2024 Cybersecurity Trends: What You Need to Know

Learn more about data security posture management, AI security risks, and compliance changes to prepare your 2024 cybersecurity strategy.
Lexi Croisdale
5 min read
Last updated June 19, 2024
radar with a DSPM dashboard

Robbers don’t break into a bank to steal the pens. Similarly, today’s cyber threat actors aren’t interested in gaining access to your environment just to take a look around. They are after your most valuable and vulnerable asset: your data. 

As security teams prepare for a new year, the pressure of continuous data growth, stopping multiple attack vectors, and shifting priorities from internal stakeholders and outside organizations can make choosing the right data security approach complicated.  

Where should you focus your attention? We’ve got some ideas.  

Varonis’ Scott Shafer and Brian Vecci recently hosted a live discussion on the cybersecurity trends that should be top of mind for security professionals in 2024. They covered concerns around AI and compliance changes, the importance of data security posture management, and more. 

Keep reading to get a full breakdown of these trends and build your own 2024 strategy with ease. Prefer a video instead? Watch a recording of the discussion here.

All things AI security  

Artificial intelligence came into full force this year, and it’s no surprise to learn that the trend will continue in 2024.  

While most of the attention on AI has been regarding the productivity gains the tech can provide organizations, security concerns have also begun to surface.  

However, managing permissions in collaborative, unstructured data platforms can be complex. Whether your teams are using external AI tools like ChatGPT or generative AI tools like Microsoft Copilot, you need to make sure your data is secured and that only the people who need access to sensitive information are the ones with access, Brian said. 

“Using productivity tools like Copilot and Salesforce Einstein, for example, means that you could expose yourself to a massive amount of risk if your data isn’t secure first, and companies really struggle with this,” Brian said.  

When Varonis conducts risk assessments, we typically see several files accessible through org-wide and external sharing links, essentially making a company’s sensitive information available to anyone on the internet. 

Scott added that with shared links exposing massive amounts of data, organizations need to right-size access, which is not a simple process because of the rapid growth of information gen AI tools produce.  

Generative AI is not only going to surface data for you and make you work more intelligently, it’s going to create data. And that data is going to be created at a much faster scale than any person can create it,” Scott said. “It’s important to understand what these challenges are and how we can start to resolve or mitigate these risks to increase productivity.
Scott Shafer, Varonis Technical Evangelist

The power of data security posture management 

With data everywhere and continuously growing, it’s important to know where to focus. Where does your most prized data reside, how is it used, and how will you protect it?  

The emergence of data security posture management (DSPM) promises to help organizations answer these questions and better identify business risks in the cloud.  

At Varonis, the philosophy of DSPM has been baked into our mission since day one. And unlike other DSPM vendors, we go beyond just finding risks — we fix them. 

“We need to find sensitive data, but that’s not really solving anything if we are just able to find it,” Scott said. "It's important to understand where you’re focused on solving this, especially with there being a lot of market hype. Understand the solutions you’re looking at and marry the outcomes that you’d really like to achieve at the end of the day.” 

When choosing a DSPM vendor to work with, ensure their solution addresses the three dimensions of data security: sensitivity, exposure, and activity. If any of these facets are missing, it's hard to make much progress with securing data, and it becomes impossible to automate. 

Get started with our world-famous Data Risk Assessment.
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Keeping up with compliance 

For organizations that need to comply with government regulations, compliance continues to be top of mind. There has certainly been a wave of compliance changes in the last year, including the new SEC cybersecurity disclosure requirements

These new rules are designed to provide the public with additional transparency on company breaches when they occur and provide timely notification of cybersecurity incidents. Because compliance and cybersecurity are so closely intertwined, the SEC's rule change will affect several different parties, including investors, executives, board members, and security teams.  

“The new SEC disclosure requirements are putting these kinds of issues directly in front of a CFO, who now absolutely needs to be concerned with data privacy and cybersecurity,” Brian said.  

To prepare, organizations affected by the disclosures should:  

  • Update incident response procedures. 
  • Review board oversight. 
  • Enhance executive capabilities.  
  • Minimize disclosure risk. 

“That time to act is now, and it’s quick,” Scott said.  

Ransomware and other threats that keep you up at night  

In addition to being aware of new tools and regulations, organizations have to contend with cyber threats, increasing incidents, and data breach trends that are heading in the wrong direction. Achieving a better signal-to-noise ratio is paramount.  

With the average cost of a ransomware recovery nearing $2 million, ransomware continues to be a top concern for many organizations. With the popularity of RaaS growing, companies and organizations of all shapes and sizes should be well-versed in reducing the chances they’ll be victimized by a ransomware attack. 

And AI’s productivity capabilities aren't only being adopted by internal teams — attackers are taking advantage of artificial intelligence as well. A novice threat actor can become a sophisticated attacker in a matter of minutes just by using the new technology.  

Waiting for a cyberattack to occur before getting your data protection efforts in order will put you behind the eight ball. Right-sizing access controls now can help organizations limit the likelihood of a massive impact later. 

“The controls that AI providers put in place aren't always sufficient,” Brian said. “Productivity tools are an attacker’s and insider threat’s greatest tool as well, making it easy to gain access and analyze any data that a user has access to.” 

We don’t know what the next zero-day is going to be. We don’t know what the next APT is going to be. While the means change, it’s always about the data,” Scott said. “If we protect the data where it resides, we have a much better position on being able to lower that impact and ultimately protecting the organization.
Scott Shafer, Varonis Technical Evangelist

With data stored in a plethora of places, Scott recommends that companies answer the following questions to get a clearer picture of their threat detection and response capabilities if a breach were to occur.  

  • Can I detect sophisticated attacks?  
  • Can I investigate and recover quickly?  
  • Can I protect cloud and on-prem data?  
  • How are we going to minimize the impact on our organization?  
  • Do we have the right processes, tools, and technologies to help us achieve our goals? 

“As you look at the triad of identifying sensitive data, look at the permissions and the activity around that data itself,” Scott said. “Really double down on this; investigate where all your critical data is, not just in these silos. You need to be able to expand across your entire organization.” 

Achieving better data security 

The trends we expect to see next year cover a wide range of use cases, but ultimately security teams need to increase visibility into their organization’s data to effectively reduce their blast radius.  

The Varonis Data Security Platform continuously discovers and classifies critical data, removes exposures, and detects advanced threats with AI-powered automation. As a result, our customers can drastically reduce the likelihood of a data breach, all without manual effort. 

To gain a better understanding of your data security posture, get started with our complimentary Data Risk Assessment. In less than 24 hours, you’ll have a clear, risk-based view of the data that matters most and a clear path to automated remediation. 

To learn more about cybersecurity trends and how Varonis can help protect your data, watch Scott and Brian’s full discussion here.  

What should I do now?

Below are three ways you can continue your journey to reduce data risk at your company:

1

Schedule a demo with us to see Varonis in action. We'll personalize the session to your org's data security needs and answer any questions.

2

See a sample of our Data Risk Assessment and learn the risks that could be lingering in your environment. Varonis' DRA is completely free and offers a clear path to automated remediation.

3

Follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, and X (Twitter) for bite-sized insights on all things data security, including DSPM, threat detection, AI security, and more.

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