processes and policies to help drive consistent outcomes as analysts work through various incidents.
People with the skills needed to communicate with AI platforms will become increasingly valuable in the cybersecurity industry in the coming years. While highly-trained security engineers will always be in demand, the ability to effectively work with AI tools and integrate them into an organization's security infrastructure will be paramount. This will require a combination of technical, communication, and interpersonal skills, as these individuals will need to collaborate not only with AI platforms but also with a wide range of stakeholders, from IT teams to business leaders.
AI will be increasingly leveraged by the software industry to detect and remediate vulnerabilities, especially within open-source products and platforms.
The software industry is constantly evolving, and it's becoming more and more evident that AI will add strong value in identifying vulnerabilities - including buffer overflows, injection attacks, and many others, as we move into next year. This will be especially critical in open-source software.
Speed is the greatest advantage of using AI to detect vulnerabilities. AI can analyze code thousands of times faster than a human can. This means that vulnerabilities can be identified and remedied much more quickly, reducing latent vulnerabilities of software products.
Another advantage of using AI in vulnerability detection is its ability to learn iteratively from data. With traditional methods, identifying vulnerabilities can be time-consuming, requiring manual testing and analysis. AI, on the other hand, can learn from previously identified vulnerabilities and use that knowledge to identify new ones more quickly and accurately.
The proliferation of open-source software has made it easier for developers to collaborate and speed up development times. However, in some cases, it has also led to an increase in vulnerabilities. Open-source projects commonly have large numbers of contributors from all over the world, which can make it challenging to monitor and maintain the security of the code. AI can play a crucial role in addressing this issue by automatically scanning open-source projects for vulnerabilities and notifying developers of any issues.
The software industry is already leveraging AI for vulnerability detection in a variety of ways. For example, some companies are using machine learning algorithms to scan code for known vulnerabilities, while others are using AI to analyze network traffic for signs of attacks. As AI technology continues to advance, we can expect to see more sophisticated approaches to vulnerability detection emerge.
AI-enhanced security will cause bad actors to change their tactics, moving more toward zero-day attacks.
AI-enhanced security systems are expected to revolutionize the cybersecurity landscape by identifying potential threats before they materialize, combing through vast amounts of data to detect malicious behavior that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. As a result, bad actors will, in 2024, increasingly turn towards zero-day attacks as their primary mode of cyber attack.
This shift is primarily due to the growing effectiveness of patch management and vulnerability management programs that businesses have put in place. While these programs are not perfect, they have made it more difficult for attackers to exploit known vulnerabilities to gain access to corporate networks. Instead, bad actors are turning to zero-day vulnerabilities- vulnerabilities for which patches and other remediations, such as those provided by security systems, are not yet known or applied.
This trend is only going to continue with the rise of AI-assisted security systems that can scan source code and identify potential issues before they can be exploited. By constantly improving their attack methodologies to stay ahead of these advanced security measures, cybercriminals are becoming more adept at identifying and exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities. Over time, we can expect to see a continued growth in zero-day attacks, as bad actors become more skilled at finding new and innovative exploits to bypass even the most advanced cybersecurity measures.
AI-enhanced security is a double-edged sword. While it can provide organizations with new and powerful tools to prevent cyber attacks, it also forces bad actors to shift their tactics and focus on more advanced techniques. As we begin to rely on AI technology to keep our data and systems secure, we must remain vigilant against emerging threats and adapt our security strategies accordingly.
CISOs who can embrace a culture-driven approach to security and work bottom-up, becoming one with the engineering and product teams, will be best positioned to succeed in 2024. By focusing on building secure architectures and ensuring security is considered at every step of the process, today's top CISOs will provide lasting value to their organizations and help keep them secure in the years ahead.
In today's fast-paced business environment, CISOs are facing tremendous pressure to keep their organizations secure amidst ever-increasing cyber threats and attacks. However the traditional approach of simply enforcing policies and governance to ensure security is proving to be inadequate. To truly build a culture of security and achieve long-term success, the best CISOs are recognizing the need to move beyond governance and policies and focus on the business itself.
The most visionary CISOs will turn their sights towards partnering with the engineering and product teams to help architect new applications with security at the forefront. They understand that by being part of the conversation from the very beginning, they can help ensure that security is considered at every step of the process, rather than just being added as an afterthought at the end.
By closely aligning themselves with the engineering and product teams, CISOs can work bottom-up to drive a culture of security, rather than trying to impose it from the top-down. This approach allows for security to be built into the very fabric of the organization, rather than just being an add-on. Such an approach is effective because it helps to ensure that every aspect of the organization's technology ecosystem is secure, from the development stage to production.
The benefits of this approach are clear. By moving away from a narrow focus on governance success and policies, CISOs can help accelerate the adoption of "security by design" in 2024 and beyond. This will enable organizations to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to cybersecurity threats and ensure the protection of not only sensitive data but also the reputation and bottom line of the business itself.
Based on the emerging technologies and current trends in cybersecurity, it is expected that DDoS attacks will continue to be on the rise and will only get bigger by the year 2024. This underscores the importance of investing resources and employing strategies to detect, prevent, and mitigate DDoS attacks in today's digital landscape.
DDoS attacks have been a thorn in the side of businesses for years, and it seems that they will not be letting up anytime soon. Based on current trends and emerging technologies, DDoS attacks are on track to become even more frequent and larger in scale by the year 2024.
One of the reasons for this is the increasing availability of massive resources for cybercriminals to launch these attacks. Attackers are more often compromising web servers to run massive layer 7 or DDoS attacks, giving them more powerful computing capabilities to increase the intensity of their exploit attempts.
In addition, with the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, more and more devices are becoming connected to the Internet, which can be exploited by attackers to create massive IoT botnets for DDoS attacks. According to a recent report, the number of IoT devices is expected to reach 38.5 billion by 2025, providing cybercriminals with even more ammunition to launch DDoS attacks.
Finally, while advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning are being made to combat DDoS attacks, cybercriminals are concurrently using these same technologies to launch more targeted and sophisticated attacks. This intelligence-led approach to DDoS attacks will only become more prevalent in the coming years.
The increasing reliance on web applications and APIs will continue to make them a prime target for ransomware attacks. To mitigate the risk of compromise, organizations must implement robust security measures and stay vigilant against evolving threats.
Recent years have seen a sharp rise in the number of web applications and API endpoints being developed and deployed. While these applications and endpoints come with numerous benefits, they also attract the attention of malicious actors who seek to exploit vulnerabilities in them to gain access to sensitive data, infect systems with malware, and demand ransom payments from victims.
One of the most common ways that bad actors compromise web applications and APIs is through the exploitation of known vulnerabilities in dependencies (code libraries), operating systems, databases, and other software components they rely on. Once a vulnerability is successfully exploited, the attacker can gain access to the hosting web server and move laterally across the network, steal data, and even install ransomware.
The evolution of cloud computing technologies and the distributed nature of modern applications and services has increased the attack surface for most businesses. In addition, the overall complexity of cloud environments leads to gaps in observability, which can make it challenging to detect unauthorized activity.
To prevent bad actors from exploiting web applications as a means of spreading ransomware, companies can implement strong security measures that address common vulnerabilities and even lower risk against zero-day threats. Implementing strong multi-layer security measures including Web Application Firewall (WAF), Bot Management, DDoS and API protection can go a long way in preventing attacks and keeping sensitive data and operations safe. Since a chain is only as weak as its weakest link, a defense-in-depth approach that includes these critical security controls should be applied at a minimum.
WAF’s in particular, also provide the ability to deploy virtual patches, which can prevent vulnerabilities from being exploited before patches or workarounds can be applied to the vulnerable code or system directly, as applying the latter safeguards sometimes takes an uncomfortable amount of time in the real world.
Additionally, choosing security solutions that leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning can help reduce risk against zero-day threats. Rather than relying on known indicators and traditional signatures, solutions leveraging AI/ML can detect anomalies, unusual behavior, and variations of previous threats to catch new and evolving threats.
About Tom Gorup
As the Vice President of Security Services at Edgio, Tom is responsible for overseeing the company's global security operations, ensuring the highest standards of quality, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. He has a proven track record of building and growing security teams, developing innovative technologies and processes, and securing organizations from emerging threats. Before Edgio, Tom held several executive-level security positions, including Vice President of Security Operations at Alert Logic (now Fortra) where he led Alert Logic's global Security Operations Centers. Tom was also Co-Founder and Director of Security Operations for Rook Security where he oversaw its Managed Detection and Response services and developed proprietary security operations management technologies and processes for organizations ranging from fast-growing startups to Fortune 100 companies. He is also a recognized thought leader and speaker in the security industry, as well as a decorated veteran who served in the U.S. Army. Tom served with the Army’s 10th Mountain and 101st Airborne Divisions. During his tours of service, Tom served as a squad leader and received the Purple Heart, among other decorations for actions in combat.
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