WatchGuard Threat Lab Experts Unveil Cybersecurity Forecasts for 2024

WatchGuard® Technologies, a foremost entity in comprehensive cybersecurity, today disclosed its Cybersecurity Projections for 2024. This latest set of forecasts by WatchGuard encompasses the most significant cyberattacks and infosec trends foreseen by the WatchGuard Threat Lab research squad for 2024. Key predictions include sophisticated prompt engineering attacks on large language models (LLMs), managed service providers (MSPs) intensifying their commitment to automated, unified security platforms, the rise of AI-driven voice chatbots in “Vishing” scams, breaches in modern VR/MR headsets, among others.

“Each novel tech trend ushers in fresh avenues for cybercriminals,” stated Corey Nachreiner, the Chief Security Officer at WatchGuard Technologies. “The forthcoming threats in 2024 targeting businesses and individuals are set to be more formidable, intricate, and challenging to handle. Amidst a persistent deficit in cybersecurity expertise, the urgency for MSPs, integrated security, and automated systems to strengthen cybersecurity and shield organisations from the constantly transforming threat landscape is at an all-time high.”

Here’s a rundown of the key cybersecurity forecasts for 2024 by the WatchGuard Threat Lab team:

· Large Language Models (LLMs) and Prompt Engineering Tricks – With both corporations and individuals leveraging LLMs to boost operational efficiency, adversaries are also mastering ways to manipulate LLMs for nefarious ends. The WatchGuard Threat Lab envisages that in 2024, a proficient prompt engineer – be it a criminal or researcher – will succeed in coercing an LLM to divulge private data.

· MSPs Escalate Security Offerings Via Automated Platforms – Given the approximately 3.4 million vacant cybersecurity roles and the fierce battle for available talents, more small to mid-sized firms are expected to depend on trusted MSPs and MSSPs for protection in 2024. To meet the soaring demand and limited staffing resources, these service providers are predicted to heavily invest in unified security platforms, employing extensive automation through AI and ML.

· Surge in AI-Driven Spear Phishing Tools on the Dark Web – Cybercriminals currently have access to underground tools for spam emails and tailored texts, besides scraping web and social media for specific target data. These tools, largely manual, compel attackers to focus on single users or groups. Given these tasks are ideal for AI and ML automation, the WatchGuard Threat Lab anticipates a spike in AI-enabled tools as top sellers on the dark web in 2024.

· AI-Based Vishing Surges in 2024 – Current technology like VoIP and automation enables mass dialling, but vishing operations are limited by the need for human scammers. However, 2024 might witness a shift. WatchGuard predicts that combining deepfake audio and conversation-capable LLMs will drastically augment the scale of vishing calls, potentially eliminating the need for human involvement.

· VR/MR Headsets as Tools for Recreating User Environments – As VR/MR headsets gain popularity, so does the interest of hackers. The Threat Lab researchers predict that by 2024, either a researcher or a hacker will devise a method to extract sensor data from these headsets to replicate the user’s environment.

· Widespread QR Code Use Leads to Notable Hack – QR codes, while not new, have seen a surge in mainstream use recently. The Threat Lab team anticipates a significant hack in 2024, stemming from an employee accessing a malicious link via a QR code.

For an in-depth view of the Threat Lab’s 2024 predictions and related videos featuring WatchGuard CSO Corey Nachreiner and Director of Security Operations Marc Laliberte, visit:

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