In a recently published report, Google Cloud has offered a preview of the cyber landscape for 2024, studying current trends to predict possible scenarios in the year ahead. The Google Cloud Cybersecurity Forecast 2024 provides insights into what cybersecurity professionals and business leaders can expect in the coming year, giving them tools to prepare for both the certainties and uncertainties of the future.
The Google Cloud Cybersecurity Forecast has been generated through a collaboration between multiple Google Cloud security teams, including Mandiant Intelligence, Mandiant Consulting, Chronicle Security Operations, Google's Cloud Office of the CISO, and VirusTotal. Previously, these teams worked independently, but the 2024 report represents their first collective effort to provide future-focused insights.
The report warns that "the cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving, sometimes in new and unexpected ways." It highlights how cybersecurity professionals, often strained for resources, face an enormous task in staying updated. It further states, "The Google Cloud Cybersecurity Forecast 2024 report is our way of helping security professionals prepare for the certainties and uncertainties of the year ahead."
In detailing its insights, the report highlights numerous areas in the realm of cybersecurity. One compelling prediction suggests an escalating use of artificial intelligence (AI) to scale operations for both attackers and defenders. This implies that cyberattacks such as phishing and information theft could become more convincing due to the deployment of AI tools, even though response and analysis capabilities are expected to speed up alongside.
The report also anticipates nations such as China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran to sustain their cyber espionage and cybercrime operations to fulfil their geopolitical objectives. Threat actors are expected to increasingly exploit zero-day vulnerabilities and target edge devices and virtualization software to evade detection.
In terms of techniques, attackers are likely to increasingly lean on cloud services to scale their operations. This underscores the need for solid cloud security practices to prevent attackers from exploiting misconfigurations and identity weaknesses to move laterally across cloud environments. On a societal scale, hacktivism, phishing, information operations, and cybercrime are expected to both shape and be shaped by ongoing global conflicts and major events such as elections and the Summer Olympics.
Furthermore, the report predicts a resurgence in the use of older techniques not accounted for in modern detection systems. As the cyber landscape evolves, malware authors are predicted to increasingly utilise programming languages such as Go, Rust, and Swift, partly to disrupt reverse engineering efforts.
These insights underline the need for cybersecurity professionals and businesses to prioritize forward-planning strategies and invest in updated security measures to defend against an ever-evolving threat landscape. As recommended by the Google Cloud team, we must prepare and guard against not just the certainties but also the uncertainties of the cyber future.