By Stanley Hsu, Mimecast regional VP for Asia

Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field that requires organizations to stay ahead of the
curve and anticipate new threats and opportunities.Email security is one of the most critical categories of cybersecurity, as email is the most popular attack vector for cybercriminals.

Email-based threats are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, exploiting the human factor and the vulnerabilities of the email infrastructure. With 2024 approaching, cybersecurity will continue to be shaped by several key trends that challenge and empower both attackers and defenders.

Leveraging key data sourced from our State of Email Security (SOES) report that surveyed 1,700 CISOs and IT professionals in 2023, I’ve identified key trends that will still be prevalent in the coming year:

#1: Email and collaboration platforms will remain as the primary targets for cyberattacks.
In this year’s SOES key findings for APAC, a staggering 72% of respondents expected to be
harmed by a collaboration tool-based attack. Additionally, 78% of Singapore CISOs experienced an increase in email-based threats in 2023. As more business is conducted online and remotely, there is a larger reliance on collaboration and email platforms. Unfortunately, this also means that cybercriminals would stand a chance to exploit the vulnerabilities of these tools to gain access to sensitive data, disrupt operations, and extort ransoms.

#2: Cyberattacks will continue to increase in sophistication and diversity.
Based on the report, 61% of Singapore CISOs and IT professionals support this prediction.
Attackers will continue to use techniques such as ransomware, impersonation fraud, insider
threats, and spear-phishing. Additionally, they will also leverage artificial intelligence (AI),
machine learning, and automation to evade detection and increase their success rate. Thus,
98% believe that they need stronger protections than those that come with their MS365 and Google Workspace applications.

#3: Mobile devices will remain vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Similarly to email and collaboration platforms, mobile devices will be a target for increasingly sophisticated attacks such as ransomware, phishing, spyware, and device hijacking. Hackers will exploit the vulnerabilities of mobile applications, operating systems, and networks to gain access to sensitive data and credentials.

To protect against these advanced attacks, victims should lean on AI to help with detection.
According to the report, 93% of respondents agreed AI systems that provide real-time,
contextual warnings to email and collaboration tool users would be a huge boon to their
organisation’s cybersecurity.

I believe companies need to adopt a holistic and proactive approach to secure their email,
collaboration tools, and mobile devices. In tandem with leveraging AI, companies must enforce proper training for employees.

With regular and comprehensive security awareness training, employees can help identify and avoid potential threats and report and respond to incidents. Additionally, with an effective cyber risk strategy, the organization can efficiently recover from cyberattacks, and minimise the impact on business continuity and reputation.


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