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Stay Safe Online – Australia’s Cybersecurity Trends for 2024

By Vanessa Ciabatti

Cyber security has never been a more prevalent trend than in recent years, with 2024 boding plenty of new trends and changes – both good and bad. The surging rates of cyber crime show no signs of slowing; but with new tools and technological advancements underway, businesses will be well-equipped to stave off these threats and make the most of emerging developments. 

Below, we explore Australia’s top cyber security trends to keep an eye on in 2024, and why building on your security skills has never been more critical. 

Cyber security trends to watch out for in 2024

Increased testing and threat detection 

As predicted by IT Brief, Australian organisations can expect a surge in the use of continuous threat detection and management tools, helping them proactively mitigate risks in the cyber security space. Prioritising one’s most critical assets will likely be a driving factor in this approach, helping them keep the most important aspects of their business secure. This merge between security and corporate initiatives can offer greater clarity and insight on improving one’s cyber security resilience and overall company performance. 

"Security validation” is also expected to become a standard practice, where one’s cyber security controls are assessed based on an attacker’s perspective. This will likely lead to increased testing across common attack points to ensure the efficacy and quality of one’s current measures, as well as greater priority placed on improving the practical skills, knowledge, and awareness of one’s security team. 

Ransomware will continue to thrive  

According to Security Brief, Australia currently ranks second globally for the most ransomware attacks – a trend expected to persist for 2024. Larger companies, in particular, will find themselves increasingly targeted as attackers seek out greater financial gains. This focus towards higher-profile attacks highlights the need for organisations to prioritise thoughtful and thorough strategies for mitigating the risks associated with ransomware.

Critical considerations could include whether to pay ransoms and how to recover swiftly from impacts – though proactive measures are, of course, key. Educating employees about potential threats, regularly updating security protocols, and continuous testing are all effective steps towards building resilient culture and ensuring vulnerabilities are nipped in the bud before an attack even takes place. 

Vendor consolidation 

Driven by the desire to streamline their security workflows and services, vendor consolidation is another rising trend to watch out for this year. The practice effectively aims to simplify one’s cyber security environment, leading to greater efficiency as well as room for security workers to focus on more critical tasks. In fact, a 2022 Gartner report highlighted how 75% of businesses sought to reduce the number of vendors they use, helping minimise the complexity of their tech environment.

Additionally, sticking to limited vendors can help alleviate any configuration challenges. This consolidation allows for the tighter integration of security solutions – creating a more cohesive and easily manageable IT infrastructure. The approach not only optimises resource allocation but also leads to more effective monitoring and response to potential cyber threats.

AI-powered cyber attacks 

With artificial intelligence (AI) having made notable strides in 2023, its no surprise the technology has now been harnessed by criminals online. 2024 is expected to bring forth a new era of AI-driven cyber threats, with experts predicting tactics such as phishing emails impersonating a company’s communication style or deepfake voices posing as colleagues or corporate executives. These advanced methods will potentially bypass traditional security systems and cause a surge in disruptive breaches, particularly through vulnerabilities in one’s supply chain. 

However, security professionals can just as well take advantage of AI’s advanced algorithms and self-learning capabilities to detect and counter these evolving threats. Examples include the use of AI-driven anomaly detection to identify irregular patterns indicative of an attack, and the deployment of machine learning models to predict and prevent potential vulnerabilities. This proactive use of AI not only strengthens one’s systems but also eases the burden on their security team, all while helping them stay one step ahead of these pervasive threats. 

Why cyber security skills are now a must-have 

Cyber crimes show no signs of stopping 

Both the Australian and global landscape have grappled with the relentless surge in cyber crimes over the years, a trend that’s likely here to stay – and worsen for those unprepared. The 2022-2023 ASD Cyber Threat Report has highlighted a 23% increase in cyber crime reports, counting nearly 94,000 within the time period. This translates to an average of one report every six minutes.

Additionally, small to large businesses affected by cybercrime suffered losses between $46,000 and $71,600, a significant 14% from the previous year. Companies lacking in the right cyber security measures thus not only become vulnerable to data breaches, but financial losses and reputational damage, as well. The skills to fend off these threats have thus become a priority for the Australian workplace as attackers continue to advance and refine their tactics. 

Digital security is crucial in every field – not just IT

Technology is everywhere – leaving most (if not all) industries vulnerable to the threats of digital crime. Cybersecurity has thus evolved from being a solely IT-related concern to a necessity across every field; for instance, in healthcare, the protection of patient data and medical records requires robust cyber security measures to prevent unauthorized access and breaches. Similarly, financial institutions must safeguard sensitive financial information, and the manufacturing sector relies on secure digital systems for production processes. Professionals in marketing, human resources, and legal sectors must also be well-versed in cyber security to protect sensitive information and maintain the trust of clients and stakeholders.

Security skills have therefore grown from being “nice to have” to becoming a mandatory asset for businesses of all sectors. Knowing your basics will soon be an expectation for workers of all levels, as employees are increasingly expected to “pull their weight” towards a culture of greater cyber security awareness.

Vast career opportunities with competitive earnings 

With a growing skills shortage in cyber security, aspiring professionals with the right skills, knowledge, and experience are presented with endless career opportunities in the Australian job market. The scarcity of available talent, paired with growing demand, has also lead to a significant increase in salary offerings; with the average cyber security expert earning about $127,016 AUD per year (or $65.14 AUD per hour). 

Those looking to explore the cyber security field will thus find no better time than now to enter the industry. The field additionally provides plenty of options to help one build their skills, such as through online programs or qualifications. Upskilled, for example, offers nationally-recognised courses (from bootcamps to fully-fledged diplomas), equipping students with the “job-ready” skills to excel in the world of digital security. 

Build on your cyber security expertise today! 

With the sector’s emerging challenges and developments, cyber security knowledge has never been a more critical asset in today’s world. 

As mentioned, Upskilled offers a variety of online qualifications in the field of cyber security – from bootcamp programs in the basics, to internationally recognised certifications such as CISA and CISM, to a comprehensive diploma course in the field’s specialised skills. Best of all, each course is delivered completely online, helping you train at a time, place, and pace that suits you and your needs best. 

Whether it’s to brush up on the fundamentals of security or to pursue an exciting career in the field, a cyber security course can ensure your skills stay relevant, competitive, and sought-after in the current job market. Keep your digital skills ahead of the curve, and enquire with us on a course today. 

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