Tool of Cyber ​​attacks Our society is growing rapidly. In 2023, we saw a series of major digital security breaches – but it’s not over. Estimates of the global cost of cybercrime are on the rise, and our understanding of what defines a cyberattack is changing. What situation can we expect at the end of 2024?

Cyber ​​Attack, Hacker - Artistic Interpretation. Cyber ​​Attack, Hacker - Artistic Interpretation.

Cyber ​​Attack, Hacker – Artistic Interpretation.

The Emergence of AI Cybersecurity Threats

The array of cybersecurity threats facing businesses has grown exponentially in a relatively short period of time. Just a year ago, we couldn’t have imagined a situation where artificial intelligence (AI) technology could become an indispensable part of our daily lives. We can hardly even predict that AI will become an important tool for hackers and criminal organizations.

These new threats range from, but are not limited to, “classic” digital security issues such as planting malware and deploying malicious code such as ransomware on unsuspecting users’ machines, denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, Phishing, spoofing, identity theft, various types of scams, IoT-based attacks, and more.

What happened differently?

The integration of artificial intelligence now enables malicious actors to select and predict targets, analyze their behavior, assess the success or failure of attacks, and identify potential threats across vast networks, user groups and Social media has also enabled new and improved ways to scan. . As a result, cyber attacks are gradually becoming more sophisticated over time.

In addition to the rapid increase in analytical capabilities, criminals have also acquired powerful generative AI platforms (similar to the popular ChatGPT from OpenAI or Microsoft’s Copilot), which greatly facilitate the creation of fake content, along with fake credentials. All designed with a single purpose. In Mind: Exploiting Human Factors to Find New Vulnerabilities

Artificial Intelligence, ChatGPT - Artistic concept image.Artificial Intelligence, ChatGPT - Artistic concept image.

Artificial Intelligence, ChatGPT – Artistic concept image. Photo credit: Pixels / Cottonborough Studio, Free License

There has been an evolution in the reputation of attacks, exemplified by phishing efforts that combine technological sophistication with advanced social engineering. It’s no longer limited to textual content, as we’ve seen a boom in deep fake content over the past few years.

There are already some examples of cyber-attacks where AI has been applied to facilitate the transcription of a friend or family member’s voice, enabling criminals to send messages or make phone calls, allowing families to believe The deception was done to make it appear that the person in question had faced legal problems. or an accident.

Adding convincingly accurate sounds, images and video content to the arsenal of sophisticated software and hardware-equipped malicious actors significantly increases the potential for malicious hacking activities.

By the way – all of these attacks are now designed and executed in a fraction of the time it took to achieve the same effect several years ago. Much of the criminal work required to carry out a cyber attack has been “outsourced” to machines.

Which industries are most vulnerable to cyber attacks?

Who and what industries are most vulnerable to cyber attacks?

In this regard, the situation remained relatively unchanged. According to research, many industries are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks because of the nature of their operations, the value of the data they handle and their reliance on digital systems. The most vulnerable industries include:

  1. The entire financial services sector: The list of institutions most severely affected includes banks, credit unions, trade brokers, investment funds and similar organizations. These are prime targets because of the vast amount of sensitive financial and personal information and the money they work with.
  2. Health care: Because of the valuable patient data stored in electronic health records (EHRs) and the fact that patients constitute a group of subjects that are potentially easy to deceive. Cyber ​​attacks on healthcare systems can also lead to disruptions in patient care and compromise the integrity of digital platforms that are the foundation of modern hospitals.
  3. Energy generators and utilities: Critical infrastructure, including power grids and utilities, has always been at high risk. Cyber-attacks on these systems are more frequent, mainly because in this sector, they can have far-reaching and serious consequences, affecting public safety and national security.
  4. Government and Public Sector: Government and related agencies are often targeted for espionage or obstruction. Attacks on public systems usually aim to compromise sensitive information and disrupt services provided by these public agencies.
Online payment, online shopping - artistic impression.  Cyber-attacks against retailers are increasing the cost of losses globally.Online payment, online shopping - artistic impression.  Cyber-attacks against retailers are increasing the cost of losses globally.

