Tried and true tactics like phishing and malware are here to stay. But there are always new approaches to watch out for in the cybersecurity. Experian’s 11th annual Data Breach Industry Forecast includes six predictions on what cybercriminals will potentially do in 2024.

2023 was a “successful” year for bad actors reports Experian. It highlights the following potential trends to shake up the cyber landscape this year.

Six degrees of separation

There is no question third-party data breaches have made headlines. With increased data collection, storage and movement there are plenty of partners down the supply chain that could be targeted. It predicts attacks on systems four, five or six degrees from the original source as vendors outsource data and technology solutions who outsource to another expert and so on.

Little by little becomes a lot

When trying to achieve a goal, it’s said that taking small steps can lead to big results. Hackers could apply that same rule. Instead of making drastic moves and trying to reap instant reward such as with ransomware, bad actors may just manipulate or alter the tiniest bits of data to stay under the radar such as changing a currency rate or adjusting the coordinates for transportation. These can have a major impact.

Not a third wheel

It’s widely known who the major players are globally that sponsor attacks. A new country in South Asia may join the international stage with their large population of engineers and programmers. While reportedly having been in the game focusing cyberattacks regionally due to political tensions, this country may broaden their sights in the future.

No, not mother earth!

Plutonium, terbium, silicon wafers. These rare earth materials are the building blocks for today’s hardware. They are rapidly becoming the most sought-after resources on the planet. Any disruption to an already strained supply chain could send the industry (and the economy that relies on these materials) spinning. This presents an intriguing opportunity for hackers looking to create disruption. Or nation-states wanting to corner a market or disrupt an enemy’s economy.

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The scarface effect

Like drug cartels, cybergangs are forming sophisticated organisations as joining like-minded actors can be incredibly advantageous. This spans globally with countries potentially helping each other to advance common goals and interests. Experian forecasts more hackers for trade, crews looking to expand their monopolies, and cyberwarfare alliances.

Winning from the inside

In 2024, enterprising threat actors may target more publicly traded companies to gain insights to cheat the stock market. Or plan their attacks and sell their stash before value nosedives. Rather than breach an organisation and play in the underground with stolen data, threat actors could leverage data extraction and their talents in plain sight as everyday investors.

“Cybercriminals are continually working smarter not harder,” said Michael Bruemmer, vice president, Global Data Breach Resolution at Experian. “They are leveraging new technologies like artificial intelligence and applying their talents in different ways to be more strategic and stay a step ahead. Organisations should not ignore even the slightest security abnormalities. And be more aware of what global interests may make them a target.”

The report is available via this link: