Thales Blog

2024 Tech and Cybersecurity Forecast: Navigating New Frontiers in Business

December 21, 2023

Todd Moore Todd Moore | VP Encryption Products, Thales More About This Author >

People always want to comprehend what the future brings. Ancient Greeks, for example, were famous for consulting with Oracle before making a crucial decision. The same is true for today’s business leaders. In an era where technology evolves at a blistering pace, business leaders must stay ahead of the curve. 2024 promises to be a pivotal year, bringing transformative advancements and new challenges in tech and cybersecurity.

This article aims to equip executives with insights into these impending changes, ensuring they are well-prepared to navigate the complexities of a rapidly changing digital world.

Quantum Computing and Its Business Impact

Quantum computing stands at the forefront of technological evolution, poised to redefine the boundaries of processing power and problem-solving. As we approach 2024, the emergence of quantum-ready enterprises is inevitable. These organizations will leverage the immense capabilities of quantum computing to tackle complex tasks that are currently beyond the reach of classical computers.

However, this leap forward brings its own set of challenges, particularly in the realm of cybersecurity. The advent of quantum-safe cryptography is essential to protect sensitive data against the superior capabilities of quantum computers. Businesses must become crypto-agile and implement quantum-resistant algorithms to safeguard their digital assets.

The implications for business are profound. Quantum computing will not only enhance the efficiency and capability of operations but also necessitate a significant overhaul in cybersecurity strategies. Forward-thinking organizations must begin preparing for this quantum leap, ensuring their systems are resilient against emerging threats and capable of harnessing the full potential of quantum technologies.

Taking AI to the Edge

In 2024, the trend in artificial intelligence is shifting toward deploying AI at the network edge, particularly for enterprise applications. This approach involves building chips that integrate CPU, GPU, and inference processing engines, effectively creating a comprehensive system on a chip. This development model enables enterprises to conduct model training and processing directly at the edge or on-premises. This strategy addresses security concerns related to intellectual property and sensitive data in large language models (LLMs). By moving computation and model training to the edge, organizations can train their models locally without uploading datasets to hyperscalers or relying on foundational models. This enhances data privacy and security and allows for greater control and efficiency in AI application deployment within the enterprise.

The Onset of the 5G-Advanced Era

The advent of 5G-Advanced in 2024 marks a significant leap in wireless technology, poised to revolutionize businesses' operations. This next-generation network goes beyond faster speeds and reduced latency; it is expected to be the backbone of emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, and smart cities. The enhanced capabilities of 5G-Advanced will enable seamless integration and communication between a vast array of devices and systems, creating a more interconnected and efficient business environment.

However, with great power comes great responsibility. The complexity and scale of 5G-Advanced networks introduce novel cybersecurity challenges. The increase in connected devices and the data they generate creates a larger attack surface for cyber threats. This necessitates a shift in cybersecurity strategies. To ensure data integrity and network security, businesses must adopt more sophisticated security protocols, including advanced encryption methods and AI-driven threat detection systems.

Blockchain's Evolution and Enterprise Adoption

For blockchain to truly breakthrough in 2024, it must reinvent itself significantly. While the technology's core principles are robust, particularly for document and data verification applications, its association with high power consumption, criminal activities, and trust issues has hindered widespread enterprise adoption. Initially a driving force in financial services for secure transactions, blockchain now faces the challenge of reshaping its image and functionality. To gain the trust of enterprises and achieve broader implementation, a comprehensive reimagining of blockchain technology is imperative.

Changing Dynamics in Cybersecurity Tool Purchases

The cybersecurity landscape is also witnessing a transformation in how tools are purchased and implemented. In 2024, the trend is moving towards integrated cybersecurity platforms, offering a more cohesive approach to security. Gartner has recognized this shift. Their forecast suggests that by 2025, 30% of enterprises will have adopted broad-spectrum data security platforms, a significant increase from less than 10% in 2021.

This shift is partly driven by budget pressures, compelling businesses to seek comprehensive solutions that provide better value for money. These platforms offer a range of functionalities, from threat detection to response management, addressing various security needs in a unified system. This transition reflects a broader understanding of cybersecurity as a critical, all-encompassing business function rather than a siloed or reactive measure.

Machine Learning, AI, and Collaborative Networks

2024 is set to witness an accelerated integration of machine learning (ML) and AI in various business processes. This integration fosters new collaborative networks, where autonomous systems communicate and learn from each other, enhancing efficiency and decision-making. Businesses leverage these technologies to gain a competitive edge, from optimizing operations to personalizing customer experiences.

Gartner predicts that by 2026, more than 80% of enterprises will have used generative AI APIs and models or deployed generative AI-enabled applications in production environments, marking a significant increase compared to fewer than 5% today.

However, integrating autonomous entities into collaborative networks is not without its challenges. It necessitates the development of new models for governance, management, and security. Traditional network security and data governance approaches may not suffice in scenarios where autonomous systems can access sensitive data and decision-making processes.

Cyberattacks: Standards and Accountability

In 2024, the cybersecurity landscape will be increasingly shaped by a heightened focus on standards and accountability. As cyber threats grow in sophistication and frequency, regulatory bodies impose stricter cybersecurity standards, compelling organizations to demonstrate compliance and resilience. This shift is leading to a more proactive approach to cybersecurity management.

Businesses are now required to protect against attacks and provide transparent reporting and swift responses in case of a breach. This accountability extends beyond mere compliance; it necessitates a comprehensive, organization-wide commitment to robust cybersecurity practices, ensuring the protection of critical data and infrastructure.

Secrets Management in the DevOps Ecosystem

In 2024, secrets management is emerging as a pivotal element in the software development ecosystem. DevOps, cloud technologies, and automation advancements have led to a significant increase in unprotected "secrets" – passwords, API keys, and certificates – within the software development process, often stored in public code repositories. These secrets are prime targets for cyber threat actors. Unsecured secrets continue to be significant attack vectors. As attackers increasingly focus on exploiting software vulnerabilities, organizations lagging in robust secrets management practices will find their systems increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Looking Ahead

As we enter 2024, it is evident that technology and cybersecurity will remain at the forefront of business success. Cybersecurity and technology are swiftly progressing, influenced by economic, technological, and societal factors. In light of these developments, a strategic approach that combines foresight and adaptability will be crucial for companies to thrive in this ever-changing landscape. The challenge lies in utilizing these advancements to stimulate business growth, maintain a competitive edge, and ensure operational resilience.