Important Cybersecurity Trends for Small Businesses in 2024

Businesswoman in conversation over phone about Cybersecurity Trends for Small BusinessesThe start of a new year is an ideal time to discuss the most important cybersecurity trends affecting small businesses. With a greater understanding of these trends and the assistance of a trusted IT Support partner, your organization will be able to keep your operations more secure and effective in 2024.

Companies Will Be More Vulnerable Because of Greater Cloud Adoption, IoT Devices, and Remote Work

The positive aspects of increased cloud use for applications of all types, interconnected IoT devices, and remote work are significant and will continue through 2024. However, these factors require considerably more devices and applications with connections to your organization’s network, which increases the cybersecurity threat.

Cybercriminals are increasingly focusing their attention on exploiting the vulnerabilities created through additional entry points to company networks. Organizations must respond to these threats by developing and implementing comprehensive policies for email and internet usage and personal devices, offering enhanced employee cyber hygiene training, and limiting access to sensitive data.

Companies should also invest in the latest cybersecurity tools, continuously monitor their networks, and regularly evaluate their employee’s cyber behavioral risk as well as their network defenses.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Have a Greater Positive and Negative Role in Cybersecurity

Security experts note that 2024 will be a head-to-head competition between cybercriminals using AI and Machine Learning (ML) to plan and implement more effective attacks versus cybersecurity professionals who are using these powerful tools to identify threats and improve cyber defenses.

Businessman using wireless technology while working on Cybersecurity Cybercriminals are using AI’s analytical power to  overcome current security safeguards. In addition, bad actors will increasingly use AI-based predictive social engineering to  create more personalized phishing campaigns that are more effective and scale these attacks. Cybercriminals will also use more deepfake technology, which creates realistic but phony audio and video content, for more effective social engineering attacks.

On the positive side, AI and ML-powered tools enable security personnel to analyze user data, identify and predict patterns, and detect anomalies quickly. AI will also allow companies to increasingly automate important cybersecurity tasks such as patch management, malware detection, and security and compliance testing, which will save them time and money. Cybersecurity experts will use this game-changing technology to try to maintain the upper hand in threat detection and prevention.

Zero-Trust Architecture and Multi-factor Authorization (MFA) Will Become More Widespread

The concept of Zero-Trust Architecture involves not trusting any entities within or outside your network and treating every user and device as a potential threat. Continuous security monitoring within this framework improves endpoint security and ensures that there is no implicit trust granted for employee access to sensitive company or client information. This proactive approach provides effective safeguards against insider threats and limits the damage of external breaches by controlling lateral movement within the network. Security experts note that the embrace of Zero-Trust Architecture will continue to evolve from a technical issue to a core business function.

An increasingly popular and effective method to improve identity and access management in Zero-Trust environments involves MFA. The MFA process adds more layers of security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of verification through different devices, passwords, and codes. Biometrics such as fingerprints, facial recognition, and retina scans are also becoming more common in MFA.

The Ransomware Threat Will Rise

Cybercriminals have become increasingly bolder and more sophisticated with their complex ransomware attacks. Security experts predict that the damage caused by ransomware will exceed $10.5 trillion globally by 2025.

As a result of this disturbing trend, organizations will have to devote more time and resources to developing and implementing plans and techniques to counter this threat.

Experts note that companies should focus on incident response plans and employee training and should utilize tools to monitor and assess their vulnerabilities. To counter successful ransomware attacks, businesses need to develop effective negotiation techniques, purchase cybersecurity insurance policies, and have robust data backups in place.

Adoption of Cybersecurity Insurance Will Increase

As the sophistication and scale of cyberattacks continue to increase, there will be a rising adoption of cybersecurity insurance by small businesses. Security experts are urging organizations to use this effective risk management tool to protect them from the negative impact of successful cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity insurance policies provide comprehensive financial and legal protection for small businesses and are often necessary to fulfill compliance requirements. Their protection covers damages caused by cyber-related incidents at your organization as well as from clients, partners, and third-party vendors.

These policies will also protect your organization against the constant threat of ransomware by paying some or all of the ransom amount.

The Shortage of Trained Cybersecurity Professionals Will Worsen

The demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals has never been higher, but there aren’t enough of them to fill this growing need. This shortage will worsen in 2024 as there will be over four million unfilled cybersecurity positions worldwide.

The lack of skilled employees will lead to increasing burnout for overworked cybersecurity personnel. In addition, security experts forecast that 25% of cybersecurity managers will be changing jobs in 2024 because of the demands of their stressful positions.

business team in office about CybersecurityAs a result, companies will have to devote more time and resources to improve their existing team’s cybersecurity skills through sufficient training and access to the latest tools. They will also have to invest more resources to keep their current talent and recruit new professionals.

Consult with a Cybersecurity and IT Support Partner

To effectively apply your knowledge of these important cybersecurity trends, we recommend you consult and work closely with a trusted cybersecurity expert, such as Network Depot. This is especially important in the current job market where companies need proven IT expertise and face a significant shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals.

Your reliable IT Support partner will help you select and implement the latest cybersecurity tools and solutions that will work best for your unique organization. They will be at your side to help you defend against the cybersecurity issues described in this article as well as future threats.

By understanding these cybersecurity trends and with the assistance of your trusted IT Support partner, your company can be confident that your cyber defense efforts will meet all threats. With the critical issue of cybersecurity resolved, your business will be able to keep its focus on achieving your unique objectives.

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Network Depot has been providing professional IT Support for businesses in and around Reston, VA since 1991. We strive to give our clients Enterprise-level services and solutions at prices that work for small businesses.

Time and experience has helped us develop best practices and workflow procedures around a proactive philosophy designed to keep your focus on your business, not your technology.

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