Online payments, online shopping – artistic impression. Cyber-attacks against retailers are increasing the cost of losses globally. Image credit: Blackways

  1. Retail Trade: If you’re just a merchant or reseller, that doesn’t mean you’re immune to emerging cybersecurity threats. Typically, retailers are targeted for financial information such as credit card details and personal data or their customers. E-commerce platforms, in particular, are vulnerable to cyber attacks.
  2. Manufacturing: The sector is susceptible to cyber-attacks that could disrupt production processes, steal intellectual property or compromise product integrity.
  3. Transport companies: Railroads, airlines, shipping companies, and other transportation-related industries were certainly not prime targets several years ago. But now, they are vulnerable to cyber-attacks – especially those that can disrupt operations and compromise passenger data.
  4. Telecommunication Industry: Cyber-attacks on telecommunications infrastructure are two-fold motivation for criminals. First, they can directly disrupt communication networks and compromise the privacy of communications. Second, fragmented networks may serve as essential bridges to access other targets.
  5. Department of Technology: Obviously, this is a very broad category. Technology companies, especially those that develop and manage software and hardware systems, are attractive targets for cybercriminals looking to exploit vulnerabilities. However, other types of firms may also be vulnerable, whenever they use computer networks, digital data storage, or software with potential vulnerabilities.
  6. Department of Education and Research: Today, every school uses hundreds of computers. Educational institutions are targeted for the valuable personal and financial information they hold. Research institutions fall into the same category, but in their case, these institutions can be attacked primarily for intellectual property theft.

Of course, the impact of cyber attacks on these different types of organizations is not the same. But no matter the scale of the crime, it still results in financial losses and wasted time, not to mention the most important issue – compromised personal data and damaged trust.

Global Digital Ecosystem - Artistic Impression.Global Digital Ecosystem - Artistic Impression.

Global Digital Ecosystem – Artistic Impression.

How Much Cyber ​​Attacks Could Hurt Us in 2024?

World Economic Forum’s current forecast indicates The global economic cost of cyber attacks is expected to exceed US$10.5 trillion by the end of 2024.

The estimated global cost of online criminal activity is expected to rise to US$23.84 trillion by 2027.

The strongest driving factor behind this trend is the obvious fact that the sophistication of social engineering attacks, where users are manipulated to gain access to systems, is expected to increase. No matter how strong a system’s security is, humans remain the weakest link in the chain of measures implemented to protect against digital threats.

Using generative AI tools like ChatGPT allows attackers to use smarter and more personalized strategies. It will undoubtedly be combined with other emerging techniques. For example, the prevalence of deepfake attacks is also expected to increase.

To combat these emerging AI-powered attacks, we will need to implement effective countermeasures and create comprehensive cybersecurity awareness among the public. Throughout this year, digital security training programs will become an important element of best practice in various organizations and companies.

2024 will be a constant challenge. Lack of professionals Possess the required skills to protect organizations from cyber threats. These professionals will need to be constantly updated. Their knowledge, and skills too. Applying the principles of zero trust, using extended detection and response mechanisms, implementing the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) will become the global basis of so-called cyber hygiene.

Nevertheless, the transformative potential of generative AI can be used to augment defense mechanisms. Organizations can direct their efforts toward cybersecurity training, development, and upskilling programs to effectively address this ongoing challenge. Leading companies, such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, OpenAI, and many other leading organizations are working to develop frameworks that can thwart cyber attacks before they harm commercial projects and private users. Enable.


The cyber security situation leaves nothing to rest on. Experts predict that the global cost of cyber attacks will be US$10.5 trillion in 2024, which will increase to US$23.84 trillion by the end of 2027. To combat this growing threat, adopting more stringent cyber security measures, AI has been fueled by research and advancements introduced by many leading IT companies.