Emerging cyber threats in 2024

Emerging cyber threats in 2024

Cyber threats continue to evolve year after year, and 2024 is no exception. We live in an era where advanced technologies such as AI and Cybercrime-as-a-service (CaaS) significantly expand the domain of cybercriminals. 

This ongoing evolution of cyber threats means that businesses today are exposed to advanced risks more than ever before. With increasing digitalisation, the use of various technologies and the rise of remote working, Belgian companies face the crucial task of anticipating the rapidly changing cyber environment. Understanding the emerging threats and implementing robust cybersecurity measures has become an absolute necessity. This is crucial to not only ensure business continuity, but also to maintain the trust of customers and partners in an era where digital security plays a central role in all business relationships.

In line with ongoing developments in this area, Fortinet has released its 2024 cyber threat forecasts. FortiGuard Labs' recently released 2024 Threat Predictions Report sheds light on the emerging era of advanced cyber threats. This report analyses the impact of AI on the attack playing field, identifies new threats for the next few years and offers advice to protect organisations from these rapidly evolving cyber attacks.

Cybercriminals in 2024: Evolution of existing tactics and new tools

Fortinet predicts that alongside new tactics, cybercriminals will continue to use their familiar and trusted ways to achieve their goals. But they also have access to more resources than ever before. The research team concludes that the rise of CaaS and generative AI, gives cyber criminals unprecedented opportunities to carry out cyber attacks. These tools help them to be more intelligent and quick when they carry out any phase of an attack. This ranges from bypassing social-engineering detection to mimicking human behaviour.

Furthermore, an increase in activity from various Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups is expected. These criminal groups consist of well-funded and well-organised hackers targeting long-term and sophisticated attacks. Moreover, cybercriminals will introduce more variation in targets and attack scenarios. They will carry out complex and disruptive cyber attacks, with a special focus on denial-of-service (DOS) and extortion techniques.

To sum up, the cybercrime industry will keep changing in 2024 and later, and we will witness new ways of attacking and variations in current methods. We have listed the expectations for the year ahead. Below is an overview of expectations for the year ahead.

Overview of cyber threat predictions for 2024

  • More Zero Day attacks
  • The Inside Game: Employees as targets
  • Cyber attacks around special events
  • Cybercriminals look for bigger profits
  • More 5G attacks

Predictions cyber threat trends in 2024

1. More Zero Day attacks

Organisations are increasingly using different platforms, applications and technologies for their day-to-day operations. This gives cybercriminals numerous new opportunities to discover and exploit software vulnerabilities. In fact, the study found that a record number of zero-days and new common vulnerabilities & exposures (CVEs) were observed in 2023. And this number keeps increasing. This extensive list included the MOVEit Transfer hack that affected at least 60 million people and was labelled the "biggest hack of the year so far".

It is expected that the entry of zero-day brokers into the CaaS community will lead to a broader attack vector, with unpatched vulnerabilities being exploited for sophisticated attacks. This development will probably lead to more frequent and organized attacks by cybercriminals.

And let's not forget the rise of N-days, the zero-days with an extended lifespan. These vulnerabilities can pose a risk for a long time, even several years. N-days are vulnerabilities that have been discovered but not fixed or patched. They can still harm organisations that are exposed to them.


2. The inside game: employees as targets

Organisations remain committed to strengthening security measures with new technologies and processes. This forces cybercriminals to find new ways to infiltrate a network. FortiGuard Labs predicts that criminals will attempt to enlist workers inside organisations to make breaches in the corporate network.

For example, cybercriminals could use generative AI to mimic voices, faces or other biometric data of executives or trusted persons. This allows them to fool an unsuspecting target into performing actions such as releasing passwords or sensitive information. While some targets may unknowingly become victims, others may see a single deal with cybercriminals as a way to quickly top up their salary.


3. Cyber attacks around special events

Furthermore, cybercriminals are expected to capitalise on geopolitical conflicts and special events such as, for example, the elections and the 2024 Olympics. While this is not a new trend, they now have new tools at their disposal.

AI could pose a risk for the upcoming elections by disseminating false information more quickly online. Fans of the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris can also expect to be bombarded with scams aimed at viewers' loyalty. As the Olympics rely on technology to organize, run and stream events, there is a higher chance that those systems will also face attacks.


