2024 Cybersecurity Trends for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)

News | 05.01.2024

Cynet’s COO shares three critical cybersecurity trends for 2024, focusing on small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). These trends, significant for businesses with limited security resources, are based on extensive data and research.

1. Increased Cybersecurity Challenges for SMEs

In 2024, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) are facing a unique set of cybersecurity challenges. The volume of cyber threats is growing exponentially, yet many SMEs operate with limited resources. Gartner's forecast indicates a 14% increase in cybersecurity spending for the year, but PwC's research suggests that 20% of organizations might not expand their cybersecurity budgets. This disparity means SMEs must creatively leverage their existing resources. One strategy is fostering a security-conscious culture among employees, potentially incentivized through risk-linked performance bonuses. By 2026, it's anticipated that half of all C-suite executives will have cybersecurity metrics embedded in their job performance criteria.

2. The Evolution of Malware and Financial Risks

Malware is becoming more sophisticated and financially damaging. The emergence of customizable infostealers like 'Stealc' exemplifies this trend. These tools allow cybercriminals to selectively extract valuable information from targets, often through deceptive methods such as email attachments or compromised websites. The information stolen is highly prized in dark web markets and can lead to identity theft, financial loss, or blackmail. In response, the cyber insurance market is growing rapidly, projected to exceed $20 billion in 2024, up from $7 billion in 2020. Most cyber insurance policies cover a range of damages, including recovery costs, investigations, and even ransomware payments. However, to qualify for favorable insurance terms, organizations need to demonstrate robust cybersecurity capabilities.

SMEs are advised to proactively develop these capabilities, and ensure compliance, especially in highly regulated sectors. An incident response template can be instrumental in defining a comprehensive action plan to address potential cyber incidents.

3. Geopolitical Factors and the Rise of Ideologically Motivated Attacks

The current global geopolitical climate is fueling a rise in ideologically motivated cyberattacks. These attacks, often carried out by hacktivists or cyberterrorists, target not just for financial gain or espionage but also to disrupt and sow discord. They may strike at critical infrastructure, financial systems, or even businesses perceived to have opposing social stances, causing widespread disruption and economic damage. This trend marks a shift in the cybersecurity landscape, where SMEs in sectors previously considered low-risk must now acknowledge the possibility of being targeted by these ideologically driven groups. The tactics of these groups often involve spreading misinformation or propaganda, making even seemingly unrelated businesses, like a fashion blog, vulnerable to their attacks. To counter these evolving threats, it's imperative for business leaders to integrate cybersecurity into the very fabric of their operations. Guides like "How to Build a Security Framework" offer valuable insights for this integration. Moreover, newer all-in-one cybersecurity platforms provide an effective and cost-efficient solution for SMEs seeking enterprise-grade defense capabilities.

For SMEs aiming for growth, cybersecurity is not just a technical issue but a fundamental aspect of strategic planning and decision-making. Leaders need to collaborate closely with technology teams to understand new opportunities and manage risks effectively, enhancing organizational resilience in the face of these evolving cybersecurity challenges.

About Cynet: The modern approach to Cybersecurity. All the prevention, detection, correlation, investigation, and response you need is backed by a 24/7 MDR service – without the additional cost and complexity.

Softprom is a Cybersecurity Distributor of Cynet in Central Europe and Ukraine. Softprom provides professional testing, training, installation, implementation, and technical support services.