A cybersecurity expert, Remi Afon has predicted that having witnessed a notable surge in the utilisation of AI, notably marked by the increased adoption of Generative AI, including platforms like ChatGPT in 2023, the global cybersecurity landscape will notice a significant transformation, with the proliferation of AI-driven threats taking centre stage in 2024.
In a article he titled 2024 cyberthreats landscape, the Founder, Lynsec Cyber Security & GoLeget Africa, also noted that adversarial machine learning, where attackers manipulate AI algorithms, is anticipated to become more prevalent, challenging traditional defence mechanisms.
Other attacks he mentioned include Context-aware attacks, which he noted are also expected to rise, showcasing a heightened level of sophistication as cyber threats adapt their strategies based on specific environments and security measures.
“In 2024, an alarming trend on the cybersecurity horizon is the potential misuse of advanced language models, such as ChatGPT, by cybercriminals. As these models become more sophisticated, there’s a risk of threat actors employing them to craft highly convincing phishing messages, social engineering tactics, and even automated attacks that exploit human-like interactions.”
He continues: “Cybercriminals will continue to leverage ChatGPT to generate realistic-sounding emails or messages, making it challenging for individuals to discern between legitimate and malicious communications. This poses a significant challenge for traditional email filtering and security measures.
“2024 evolving threat landscape will include the ominous use of AI for crafting malware, posing an increased risk to organizations. Malicious actors leveraging AI to design sophisticated and evasive malware will further strain cybersecurity defences, demanding innovative strategies to detect and neutralize these AI-generated threats.
“Additionally, the threat of AI-driven Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks looms large. Cyber attackers are likely to exploit AI to orchestrate more complex and adaptive DDoS assaults, overwhelming organizations’ online infrastructure. This necessitates a proactive approach to cybersecurity, incorporating advanced AI defences capable of swiftly identifying and mitigating evolving DDoS threats.
“Deepfakes, powered by AI, are anticipated to pose a significant challenge to individuals and organizations alike. The potential for cybercriminals to use AI to create highly convincing and deceptive multimedia content raises concerns about the authenticity of digital information. Addressing this threat requires the integration of sophisticated AI-based detection mechanisms to identify and mitigate the impact of deepfakes on various fronts, including misinformation and reputational damage.
“Furthermore, we foresee an increase in the use of AI in romance scams, highlighting the risk of cybercriminals leveraging advanced technology to manipulate and deceive individuals. AI-driven chatbots and social engineering tactics will be employed to create highly convincing and personalized scams, making it difficult for individuals to discern between genuine and malicious interactions,” he added.
He recommended that to counter these multifaceted AI-driven threats, organizations should adopt comprehensive AI-centric defence strategies, real-time threat intelligence, machine learning integration into threat hunting processes, and collaboration within the cybersecurity community will be crucial elements in staying ahead of evolving threats.
He added: “Implementing advanced NLP models to distinguish between genuine and AI-generated content, along with continuous monitoring and adaptation of security protocols, will be essential in mitigating risks associated with AI in crafting malware, orchestrating DDoS attacks, generating deepfakes, and executing romance scams.
The cybersecurity landscape in 2024 will witness a complex interplay between defenders and adversaries, with AI at the forefront of both offense and defence in the ever-evolving realm of cybersecurity.