As the New Year fast approaches, expect more tech changes including the increased role of hyper automation, to be an emerging trend in 2024. The breakthrough technology of artificial intelligence dominated most of the tech conversation for 2023, but the cybersecurity discussion ramped up as well as more data breaches occurred.
“With OpenAI dominating our conversations in the airwaves,” said ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee at the IT Nation conference in November. “We went from ‘What is it and what can it do?’ to ‘How can I leverage this to help me for scalability, automation, efficiency, and growth?’ It is such a powerful, modern tool that could make us faster and smarter.”
There are two cybersecurity perspectives in which to view AI, say IT experts. How can AI improve my business? How can it harm my business? There are valuable insights to be gained from AI data and improved response times, increased communication and improved efficiency freeing up business owners to focus on other tasks. Still, small businesses need to protect themselves from harmful actors and be aware cybercriminals use AI, too.
So what can small businesses expect to see in 2024? Likely more of the same, say industry experts but increased adoption, improvement and security measures as well.
Top Trends for 2024
Increased Adoption of AI and Machine Learning
Hyper automation is going to speed up and enhance response times. Think of it as the automatic agent that might pop up on a screen when visiting a website to answer basic questions. AI and Machine Learning (ML) will continue to be game-changers in the business landscape automating routine tasks, improving threat detection and enhancing decision-making processes.
Rise of Zero Trust Security Models
The Zero Trust security model, which operates on the principle of "never trust, always verify," is gaining traction. This model requires verification for every person and device trying to access resources on a private network, regardless of whether they're inside or outside the network's perimeter. MSPs are increasingly adopting this model to provide robust IT security to their business clients.
Data breaches are increasing and increasingly targeted at small businesses. The continued need for email security will remain a trend for 2024. AI will play a key component to help better identify phishing and SPAM attempts and use machine learning to figure it out if it’s malicious.
Cybersecurity Awareness Training
Human error remains a significant contributor to cyber breaches. The need for cybersecurity awareness training must remain top of mind, so employees understand the potential risks and the necessary precautions to take when handling sensitive data. Small businesses should view cybersecurity awareness training as a critical, ongoing investment to empower employees, safeguard sensitive data, and protect against the ever-evolving threat landscape.
Security Information and Event Management
SIEM technology, with the help of AI, will likely be an emerging trend in 2024. How does it work? Imagine a company that has offices in multiple states and employees all have key fobs to gain access to the office. If the fobs were being used inconsistently–say once in Texas and twice in Connecticut on the same day or close to each other–AI could better recognize a pattern emerging and detect threats. The same is true for IT system breaches. Cyber resilience isn’t protecting the perimeter of an office, now it’s a digital defense especially for those whose businesses are accessed digitally and increasingly open to cyberthreats. AI will be instrumental in predictive analytics to better anticipate and mitigate potential cyber threats before they occur.
Increased Reliance On Managed Service Providers
In his speech to IT Nation, Magee stressed the importance of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) whom he described as the “torch bearers” small businesses will need to rely on as AI and hyper automation take off.
For small businesses looking to stay ahead of the curve, NerdsToGo is a trusted, local MSP offering innovative AI and cybersecurity solutions. By automating routine tasks, AI allows small business owners to work more efficiently, dedicating their valuable time to core business activities.
NerdsToGo, offers cutting-edge software and remote-monitoring services, to help small businesses harness the power of AI, enabling them to work smarter, not harder. As cyberthreats evolve, staying protected is paramount, and NerdsToGo is committed to providing the resilience needed in this digital age.
Hyper automation - Hyper automation is an advanced form of automation that involves the use of sophisticated technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), and other advanced technologies to automate tasks that were previously performed by humans.
Zero Trust - Zero Trust is an IT security model based on the principle of "never trust, always verify." It doesn't automatically trust any user, device, or application, regardless of their location in relation to the network perimeter. A key aspect of this approach is application whitelisting, where only pre-approved applications are allowed to run on the network. This means that even if a virus tries to install itself, it won't be able to operate unless it's on the whitelist. By rigorously verifying every access request and limiting application usage to those explicitly allowed, Zero Trust effectively minimizes the risk of unauthorized access and potential security breaches.
Security Information and Event Management - Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a technology used for safeguarding an organization's entire network, not just its computer systems. It does this by gathering and analyzing a massive amount of data from various sources across the network. This data is typically too extensive and complex for humans to review manually. SIEM tools are designed to efficiently process this data, detecting patterns and anomalies that might indicate security threats, such as hacking attempts or internal vulnerabilities. Think of SIEM as a sophisticated surveillance system for the network, continuously monitoring data flow and alerting security personnel to potential risks, ensuring quicker and more effective responses to security issues.