By Dr. Andre Slonopas  |  04/16/2024

cybersecurity trends


In the rapidly changing digital world, cyber security has gone from being a niche concern to an essential aspect of defending infrastructure around the world. Because digital technology permeates nearly all aspects of our personal and professional lives, strong cyber security is necessary.

Digital assets, proprietary data, and privacy must be protected everywhere from a cyber attack, from online banking to remote work environments. It is also of great importance to analyze top cybersecurity trends and prepare for future attacks.

The rise of cloud-based services, mobile devices, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices has transformed cyber security during the last decade. Technology makes life easier, but it also increases security risks.

Data breaches, sophisticated cyber attacks, and phishing attempts constantly appear in news headlines. As a result, knowing how to defend against such attacks and remaining aware of changing cyber security trends is vital. Accordingly, cyber threats and security solutions have evolved to include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Remote working has further emphasized the need for secure networks and cloud security, as it has exposed many organizations' security shortcomings. Remote workers may utilize insecure networks and personal electronic devices, which are both susceptible to cyber attacks.

At the same time, social engineering, supply chain, and ransomware attacks – which rely on human error and insider threats to compromise systems – have become increasingly sophisticated. As a result, identity and access management and cloud security need to be implemented by cyber security professionals.


Cyber Security Trends

Changes in cybersecurity trends influence existing cyber security, future technologies, and the strategic changes companies make to increase their own security. As cyberattacks grow more common and severe, businesses and individuals must understand these trends.

The ultimate goals of malicious actors, however, are always the same:

  • To gain access to proprietary, sensitive information through attacks such as a data breach
  • To damage security infrastructure
  • To interfere with employees' ability to perform their work


The Current State of Cybersecurity

According to Cybercrime Magazine, cyberattacks are becoming more frequent and costly, endangering organizations' profits and privacy. Security innovators must now create technological tools and new security methodologies to defeat attackers.


Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain

Technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence have helped to transform cyber security. These technologies can quickly detect anomalies and eliminate attacks, and cybersecurity specialists employ AI and ML to detect potential cyber attack risks within massive datasets containing sensitive information.

Using blockchain technology for secure, decentralized data management is yet another burgeoning trend in cyber security. Blockchain allows for secure, transparent transactions without a central authority, which reduces the risk of financial and personal data transmission succumbing to data breaches.


Ensuring Employee Cybersecurity

From reactive solutions to proactive measures, cybersecurity continues to evolve and advance over time. Many companies strengthen their security after a cyberattack; however, the importance of anticipating and preventing attacks no longer goes unnoticed by company leaders. The widespread usage of multi-factor authentication, cloud computing security, IoT devices, and cloud application security reflects the need to be proactive.

Increased cybersecurity awareness and ongoing training for employees are crucial for protecting organizations against myriad cyber security threats. As social engineering and phishing attacks evolve in sophistication, employees are both a cybersecurity vulnerability and the first line of defense against attackers. Consequently, hiring security teams to educate workers about cyberattacks, security tools, data privacy, insecure interfaces, and digital asset protection should be a priority for all employers who want to enhance security.

Additionally, the growing popularity of remote working raises new security challenges. Remote and hybrid team members are more vulnerable to cyber attacks than on-site employees because their defenses at home may not be as strong as an office environment. As a result, organizations need robust network security and data protection from insider threats and external attackers.

In the future, AI and ML research, strategic blockchain implementation, and proactive threat hunting and response will define cybersecurity. Cybersecurity experts currently employ cloud computing and automated security solutions to outwit malicious cyber actors.


Cyber Security Threats Constantly Evolve over Time

The cybersecurity world is constantly changing as cyber risks and attacks multiply at an unprecedented pace. Advancements are driven by new technologies and cyber actors’ inventiveness in finding new vulnerabilities. Understanding the history of cyberattacks, however, is useful in developing new cybersecurity measures.  

Over time, for example, viruses and malware have evolved from being simple nuisances to national security threats. Cybercriminals have found ways to bypass security measures and launch AI-powered attacks, ransomware attacks, data breaches, and phishing campaigns.

