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Ahead of the Threat: Gartner’s Cybersecurity Trends for 2024

Beat hackers at their own game.
Ryan Uliss
Contributing Writer
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Cybersecurity continues to be a paramount concern for organizations across all industries. As technology continues to advance rapidly, so do the threats and challenges that accompany it. To stay ahead of the curve, today’s cybersecurity professionals and leaders remain actively aware and adapt their strategies to address emerging trends.

Gartner has identified the top trends in cybersecurity for 2024, providing valuable insights into the critical areas organizations should focus on to fortify their defenses and maintain resilience against potential cyber threats.

Continuous Threat Exposure Management

With rapidly expanding attack surfaces, organizations are turning to Continuous Threat Exposure Management (CTEM) to proactively identify and mitigate vulnerabilities. CTEM continuously monitors and assesses an organization’s cyber exposure across all assets, including cloud services, remote workers, and digital supply chains. Leveraging advanced analytics and automation, CTEM empowers security teams to detect and respond to threats in real time, minimizing the risk of data breaches and cyber incidents.

Extending IAM’s Cybersecurity Value

Experts agree that Identity and Access Management (IAM) is crucial for today’s successful cybersecurity strategies. As digital environments grow more complex with increasing access points, IAM plays a vital role in ensuring that only authorized individuals and entities can access sensitive data and systems. Extending IAM’s capabilities enhances the ability to detect and prevent unauthorized access, enforce strict authentication, and maintain comprehensive audit trails of user activities.

Third-Party Cybersecurity Risk Management

Organizations heavily rely on third-party vendors and partners, introducing potential cybersecurity risks. Third-Party Cybersecurity Risk Management (TPCRM) has emerged as a critical trend, enabling organizations to assess and mitigate risks associated with third-party relationships. Implementing stringent TPCRM practices ensures partners and vendors adhere to security standards, reducing the likelihood of supply chain attacks and data breaches.

“Start by strengthening contingency plans for third-party engagements that pose the highest cybersecurity risk. Create third-party-specific incident playbooks, conduct tabletop exercises, and define a clear offboarding strategy involving, for example, timely revocation of access and destruction of data,” said Richard Addiscott, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner.

Privacy-Driven Application and Data Decoupling

As data privacy regulations tighten, organizations are embracing privacy-driven applications and data decoupling. This involves separating sensitive data from applications and storing it in secure, isolated environments. By doing so, organizations can maintain compliance while minimizing data breach risks. This approach also enables tailoring data handling based on regional or industry regulations for consistent, compliant operations.

Generative AI

Generative AI (GenAI) is a game-changing technology with significant cybersecurity implications. While offering benefits like automated content creation and enhanced data analysis, GenAI also introduces new risks. Organizations are collaborating proactively with stakeholders to establish ethical, secure practices for responsible GenAI use. Embracing this trend allows leveraging GenAI’s power while mitigating risks and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Security Behavior and Culture Programs

Human error remains a leading cause of cybersecurity incidents. Security Behavior and Culture Programs (SBCPs) address this by fostering a culture of security awareness and promoting secure employee behaviors. Combining training, awareness campaigns, and incentives, SBCPs minimize the impact of employee actions compromising an organization’s security posture.

“Organizations using SBCPs have experienced better employee adoption of security controls; reductions in unsecured behavior and increases in speed and agility,” said Addiscott. “It also leads to a more effective use of cybersecurity resources as employees become competent at making independent cyber risk decisions.”

Cybersecurity Outcome-Driven Metrics

Measuring the effectiveness of cybersecurity investment and strategy has long been a challenge for organizations. Cybersecurity Outcome-Driven Metrics (ODMs) provide stakeholders with a direct link between investments and the levels of protection achieved. Adopting ODMs allows for data-driven decisions, optimized resource allocation, and demonstrating cybersecurity’s value to leadership and stakeholders.

Evolving Cybersecurity Operating Models

Traditional cybersecurity operating models are insufficient in today’s dynamic business environment. As technology decentralizes and business units acquire solutions, cybersecurity teams are adapting their operating models to meet changing needs. Adopting agile, decentralized models ensures strategies align with objectives and effectively safeguard a variety of technological settings.

Cybersecurity Reskilling

The cybersecurity skills gap challenges organizations worldwide. Investing in reskilling initiatives addresses this by retraining existing talent and hiring professionals with new skill sets. This equips teams with expertise to tackle emerging threats and effectively leverage cutting-edge technologies.

The Wrap

Gartner’s top cybersecurity trends for 2024 report offers a snapshot of today’s swiftly evolving digital scene. These trends, which range from continuous threat exposure management to generative AI and privacy-driven decoupling, are prime examples of the critical areas organizations focus on to maintain cyber resilience and protect their valuable assets.

Cybersecurity professionals and leaders who stay informed and adapt their strategies can better position their organizations to succeed in the face of escalating cyber threats and challenges. By embracing these trends, they can bolster their security measures while leveraging emerging technologies and practices to gain a competitive edge.

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