Staying ahead of the current cybersecurity trends in 2024 and beyond is important to protect not just our personal digital footprints but also our organisational interests. From early 2020 to 2023, Singapore experienced fluctuations in the number of records exposed in data breaches. In the latest reporting period, there were about 75 thousand records leaked.

Furthermore, in 2022, the public sector in Singapore reported a rise in data incidents, with a total of 182 occurrences recorded. These statistics highlight the pressing need for heightened data security measures and protocols in organisations. 

Now, let’s take a closer look at the top ten cybersecurity trends to watch.

Trend #1: Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Cybersecurity

The importance of AI and Machine Learning (ML) in cybersecurity cannot be overstated, as cyber attackers use these technologies to orchestrate smarter cyber threats. They create fake videos, images, and voices (called deepfakes) to pretend to be someone else. This leads to victims clicking on suspicious links or downloading harmful files without realising it.

The good news is that the integration of AI and ML into cybersecurity solutions is on the rise. This progress enables real-time threat analysis, ensuring faster and more accurate responses to cyber incidents. 

Trend #2: AI-Based Predictive Social Engineering

A threat actor typing on a keyboard with screens in front displaying lines of code, evoking the theme of social engineering or cybersecurity.

A threat actor typing on a keyboard with screens in front displaying lines of code, evoking the theme of social engineering or cybersecurity.

Social engineering is a psychological manipulation tactic used by cybercriminals to deceive victims. Exploiting the power of AI, they can exploit human vulnerabilities, including fear, impulsiveness, greed, and curiosity, to create highly convincing, personalised phishing campaigns. 

The alarming rise in identity theft is evident in the staggering number of payment-related phishing incidents reported. Over 30,000 instances of payment-related phishing were found in Singapore during the first half of 2022. This growing trend was highest among financial platforms, with e-shops and banks following closely, recording approximately 29.99 and 10.8 thousand occurrences, respectively. 

As businesses face an increase in the frequency and severity of social engineering attacks, many are recognising the need for cybersecurity awareness training to strengthen their defence.

Trend #3: Internet of Things (IoT) Security With 5G Network

The IoT has revolutionised how we interact with the world around us. Examples include smart homes, wearable devices, and industrial IoT. A study by IHS Market predicted that by 2030, there would be 125 billion IoT devices. However, with the rapid deployment of 5G networks, IoT security has become more critical than ever. Known for its high speed and low latency, 5G enhances the capabilities of IoT devices but also introduces new security challenges. This network, with its numerous entry points, becomes a lucrative target for cybercriminals. 

The main concerns include data breaches, unauthorised access, and the hijacking of connected devices. In 2024, one of the top cybersecurity trends will be improving the security of IoT devices and the networks they connect to.

Trend #4: Blockchain and Cybersecurity

A hand holding a smartphone which displays a glowing digital shield, representing blockchain security and data protection technology.

A hand holding a smartphone which displays a glowing digital shield, representing blockchain security and data protection technology.

Unlike traditional systems, blockchain doesn’t have a central point that hackers can target. This makes it more difficult to attack. Here’s why it’s a top cybersecurity trend to watch:

  • Shared Record-Keeping: Transactions on a blockchain are stored across many locations, not just one. This means no one person or group can control or tamper with the data easily.
  • Permanent Records: Once something is added to the blockchain, it can’t be changed without agreement from most of the network. This helps prevent anyone from messing with the data.
  • Fighting Data Breaches: In a world where data breaches are common, blockchain offers a secure way to share data. It creates records of activities that can’t be altered, making it easier to spot unauthorised access.

However, it’s not all smooth sailing. Blockchain faces challenges like handling large volumes of transactions efficiently and integrating seamlessly with existing infrastructure in organisations. The good news is that tech experts are working hard to solve these problems. As blockchain infrastructure improves, we can expect it to play a bigger role in protecting against cyber threats. 

Trend #5: The Ongoing Rise of Ransomware Attacks

In recent years, ransomware has evolved from simple malware to complex, targeted attacks that increasingly threaten not only data but also critical infrastructure. Cybercriminals are now using more advanced techniques, such as phishing, exploiting network vulnerabilities, and social engineering, to gain access to systems and digital infrastructure. Once inside, they encrypt critical data and infrastructure operations, demanding a ransom, typically in cryptocurrency, for the decryption key.

These attacks have gotten even more demanding. Hackers not only lock the data but also threaten to leak private information if they’re not paid. This puts extra pressure on victims to give in to their demands. A 2022 survey found that 43% of companies in Singapore said data loss and business interruption were the biggest problems from cyberattacks. And 41% said these attacks damaged their reputation.

Looking forward, these ransomware attacks are likely to get even smarter and more focused. Hackers might start using AI and ML to hide their tracks. This means it’s more important than ever to keep getting better at protecting against these growing threats.