4. Cybercriminals look for bigger profits

In recent years, the number of ransomware attacks worldwide has increased dramatically. With a greater number of cybercriminals now launching ransomware attacks in the hope of lucrative rewards, cybercrime groups are focusing on larger, harder-to-hack targets.

As a result, researchers expect cybercriminals to become more aggressive and expand both their lists of targets and their attack strategies. For instance, they will seek bigger payoffs and shift their focus to critical sectors such as healthcare, financial services, transport and energy and water supplies. Their goal is to attack companies where a successful disruption would have a significant adverse impact on society.


5. More 5G attacks

OT systems were once considered non-traditional targets for cybercriminals. However, the past decade has seen an increase in the complexity and frequency of attempted attacks against these targets. With the continued increase in daily connected devices, FortiGuard Labs foresees more cyber attacks on 5G infrastructures in the future. These attacks could quickly cause significant disruption in vital sectors such as oil and gas, transportation, public safety, finance and healthcare.




Cyberdreigingen 2024

Organisations play a crucial role in disrupting the cybercrime ecosystem

Cybercriminals will constantly find new, more sophisticated ways to hack organisations. Nevertheless, companies and security professionals can take several measures to anticipate their next moves and disrupt these malicious activities. By working together more closely between the public and private sectors, and by having higher standards for reporting incidents, we can collectively resist cybercrime in different ways.

Regulations to support digital resilience

Besides the active role that organisations play in disrupting the cybercrime ecosystem, it is essential to pay attention to the regulations that support their digital resilience. In this context, NIS2 regulations play a crucial role. The Network and Information Systems Directive 2 (NIS2) imposes obligations on European member states to strengthen the cybersecurity capabilities of essential service providers and digital service providers. By enforcing security measures and encouraging a proactive approach to managing cybersecurity risks, the NIS2 regulations contribute to increasing overall resilience against cyber threats. Companies that follow these regulations can not only fulfil their legal obligations, but also establish a strong cybersecurity framework that helps them efficiently predict and counter the changing strategies of cybercriminals.

NIS2 directive regarding cybersecurity

Companies must take action themselves

Read the blog
Creating a culture of cyber resilience

While partnerships and strict regulation are crucial in the fight against global cybercrime, each individual within the organisation plays an important role in disrupting the ecosystem. This begins with establishing a culture of cyber resilience at work, where it is clear that cybersecurity is a responsibility for all people in the organisation. This goes, for example, by implementing initiatives such as security awareness training for employees and more targeted activities such as exercises for executives.


Strengthening cybersecurity capabilities with external support

Finding ways to narrow the cybersecurity skills gap, such as drawing on new talent pools, can help organisations deal with overstretched IT and security staff and growing cyber threats. In this situation, you might want to seek assistance from a skilled Managed Services Provider like Cheops.

By accessing external cybersecurity expertise, companies can strengthen their security capabilities. A Managed Services Provider also offers a wide range of specialised skills and up-to-date knowledge, allowing organisations to proactively respond to ever-changing threats. This provides flexibility, expertise and continuous support, which is essential in an era when cybersecurity plays such a crucial role in protecting business operations and sensitive data.


The importance of threat sharing

Threat sharing will only become more important in the future, as this will help enable the quick mobilization of protections. Collectively responding to threats as an ecosystem has a greater impact on disrupting cybercrime and attacks, and it is essential that organisations understand their important role in this disruption.


  • Evolving Cyber Threats in 2024
    New technologies enable cybercriminals to launch more rapid and clever attacks. It is crucial for businesses to constantly strengthen their defences and stay ahead of the latest threats.
  • Increase in Advanced Attacks
    Anticipating more complex APT attacks and targeted tactics requires a more differentiated security approach. Companies must therefore proactively prepare for different attack scenarios.
  • Specific Attack Trends in 2024
    Zero-Day attacks and manipulating employees as weak links require better patching and awareness training in the workplace. Anticipating attacks during special events calls for increased vigilance and security measures.
  • Role of Organisations in Cyber Defence
    Strengthening cybersecurity using external expertise such as Managed Service Providers is recommended. Creating a culture of cyber resilience and sharing threat intelligence is essential to disrupt cybercrime and be collectively stronger against attacks.

Want to know more about our Managed Services?

Explore the benefits of our Managed Services.

Learn More



Need more insights?

You want to stay current on how Cheops assists companies with their growth strategy? Our newsletters provide you with practical tips and tricks.