Cybersecurity and Trends in 2024 Based on WEF 2024 Outcomesby@denystsvaig
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Cybersecurity and Trends in 2024 Based on WEF 2024 Outcomes

by Denys TsvaigJanuary 23rd, 2024
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The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos explores the main issues facing the global community. The Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2024 illuminates major cybersecurity trends that will impact the economy and society. The report calls for systematic collaboration between organizations, NGOs, and the government to reduce cyber inequity and mitigate these risks.
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The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos explores the main issues facing the global community and, with the help of experts, makes predictions about the challenges of the coming year. Since the rise of digitization, one hot topic at this yearly rendezvous is the thrilling realm of cybersecurity.

According to EU President Ursula von der Leyen, “For the global business community, the top concern for the next two years is not conflict or climate. It is disinformation and misinformation.”

Forget world peace or saving the polar bears; it seems our new enemy wears a digital disguise. The cybersphere is now the ultimate rumor mill, making it more crucial than ever to tackle cybersecurity issues head-on.

To treat the problems, one must first diagnose them, which is what the WEF’s Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2024 does. Produced in collaboration with Accenture, the report illuminates major cybersecurity trends that will impact the economy and society. Brace yourselves for a journey through the quirky landscapes of cyber trends as we unveil the five blockbuster findings from this year’s tech thriller:

Growing Cyber Inequity Based on Cyber Resilience

Cyber inequity is growing between organizations that are cyber-resilient and those that are not. The number of organizations with a minimum level of cyber resilience has decreased by 30%. Large organizations are becoming more cyber resilient while small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are declining significantly. It's like a cyber fitness divide!

Several factors contribute to increased cyber inequality. These include the cost of cyber services, the uneven adoption of cyber insurance, and a prominent gap in cyber skills. The widening gap with respect to cyber resilience is evident geographically as well, depicting a global cybersecurity gap dividing organizations on either side of the “cybersecurity poverty line (CPL).”

Recently, the cybersecurity economy has grown significantly and rapidly. This expansion has widened the cyber resilience gap between large and small organizations. The larger organizations are becoming more and more resilient, while SMEs are getting weaker. The WEF calls for a superhero team-up between organizations, NGOs, and the government to reduce cyber inequity. It's time to unite against the cyberbullies!

Exacerbated Cyber Resilience Challenges Due to Emerging Technology

New technology is popping up faster than memes in your social media feed. Even the apps can’t work for long without the necessary (and annoying) "updates.” The past few years, in particular, have seen the rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI). The WEF reports that the global business community needs to develop an understanding of the short-, mid-, and long-term impacts of such technologies on the cybersecurity landscape.

Furthermore, 2024 is a significant election year in which more than 45 countries will vote for their new leaders. Election campaigns have become rife with manipulation and present a landscape with many cyber security threats.

There are several ways in which emerging technology can pose a risk in the coming year:

  1. Misinformation and disinformation campaigns proliferated through social media
  2. Deepfake video and audio recordings that are difficult to detect and combat
  3. Targeted advertising of misinformation with personalized advertisements
  4. Data privacy concerns about the leakage of personal information
  5. Algorithmic manipulation on social media by biased AI algorithms

The main conclusion the report draws about AI is that the advancement of generative AI technology is likely to advantage cyber attackers over defenders. Emerging technologies are undoubtedly beneficial, but to manage the risks involved, organizations also need to address cybersecurity fundamentals like the security development life cycle (SDLC). The spectrum of cyber threats is evolving, and security advancement needs to evolve faster.

Widening Cyber Skills and Talent Shortage

The demand for cyber professionals is rising faster than your favorite streaming platform's subscription fees. It’s a cyber skills drought! Approximately half of the SMEs say they do not have sufficient cyber skills necessary to meet their objectives, and only 15% of all organizations are optimistic that cyber skills education will improve in the next two years.

Emerging technologies have increased the demand for skilled professionals, but the current talent pool is insufficient. Organizations are struggling to find, attract, and retain cybersecurity talent. There are a few ways to address the gap, one of which is investment in training and certifications for existing employees.

The report emphasizes the need for creative techniques such as non-traditional recruitment, micro-credentials, and apprentice programs to create a strategic framework for cybersecurity talent. There’s no quick fix here, people; we’re going to have to get creative!

Increasing Alignment of Cyberspace and Businesses

The Global Cybersecurity Outlook has carried out surveys to understand the attitudes of leaders towards cybersecurity and track how businesses are becoming aligned with cybersecurity to become more resilient. Cyber incidents are no longer abstract nightmares; they're the reality TV shows of the business world. Almost 3 in 10 companies reported having experienced material losses from cyber incidents during 2023.

On average, 45% of leaders are mainly concerned about operational disruption from a cyber incident. The perspectives of cyber leaders and business leaders are aligned in this matter, depicting some degree of consensus in the cybersecurity landscape. In addition, leaders have certain personal concerns, including losing access to crucial goods and services and cyberextortion.

Although the union of business and cyber is improving, many organizations report that legacy technology is the biggest barrier to cyber resilience. The cost of transforming legacy systems and processes is a common concern for leaders when attempting to embrace cybersecurity systems.

Escalating Cyber Ecosystem Risks

In this digital jungle, your ecosystem partners are both allies and potential frenemies. Third-party risks are skyrocketing, with 41% blaming them for recent cyber woes. According to this year’s report, the risks faced by cyber ecosystems are becoming more problematic. The partners in an ecosystem are both a valuable asset and a potential obstacle to a trustworthy digital future for any organization.

Organizations are vulnerable to cyber threats. Out of the executives who believe their organizations meet minimum cyber resilience requirements, 64% say they still don’t adequately understand their supply-chain cyber vulnerabilities.

At the same time, however, the report highlights that perspectives on cyber regulation are developing. 60% of private organization leaders acknowledge that it is effective. The supply chain is a crucial area with room for improvement where risks can be addressed. Shoutout to the WEF’s SCRE Initiative for being the superhero squad tackling fragmented regulations!

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the World Economic Forum's Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2024 highlights major trends in cybersecurity. This includes the widening cyber resilience gap, technological challenges, growing skills shortages, improved alignment of cyber and business, and escalating cyber risks. Stay cyber-safe, fellow netizens!