The profitability and the ease with which social engineering-related cyber attacks are launched will drive an even higher volume of these incidents in 2024, a new report showed on Thursday.

A major trend in cybersecurity is the speed and adeptness with which hackers adapt their techniques to take advantage of technological advances, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Attacks leveraging social engineering have become more frequent and more expensive in 2023.

In the new year, cybercriminals will be quick to innovate and expand their use of methods like social engineering, and deceptive practices used to influence people to release sensitive or personal data for illegal purposes.

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“Cybercriminals are exploiting the biggest vulnerability within any organization: humans. As progress in AI and analytics continues to advance, hackers will find more inventive and effective ways to capitalize on human weakness in areas of (mis)trust, the desire for expediency, and convenient rewards,” said Amy Larsen DeCarlo, principal analyst, Enterprise Technology and Services, at GlobalData.

In 2023, concern about AI being used for nefarious purposes increased with the unprecedented developmental progress in areas like generative and synthetic AI.

Threat actors can apply AI to change up malware algorithms so quickly that security software doesn’t recognize the potential danger associated with tactics like deepfakes, said the report.

“In 2024, enterprises contending with challenged markets will need to tighten IT budgets. This will jeopardize some cybersecurity investments at a time when organizations can’t afford to not prioritize fortifying their defenses,” said DeCarlo.

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