Trend #6: Embracing the Zero Trust Security Model

A woman at her desk with a holographic overlay of a network diagram and the words 'ZERO TRUST', symbolising the concept of Zero Trust security in an organisation.

A woman at her desk with a holographic overlay of a network diagram and the words ‘ZERO TRUST’, symbolising the concept of Zero Trust security in an organisation.

The Zero Trust security model is a new way of thinking about keeping computer networks safe. It’s based on a simple yet fundamental idea: “Never trust, always verify.” 

This approach to cybersecurity marks a shift from traditional security models that operate on the assumption that everything inside an organisation’s network should be trusted. With more people working remotely, using cloud services, and accessing networks from different places, the boundaries of networks have blurred. In contrast, Zero Trust treats all users and devices—both inside and outside the network—as potential threats and requires strict identity verification for every person and device trying to access resources on a network.

It’s not a passing trend but a necessary shift in how organisations protect themselves in a world where digital threats are everywhere. 

Trend #7: Secure Remote Access Solutions

As remote work becomes more common, having secure ways to access work networks from different places and devices is crucial. Secure remote access solutions let employees connect to corporate networks from various locations and devices without risking cyber threats.

The primary benefit of secure remote access solutions is enhanced security. With stringent access controls and security protocols, organisations can protect sensitive data and resources from cyberattacks. 

Trend #8: Addressing Insider Threats in Cybersecurity

Unlike external threats, insider threats come from within the organisation. This includes employees, contractors, or partners with legitimate access to company systems and data. These threats can either be malicious or caused by negligence or a lack of awareness. Either way, it causes damage to an organisation’s safety, reputation, and financial well-being. Verizon’s 2023 Data Breaches Investigations Report revealed that 74% of breaches happened because of human actions, including being tricked, making mistakes, or misusing systems.

Encouraging open communication, promoting a positive work environment, and establishing clear policies and protocols for data handling and security can significantly reduce the risk of insider threats. When employees feel important and understand why cybersecurity matters, they’re less likely to engage in harmful behaviours and report suspicious activities.

Trend #9: Third-Party Risk Management

In the interconnected world of 2024, organisations increasingly rely on third-party vendors and partners for efficient business operations. While this collaboration has many benefits, it also brings cybersecurity risks. Managing these third-party risks is now a key part of any thorough cybersecurity strategy, ensuring that these external entities don’t put an organisation’s data security and compliance at risk.

These risks come into play when external organisations that have access to a company’s systems and data experience security breaches or don’t meet high cybersecurity standards. The consequences can include data breaches, legal problems, and harm to the organisation’s reputation. 

Dealing with third-party risks is an ongoing challenge because these relationships keep changing. Best practices include maintaining an up-to-date inventory of all third-party vendors, continuously monitoring their security postures, and fostering strong communication and collaboration to ensure that all parties are aligned with the cybersecurity objectives.

Trend #10: Cloud Computing 

A woman with glasses smiles while using a laptop, with a graphic of a cloud symbol and network connections overlaid to represent cloud computing.

A woman with glasses smiles while using a laptop, with a graphic of a cloud symbol and network connections overlaid to represent cloud computing.

Cloud computing has transformed business operations with its scalability, flexibility, and cost-saving benefits. Yet, as businesses rely more on cloud environments, the risks in cybersecurity also increase. A key aspect of this is the shared responsibility for cloud computing security between the cloud service provider and the client. It’s crucial to understand and manage these responsibilities to ensure effective security.

It is a dominant trend in the cybersecurity landscape of 2024, requiring a proactive and comprehensive approach to security. The increasing reliance on cloud technologies necessitates a more proactive and comprehensive approach to security in this domain. Organisations must prioritise and advance their cloud security measures to protect sensitive data effectively.

The Future of Cybersecurity: What Lies Ahead?

As we look towards the future of cybersecurity in 2024, the trends we’ve discussed, from the rise of ransomware attacks to the challenges of cloud computing, paint a picture of a domain that is increasingly complex and integral to our digital lives. For a deeper dive into this topic and practical tips on staying secure, check out our detailed guide on “Top 12 Cybersecurity Tips and Best Practices in 2023.

Designed for individuals and organisations, our Cybersecurity Awareness course is your gateway to not only understanding but also acquiring the essential skills needed to consistently stay prepared for any cybersecurity challenges. Enrol now and secure your digital future!

Frequently Asked Questions

We'll see more AI and ML being incorporated into cybersecurity solutions. These technologies will boost the effectiveness of security systems and allow for predictive analysis. Cybersecurity experts will use the capabilities of AI and ML to remain proactive in anticipating and countering cyber threats.

The 3Cs of cybersecurity are comprehensive, consolidated, and collaborative. 

Over the next decade, we can expect to see an increase in the use of biometrics and additional authentication methods on our mobile devices.