Did you know that AI-generated voice could be trained to sound like you in order to access your private information? Similarly, are you aware that your fingerprints can be cloned to fool biometric scanners? 

Cyber criminals also take advantage of technology advances to multiply attacks. 

This is just one snapshot of the future of cyber security. What else is coming up? Read on or jump ahead to these sections: 


Trends in Cyber Threats and Security Challenges

As often pointed out, cyber is ever-evolving. New technologies mean both new opportunities and new challenges. Here’s what’s in store when it comes to threats. 

Escalation of AI-Driven Attacks

As AI tools have become very accessible and easy to use for more people, we can expect more cyber incidents that use artificial intelligence and machine learning.  

Cyber criminals can exploit bots for social engineering attacks. Imagine a chatbot that can mimic human conversation so convincingly that it’s almost like chatting with a friend or a colleague. AI will impersonate individuals or organisations you trust, tricking victims into revealing sensitive information or performing risky actions. 

As previously mentioned, the duplication of voices and fingerprints is becoming more common. Last year, an Australian journalist cloned his own voice to demonstrate how it can be used to easily access his bank account. Another journalist used an AI-version of his own voice to get into his Centrelink account. Cisco researchers have also proved how easy it is to clone fingerprints.

Botnets Evolving into Hivenets 

Botnets, those networks of compromised computers controlled by cyber criminals, will become more sophisticated. They will be able to adapt to your defences, find new vulnerabilities, and coordinate their actions better to maximise their impact. 

Botnets will also use a decentralised topology. This will transform them into “hivenets”, or P2P clusters of devices or systems that are no longer dependent on one central control server. This will make them even harder to take down.  

Further, it has been predicted that botnets will increasingly: 

  • Recruit new types of Internet of Things (IoT) devices 
  • Become smaller to avoid detection 
  • Be employed by nation-state actors 
  • Target types of devices that are easier to penetrate 

Rise in Ransomware Attacks

The Australian Signals Directorate’s (ASD) Cyber Threat Report 2022-2023 noted that ransomware is “the most destructive cybercrime threat to Australians.” The number of extortion-related incidents responded to by the ASD increased by 8% in 2023 and ransomware incidents are expected to multiply further. 

Ransomware will be even more aggressive, with: 

  • More mobile and IoT devices as targets 
  • Higher ransom demands  
  • More Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) tools 

More Attacks on Mid-market Businesses and Infrastructure

Mid-market businesses will become more attractive to cyber criminals. This is because they often have more digital assets than small businesses but may not have the same cyber security level as larger organisations.  

Infrastructure services (such as power and water utilities, transport, and healthcare) are similarly being targeted more. Aside from encrypting data and demanding ransom, cyber attackers will also aim to disrupt operations and services. Of course, those can have severe impacts on public safety, national security, and economic stability. 

IoT Devices and ICS to Expand Attack Surface 

The number of IoT devices (such as medical devices, cars, drones, and simple sensors) are growing. This means billions of additional devices are getting connected to the internet – creating a vast new attack surface for cyber criminals. 

IoT devices often pose a security challenge due to the lack of proper security controls. Weak passwords, outdated software, and firmware vulnerabilities make them easy targets. Many of them are not designed to be easily patched, so vulnerabilities can remain unfixed for long periods of time.  

The same is happening due to Industrial Control Systems (ICS), which comprise physical and digital objects that regulate and manage the behaviour of machines and machine processes in industrial settings. As more of them operate online, the cyber-attack surface will keep expanding. 


Trends in Cyber Security Solutions & Services

Without delving into the benefits of investing in cyber security for your business, there are evolution in cyber security solutions that Cairns businesses can look forward to in order to keep up with the changing digital threats and challenges. Here are some trends that can shape the cyber defence landscape of the future.

Artificial Intelligence to Support Skills Shortage 

The Australia Computer Society (ACS) has cited an IT skills shortage that affects the cyber security services sector. AI and machine learning (ML) will therefore be used more extensively to ease the situation. How? 

