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Securing the Future: IDC’s Richard Thurston on Cybersecurity Insights for 2024

Mon 26 Feb 2024

In the ever-evolving world of cybersecurity, staying ahead of threats requires not just vigilance but a forward-looking perspective. Richard Thurston, Research Manager of European Security Services at IDC, offers his insights into what you should expect this year.

As we approach Cloud & Cyber Security Expo on 6-7 March at ExCeL London, Thurston’s insights into the cybersecurity landscape of 2024 are both timely and crucial for businesses and individuals alike.

Richard is set to speak at the Expo, where he will highlight emerging threats, technological advancements, and the sectors most at risk.

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Emerging Threats on the Horizon

Thurston identifies three primary concerns that businesses should be aware of as we move into 2024. First, the use of AI by attackers to build more sophisticated cyber attacks is a growing threat. AI’s potential to lower the barrier to entry for cybercrime and accelerate threat development is a double-edged sword, benefiting both defenders and adversaries in the cybersecurity arena.

When it comes to technology’s role in shaping cybersecurity strategies, artificial intelligence stands out. The advent of Generative AI has significantly expanded the defensive capabilities of organisations while simultaneously enhancing the arsenal available to cybercriminals.

This has reshaped the cybersecurity landscape, making AI the most influential technological factor in 2024.

Second, the challenge of ensuring the integrity of information, particularly in the age of deepfakes, is becoming increasingly critical. The difficulty in distinguishing genuine from fake information is a top concern, with the World Economic Forum highlighting misinformation and disinformation as significant issues.

Lastly, ransomware remains a persistent threat, with the financial incentives for cybercriminals ensuring its continued prevalence. The variety of ransomware kits available, ranging from the unsophisticated to the highly complex, keeps this form of attack high on the agenda for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs).

Vulnerable Sectors and Industries

While the financial services sector has traditionally been a prime target for cyberattacks, Thurston points to transport and logistics as the industries facing heightened cybersecurity challenges in 2024.

The slower pace of cybersecurity advancements in these sectors, combined with their critical role in national infrastructure, makes them particularly vulnerable. Operational technology security, still in its infancy, adds another layer of complexity to the challenges faced by these industries.

“Transport and logistics companies are saying they are the most worried about being overwhelmed by cyber attacks,” he points out, underlining the sector’s precarious position.

Proactive Cybersecurity Measures

To safeguard against these emerging threats, organisations need to prioritise several key measures. Aligning cyber risk with business risk at the board level is essential to ensure a comprehensive understanding and management of cybersecurity challenges.

Embracing AI tools and solutions, despite their dual-use nature, is crucial for enhancing defensive capabilities. Additionally, leveraging managed detection and response services can help organisations navigate the congested market and address in-house skill shortages.

Reflecting on past cybersecurity incidents, Thurston emphasised the ongoing nature of security transformation.

The initial wave of transformations triggered by COVID-19 was only the beginning. Initiatives like zero trust, support for remote working, and corporate transformation efforts drive the need for ongoing security enhancements. The key lesson here is that security transformation is a continuous journey, not a one-time effort.

Looking Ahead to Cloud & Cyber Security Expo

As Thurston prepares to share his expertise at Cloud & Cyber Security Expo, he underscores the dynamic state of the cybersecurity field. With challenges such as skill shortages and an accelerated threat landscape, the focus at the highest organisational levels on addressing cyber risk has never been more critical.

Thurston’s session promises to offer valuable insights into navigating these challenges and securing the digital future.

In a landscape where threats evolve as rapidly as the technologies designed to counter them, Thurston’s perspective offers a roadmap for 2024 and beyond.

His emphasis on the strategic integration of cybersecurity measures with business objectives, the adoption of cutting-edge AI tools, and the importance of managed services highlights a holistic approach to cybersecurity — one that is essential for any organisation looking to thrive in the digital age.

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6-7 March 2024, ExCeL London

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