2023 Reflections and 2024 Predictions

As we stand on the cusp of a new year, we find ourselves reflecting on the transformative journey that 2023 has been in the realm of technology. In this article, Ontech will delve into the significant technological advancements and the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats that marked the past year. Join us as we explore the lessons learned and, more importantly, set our sights on the exciting developments and challenges that await us in 2024. Your trust fuels our commitment to innovation, and we are eager to share our expert insights that will help navigate the dynamic intersection of technology and security in the coming year.

2023: A Year in Review

2023 was a big year for tech with the public unveiling of cyber-AI in the form of ChatGPT and other integrations and tools. With such an advancement in the market, an apparent paradigm shift has presented itself in how organizations perceive and manage cybersecurity risks. The understanding of the attack surface and the associated risks has become the new normal, driven by regulatory bodies mandating robust risk management practices. Notably, even smaller businesses are now subject to these regulations, exemplified by the Wisconsin Breach Law changes, forcing entities of all sizes to reevaluate their data storage practices.

The quantity of threats witnessed by organizations surged throughout the year, attributed in part to the geopolitical tensions in the Russia/Ukraine conflict. Ransomware once thought to be weakening made an unfortunate comeback, with threat analysis pointing to a revival in the activities of ransomware gangs. In response, the top focus became the security of user identities, highlighting the delicate balance between security and user convenience. This combination raises questions about the ongoing struggle to make systems more secure while maintaining accessibility.

The infiltration of AI and automation into technology management marked a significant transformation, both positively and negatively. Automation, a tool for efficiency, has found an ominous counterpart when placed in the wrong hands. Programs like WormGPT, available for a mere $200, empower non-expert bad actors to execute phishing campaigns and develop malware. Ransomware-as-a-service operations further indicate a departure from the days when cybercriminals required extensive technological understanding, as they can now augment their capabilities with these accessible tools.

2024: Looking Ahead

As we step into 2024, the chorus of “AI, AI, AI” resounds across the IT industry. Major players are diligently working to bring AI-driven offerings to market, signaling a deeper integration of artificial intelligence into various technological facets.

However, with these advancements come heightened concerns about the sophistication and capabilities of cybersecurity risks and actions businesses (and even individuals) need to take to protect their digital assets. Regardless of regulations, cybercriminals leverage AI and automation without restraint. Traditional forms of cyber threats such as phishing (email), smishing (SMS/Text), and vishing (Voice) are expected to become increasingly challenging for end-users to distinguish between what’s authentic and what’s not.

Legal landscapes are also evolving in response to the changing nature of cyber threats. Numerous cases, such as the SolarWinds case, are progressing through the US court system and are poised to set the new standard. They are likely to shape the liability scene in major supply chain attacks, establishing guidelines for software suppliers’ responsibility in the face of cyberattacks.

Furthermore, 2024 is anticipated to witness a transformation in the realm of cyber insurance. As legal standards evolve, so will the requirements and considerations of cyber insurance policies, reflecting the dynamic nature of cyber threats.

Control frameworks will emerge as a pivotal topic, particularly for sectors dealing with sensitive data such as the Defense Industrial Base, government entities, and other organizations with substantial data assets. Leading standards like CIS (Center for Internet Security) and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) will play a central role in shaping control structures.

The IT and cybersecurity landscape is at the cusp of significant transformations. The integration of AI, the escalating sophistication of bad actors, legal precedents, and evolving control frameworks are set to define the shape of the industry in 2024. Navigating this dynamic environment will require a proactive and adaptive approach to stay ahead of emerging challenges and threats.

Ontech Systems, Inc. has extensive experience and expertise in managed IT, cybersecurity, cloud data protection, training, and so much more. We provide an array of exceptional services and cutting-edge solutions tailored to meet the distinct technology requirements of Wisconsin businesses operating in diverse industries. Book your FREE Network Discovery call today to protect your business in 2024!




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