“Secure Connectivity and AI are Key to Success in 2024”

By Sanjiv Gossain

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The implications of the hybrid work model are still unfolding. In the decade before most of the world was ordered to stay home, cloud adoption was already soaring. In the last few years, it accelerated. Cloud solutions are powerful but not without their complications, especially when a good portion of businesses’ workforces are alternating between the office and the home and in some cases using personal devices to access enterprise networks. This expands attack surfaces that threat actors can exploit. Cloud-based solutions, when utilized in tandem with MEC and private 5G, deliver tremendous business value, but managing increasingly complex cloud configurations can be challenging, given the wide-ranging security considerations. With all that in mind, the keys to success in 2024 and beyond will be secure connectivity and appropriate use of AI.

Omnipresent connectivity will continue–and security risks ensue

Enterprise boundaries have changed, owing to ubiquitous remote/hybrid work environments. People are on the move, toggling between devices and networks. Omnipresent connectivity is a need, as employees require access to information wherever they are. A BYOD approach, which many organizations have defaulted to, has only complicated matters. If an employee accesses an enterprise network from a personal device, and that device is compromised, the broader network is exposed. Using a professional device in an unsecured public network can yield similar consequences. Organizations must acknowledge that those boundaries and accompanying security parameters have shifted in order to respond accordingly.

With cloud adoption and digitalization showing no signs of slowing down in 2024, organizations will need to increasingly prioritize security, given the growing incidence of certain attack patterns, such as social engineering, as well as the rising costs of breaches. The cost of ransomware, for example, doubled over the last two years, according to this year’s Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).

AI will supercharge security

This was a banner year for AI, thanks to the surging popularity of chatbots and other generative AI technologies.

As mentioned earlier, attack vectors are multiplying and attack surfaces are widening, due to expanding types of connectivity and the sheer variety of devices and environments. With IoT devices connecting physical devices and equipment to networks, for example, the potential points of entry threat actors can exploit have swelled. The benefits of these increasingly sophisticated connectivity solutions are tremendous, but they need to be matched by robust security solutions to be able to realize their full potential.

Organizations will find contending with the sheer volume of spam bots and other automated attacks to be increasingly arduous and time-consuming. AI can help automate anomaly and threat detection, greatly reducing or eliminating the time-consuming tasks that historically have been performed manually by people to scan and assess potentially malicious activities. This enables security teams to focus their efforts on critical, more complex tasks. Additionally, AI is able to process massive amounts of data, culling the malicious from the innocuous with increased efficiency. The more AI performs these scans, and the more human security teams adjust and refine its parameters, the smarter, and more accurate it’ll become at identifying and neutralizing threats.

Appetite for cloud-based solutions will increase to meet hybrid work

The hybrid work model is probably here to stay, but even if it isn’t, the effects of its rise will endure. The need for ever-present connectivity and the appetite for cloud-based solutions will only increase in 2024. As such, the need for enhanced cybersecurity will increase proportionately. The businesses that continue to invest in advanced connectivity solutions while painstakingly working to help secure their endpoints and networks can put themselves in positions to contain potential cyber threats in the long term.

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