AI can automate routine cyber security tasks, such as predictive analytics, threat detection, and incident response. Your staff can then focus on more complex issues, thus increasing efficiency and enabling a smaller team to manage a large network. 

AI can also be used for upskilling workers to fill in the cyber security skills gap. For example, AI-powered simulations can provide hands-on experience in dealing with cyber threats. However, AI will always require human oversight, organisations must continue to invest in staff training to solve the skills shortage. 

Behavioural Analytics and AI-powered Threat Detection

Expect more advanced algorithms to be used in analysing user behaviour, network traffic, and system logs. Such analyses can help detect anomalies and predict attacks. This can involve looking for anything unusual, like a user logging in at odd hours, a sudden spike in data downloads, or an unfamiliar device trying to access the network. If the system spots something out of the ordinary, it can send an alert or automatically block the suspicious activity.  

Quantum Computing 

Researchers worldwide are working to make quantum computing a reality. By using the principles of quantum mechanics, quantum computers can solve a problem in 3 minutes compared to the 10,000 years needed by the fastest supercomputer to solve it. 

Due to their incredible speed and power, quantum computers can analyse extremely larger amounts of data to spot patterns, detect cyber threats, and raise the alarm quicker. Quantum cryptography can also help create super secure messages that are virtually impossible to hack. 

We hope to see a glimpse of quantum computing’s potential for cyber security. While it is still in the early stages, we might see further developments this year. 

Zero Trust Security  

Zero trust security is expected to become more prevalent and mainstream starting this year, as more businesses realise its benefits and adopt a “never trust, always verify” mindset.  

This paradigm shift challenges the traditional assumption that everything inside the network perimeter is trustworthy. Instead, zero trust security requires continuous verification of the identity and permissions of every user, device, and data flow, regardless of where they are located.  

Zero trust security can thus prevent unauthorised access and data breaches, especially for distributed workforces and cloud environments that are quite common today. The move away from perimeter-based defence can happen as zero trust security models become more widely adopted.  

This cyber security strategy can enhance the resilience and competitiveness of organisations, enable business agility and innovation, and allow for faster and safer adoption of new technologies and services.  

Cyber Security Mesh Architecture (CSMA) 

CSMA will gain traction as its decentralised security solutions provide flexibility and resilience against centralised attacks. This is a new approach to cyber security that distributes security measures across various components of a digital ecosystem.  

CSMA can be a great fit for companies with widely distributed assets. This ecosystem of security controls can achieve more effective collaboration between tools. Think of CSMA as a village where each house has its own lock and key, making the whole village more secure. Just like a growing village, it can adapt and expand as needed.  

CSMA is now gaining popularity and could be the future of cyber security

Focus on People

Because human error is the leading cause of data breach, there will be a shift back to focusing on people. Businesses will be investing in cyber security awareness training

Employees will be better educated about the importance of cyber security, common threats, and best practices for protecting sensitive information. 

A stronger cyber security culture will be widespread throughout the organisation. This includes promoting good cyber hygiene, encouraging employees to report suspicious activities, and rewarding good cyber security behaviour. 

Also, more businesses will develop their incident response plan. Employees will be trained about the steps to take in the event of a cyber incident.


Understand Your Human Risk Areas 

You can get a better idea of your current employee cyber security posture with what we call a Human Risk Assessment.  

It comprises three simple steps: 

  • We’ll scan your domain on the dark web to search for stolen user credentials. 
  • We’ll simulate a phishing attack on your employees and see the number of people that would fall for it. 
  • We’ll calculate your risk score and the time it would take for a breach to happen to your business.   

The final report includes a step-by-step plan of actions for you to tackle your human risk areas.  

We currently made this service free-of-charge so jump on it now! Submit the form below. 

And if you need help navigating cyber security solutions and what a package with Future Computers could look like for your business, please check out our blog about how to choose the right one.