The world of work underwent a significant transformation in late 2022 with the introduction of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) into the global market. This groundbreaking technology has evolved from being a mere possibility to becoming a tangible reality. Unfortunately, cybercrime organizations are also embracing these advancements, leading to drastic changes in attack methods, strategies, and technologies.
The future of cybercrime appears to be even more intriguing.
Shift towards reputational damage and extortion
Cryptocurrency is facing increasing regulation, which is likely to put criminal groups under added pressure,” says Osler. After gaining unauthorized access to sensitive accounts, they are likely to steal data and threaten to leak it unless a ransom is paid.
“Encryption will no longer be their primary focus, as leaked data becomes their bargaining chip,” adds Osler. While companies can pay the hackers to prevent the information from being leaked, there is no guarantee they will honor their word. Once the data is exposed, there’s no turning back. Previously, when the data was encrypted, there was the option to recover it and eliminate the threat from your infrastructure. Now, your data is released into the wild with no guarantees and no protections.
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by ransomware groups is also a growing concern. AI tools can enhance the sophistication and capabilities of attacks, enabling hackers to orchestrate more effective social engineering attacks. The existence of AI bots that generate social engineering emails, create fake voice notes, and perform other malicious tasks adds to the complexity of the cyber threat landscape
Expanding attack surface
With the increasing number of IoT devices, cybercriminals have a larger attack surface to exploit. “This expansion in attack opportunities will probably lead to a rise in cyberattacks targeting vulnerable IoT devices, including smart homes, smart meters, connected cars, and industrial systems,” warns Osler. These attacks can have various consequences, ranging from data breaches and service interruptions to potential risks to physical safety.
The way forward
When we look at the future of technology through the lens of cybercrime, it becomes quite concerning because the threats keep evolving and becoming more cunning and sophisticated,” says Osler. “This poses a significant risk to organizations and their valuable data. However, amid these challenges, those combating cyber threats are not idle. Security organizations are becoming increasingly adept at identifying and mitigating threats. The benefits of their expertise are being passed on to businesses.
With the right tools, detection methods, and security teams in place, companies are well-positioned to defend against the ever-changing threats. The future of cybercrime presents both challenges and opportunities. While cybercriminals continue to devise new methods, organizations have the means to adapt and protect themselves. By embracing advancements in technology, collaborating with experts, and fostering a proactive security mindset, businesses can navigate the evolving cyber landscape and secure a safer digital future.
By Stephen Osler, Co-Founder and Business Development Director at Nclose.