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Solutions | 3 min read

AI Cybersecurity Threats to Businesses in 2024

Peter Niebler
Written by Peter Niebler

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used to amplify cyberattacks with speed and personalization – at an alarming rate. Wondering what types of AI cybersecurity threats to be on the lookout for in 2024? You’ve come to the right place.  

AI has assisted in streamlining business processes and aided in speedier cybersecurity threat detection. However, it is also being used by bad actors to trick both IT systems and employees into divulging confidential information. 

AI-assisted cybersecurity threat patterns are emerging. Here’s what to watch for to better ensure the security of your data and networked systems:  

  1. Advanced Phishing Attacks
  2. Advanced Spoofing Attacks  
  3. Targeted Ransomware Attacks 
  4. Internet of Things Attacks 
  5. Grab-and-Go Data Exporting 
  6. Scaling Malicious Campaigns  
  7. AI-Engineered Deception Tactics 
  8. Risks of Funneling Your Data Through an AI-Assisted Infrastructure 

 RELATED: Top 10 Cybersecurity Facts for 2024 

Advanced Phishing Attacks  

When a bad actor tricks a user into revealing sensitive or confidential data, this is called phishing. AI is now being used to scrape data off the internet and create highly targeted phishing attacks.  

An example of this is when AI is used to collect data on job titles and workplace email addresses, then sorts for those with a specific title (e.g., CEO, Business Development Director, Marketing Manager, etc.) A targeted phishing email is then sent along with an “ask” that is tailored to the recipient’s profession.  

This type of attack is often used to steal the user’s data or password. More frequently, we’ve seen phishing attacks that also use AI-assisted, advanced spoofing techniques.   

Advanced Spoofing Attacks 

As noted above, spoofing is often used in conjunction with a phishing attack. While spoofing attacks have been a known form of cyberattack, AI is being used to advance its methods. Bad actors are using data collected by AI to more effectively tailor communications.  

Increasingly, a spoofed message (e.g., email, voicemail, text message) will look like it is coming from a known and trusted source. As more personal information is gained by the Dark Web, expect to encounter more advanced spoofing attacks. 

Targeted Ransomware Attacks 

Many large businesses are opting to recover and rebuild their encrypted data, instead of paying the hefty ransoms demanded by cybercriminals.  

Therefore, we expect the focus of AI-guided ransomware attacks to be directed toward small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These businesses typically have smaller IT resources, unless they enlist the help of a Managed IT partner. The assumption by many threat actors is that SMBs are more likely to pay a ransom, than spend the effort to rebuild their systems.   

Internet of Things Attacks 

More and more electronically controlled devices are being integrated into the Internet of Things (IoT). Examples of this, include HVAC systems, printers, business networks, etc. These IoT devices streamline processes, but they unfortunately also raise the risk of cyberthreats. Threat actors are increasingly enlisting the assistance of AI to scout for open network ports or other backdoors to creep undetected into a business’ network. Businesses need a plan to fend off these potential attacks, as a breach could be quite costly.  

Grab-and-Go Data Exporting 

In the past, cybercriminals were more apt to take up residence inside a business’ network. Then, they would sniff around, selectively looking for data to steal. However, grab-and-go data exporting is now becoming a more favored tactic. In this manner, enormous amounts of data are quickly exported, and cybercriminals later sift through the data with the assistance of AI – looking for treasures.   

Scaling Malicious Campaigns 

We haven’t seen AI used yet to scale a cyberattack into global proportions. However, we expect that this is on the horizon. All businesses are advised to be prepared and stay vigilant with their cybersecurity plans. 

AI-Engineered Deception Tactics 

The boundaries of what AI can do are being tested by bad actors. Deep fakes, audio fakes and other deception tactics are being used to advance malicious goals. Where this will lead, is still to be seen. This is a developing area to watch.  

Risks of Funneling Your Data Through an AI-Assisted Infrastructure 

Algorithms should be evaluated before funneling your business’ data through any AI-assisted software. In addition, Human intervention is still necessary at key points to verify that the AI’s methods are compatible with business objectives without posing a risk to cybersecurity. Otherwise, unintended consequences may occur.  

Free Cybersecurity Risk Assessment 

Wondering how secure your current IT system is? Take our free Cybersecurity Risk Assessment and find out! Answer a few key questions about your software and network security, backup, etc. Next, Elevity will show you your cybersecurity risk score which reveals your estimated ability to defend your business against a cyberattack. Get started now!  

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