The 3 Biggest Cybersecurity Concerns Consumers Will Have in 2024

The 3 Biggest Cybersecurity Concerns Consumers Will Have in 2024 -

When discussing cybersecurity it can be easy for the conversation to become business-orientated. The vast majority of cyber attackers target businesses, due to the increased resources that can be exploited. In 2024, cybercrime damage to businesses will reportedly cost the world $793 billion a month, which amounts to around $9.5 trillion in just one year. But what about individuals? While the financial losses may not be as staggering, the consequences of a digital footprint can be just as significant for individuals. What are the consequences of a digital footprint ? It can impact your employment prospects, your relationships, and even your physical safety. Online information can be used to create a detailed profile of you, which can be used for malicious purposes such as identity theft, fraud, or discrimination

With the increased emphasis on cybersecurity, however, more and more consumers are becoming aware of the threats they are facing. According to recent statistics, 800,000 people are being targeted by cyber attackers every year, with the cost of these attacks increasing by 2.3% since 2022. In 2024, this cost is likely to increase even further, and with consumers less equipped to deal with cyber attacks, the issue is predicted to reach its boiling point. Here are 3 of the biggest cybersecurity concerns that consumers will be facing.

Credential Stuffing

One of the most significant threats to consumers is known as credential stuffing. This involves hackers using bots to compromise confidential user credentials, and then use those credentials to breach a system. The reason this has become such a big problem is due to the leak of “Collections” on the dark web, which happened in January of 2019.

The 3 Biggest Cybersecurity Concerns Consumers Will Have in 2024 -

Containing over 22 billion usernames and passwords, vital information was given to hackers, and since then, has been used to break into multiple systems. In this instance, hackers work on the assumption that users have spread their information across various platforms, meaning the best way to prevent credential stuffing is through creating unique passwords for each service.

Data Theft

Consumers don’t only have to contend with cyber attackers, they have to contend with businesses who fail to safeguard data. While data theft is almost as old as the internet itself, due to a number of high-profile data breaches – such as the Facebook debacle in 2019, and the LinkedIn breach of 2021 – the average ‘layperson’ has become a lot more aware of data theft, and how easily they can be exploited not just by malicious third-parties, but unscrupulous companies who harness their data. 

Every time you go on the internet, you’re leaving a digital footprint. This digital footprint is then taken by data brokers, who sell it to the highest bidder. The problem with this is not only that you’re passively handing your personal information to unknown entities – which is an ethical problem in itself – but you’re putting yourself at risk of identity theft, malware, phishing emails, and your own personal information – including your address and phone number – being available anywhere on the web. The positive thing in this case is that, going into 2024, more users will be aware of these issues. There are now ways to remove your personal info from Google and delete your digital footprint to stop data brokers at the source, which ultimately puts your information back into your own hands. 

IoT Vulnerabilities

For those unaware, IoT is a network of interrelated devices that can exchange data within the cloud, and it is a prime target for cyber attackers. This is especially true when it comes to brute force attacks – where hackers use automated tools to guess a device’s password – and middle attacks – where hackers intercept communication between interrelated devices and manipulate the relevant data. Once again, this is going to become an even greater issue in 2024. According to several cybersecurity publicists, hackers are going to be using AI as a tool to increase frequency and accuracy during IoT attacks, making them far more large-scale and malicious. 

In this case, one of the best ways for consumers to protect themselves is by changing their default passwords and settings on a regular basis. Multi-factor authentication is also crucial, as well as keeping software updated and working under a strong Wi-Fi encryption – which includes avoiding public Wi-Fi hotspots. Awareness, however, is the key weapon. As hacking tools such as AI become more prevalent, the more consumers are aware of the problem – and how to protect themselves – the less chance there is for hackers to succeed.