Recently, AI defenses and assaults have become popular. Automatic AI and ML threat detection help cybersecurity specialists find and stop data privacy threats quickly. Also, attackers have used AI to construct malicious software that learns and adapts to its environment, making it harder for companies to detect and stop sophisticated attacks using malicious code.

When attackers gain access to quantum computing, attacks may become even more complicated and render current encryption methods worthless. Additionally, the physical devices linked to the Internet of Things network pose additional data and infrastructure security risks. There should be a widespread adoption of new security methods to address these hazards.


Sector-Specific Threats

Malicious attacks often appear in the healthcare, finance, and energy industries. Cyber attackers target these types of organizations in particular because they handle sensitive data and are a part of our critical infrastructure.

Cyberattacks may steal patient data or deploy ransomware, for example, to disrupt healthcare organizations. To combat this type of attack, hospitals need multi-factor authentication and robust antivirus software.

Similarly, cyber attackers may disrupt banking by targeting financial transactions and sensitive customer data. Although the banking industry has automated security and enhanced threat detection, social engineering attacks are still being used by some attackers to access a victim's data.

Cybersecurity is also crucial for national security, because an attack on our computer-controlled energy infrastructure or a supply chain attack might prove disastrous. Consequently, the cybersecurity industry should prioritize physical device and cloud application security through automated threat detection and stringent access control.

Regulation changes also impact sector-specific cybersecurity. Governments worldwide have strengthened security standards, are building automated security systems to safeguard sensitive data, and encouraging new cybersecurity initiatives. These security strategies protect customers and comply with current laws.


A Shortage of Cybersecurity Professionals

Cyberattacks are growing increasingly complex, and experienced cybersecurity professionals around the world are scarce. This global shortage of cybersecurity workers has far-reaching implications, including threatening organizations' security.

Knowledgeable workers are at risk of burning out as they over-exert themselves to make up for the lack of adequate talent and combat cybersecurity threats. Businesses need help recruiting and retaining professionals with the skills to:

  • Design and maintain safe infrastructures
  • Manage security solutions
  • Implement automated security systems, automatic threat detection, real-time data monitoring, and zero-trust cybersecurity measures
  • Respond promptly to cybersecurity incidents such as a data breach

Organizations can also enhance their training programs to equip a new generation of experts for the ever-evolving cybersecurity world. At the same time, companies must provide competitive pay, professional development, and a safe workplace to retain employees.

As cyberattacks get more complicated, the need for a robust workforce, trained and capable of addressing emerging cyber threats, is non-negotiable. Education is increasingly important for providing knowledge to future cyber professionals. Also, the cyber security industry must incorporate on-the-job training and foster the development of niche skills suited to various threats.


Study the Latest Cybersecurity Trends at APU

Fast changes are happening in the cybersecurity space as AI and machine learning continue redefining the field. Quantum computing will also change cybersecurity through its ability to advance data processing and encryption. In light of these ongoing advancements, American Public University (APU) offers courses in cybersecurity trends and tactics using cutting-edge technologies.

As the digital world advances, cybersecurity knowledge is in high demand. American Public University (APU) offers an online bachelor's degree in cybersecurity to prepare students for future cyber issues, cybersecurity developments, and quantum computing through intensive, hands-on training.

Labs, simulated assaults, and real-world projects teach students to identify, mitigate, and respond to cyber hazards. Students learn to anticipate and adapt to new cybersecurity situations, including the types of threats that arise in remote work environments.

This interactive learning strategy ensures graduates understand cybersecurity theory and can solve real-world problems. The cybersecurity courses encompass multi-factor authentication, social engineering attacks, cloud applications cybersecurity, and protection for IoT devices.

Through courses led by experienced faculty members, APU provides students with an in-depth understanding of the cyber security realm. Learn more about APU’s online cybersecurity programs today.

About the Author
Dr. Andre Slonopas
Dr. Andre Slonopas is an Assistant Department Chair in the Department of Strategic Intelligence. From the University of Virginia, he holds a B.S. in aerospace engineering, a M.S. in mechanical and aerospace engineering, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He also holds a plethora of relevant certifications, including Certified Information Security Manager (CISM®), Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP®), Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA) and Project Management Professional (PMP®).

CISM is a registered trademark of Information Systems Audit and Control Association, Inc.
CISSP is a registered trademark of International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc.
PMP is a registered trademark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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