Welcome to 2024! As we settle into a new year, with new opportunities and new challenges, it’s important to reflect on what brought us to this moment. Last year saw unprecedented changes to the digital landscape, from unexpected social media rebrands to an explosive AI evolution, so well done for weathering the storm.
That being said, let’s learn from 2023 and apply these insights as we embrace the new year’s challenges. Predicting 2024’s digital landmarks helps us hurdle fresh obstacles and embrace new opportunities, let’s get started.
AI life, laws, and governance: Welcome to a new era
This year hosts two key elections with sweeping geopolitical implications across the globe: the European parliamentary vote, and the US presidential election. Experts on both sides of the pond already herald each vote as the first AI election in their respective continent. While their outcomes remain uncertain, one thing’s for sure: campaigns for each election, and other national and international elections throughout the year, will highlight AI’s unprecedented global influence in our personal, civic, and working lives.
Speaking of which, AI took center stage in a clash between old and new media at the end of 2023. The 172-year-old outlet The New York Times sued both OpenAI and Microsoft, accusing their language learning models of using its copyrighted content. NYT’s damages claim, estimated at significant sums according to Reuters, forms an important landmark the judiciary and legislation around AI.
Alongside language learning models, deepfake videos also mimic genuine testimonies, spoofing everyone from influencers to news reporters and business leaders. AI interference in public opinion and decision-making during electoral campaigns impacts constituents and business leaders alike, as scammers use the same tactics for cybercrimes like brand impersonation and phishing attacks. To combat this trend, we must work together to implement training, tools, and legislation capable of keeping up.
The EU’s AI act currently making its way through parliament promises to be the first laws that regulate the landscape. While struggling to keep up with evolving developments, they also face another challenge. Even if they manage to implement effective laws, they must also take care not to stifle or displace innovation. Maintaining a productive balance between regulation and innovation in the EU presents a significant challenge for the year ahead.
Shifting digital landscapes in 2024
Quite apart from the world of AI, shifts in digital architecture like domains and DNS landscapes will also shape the course of 2024. The ICANN is still working to implement developments from the ICANN78 conference in Hamburg, so businesses must pay close attention. Check out this free report from our Chief Legal Counsel to learn more.
Web3 and the blockchain: Navigating murky waters
Web3 domains, blockchain alliances, and a tumultuous year for cryptocurrencies characterized 2023. As crypto values fluctuated with a predictable unpredictability, crypto phishing incidents also spiked alarmingly. Some reports place the value of cryptocurrency stolen in 2023 as high as $300 million.
Businesses must steel themselves for a fresh wave of blockchain cybercrime 2024. The previous year saw hundreds of victims falling foul of cybercriminal tools like wallet drainers, or ‘drainware’ which brute force crypto wallet access keys. Attackers design their drainware to scan for vulnerable key phrases and move digital assets at scale. The technology’s sure to evolve as the year unfolds, so businesses must reinforce their security against future threats.
Beside NFT scams, Web3 cybersquatting, and more, the blockchain proves rich with risks as well as opportunities. EBRAND remains vigilant against these threats, helping businesses navigate these murky waters to safeguard their digital assets. For a deeper dive into crypto predictions for 2024, explore the insights from our Corporate Domain Management experts.
Phishing attacks and dark web threats evolve
The digital world expands unflinching, as we’ll see throughout 2024. Digital growth brings new opportunities and new threats to businesses, from malicious organizations as well as individuals. These threats include phishing attacks and dark web cybercrime, two key attack vectors for 2024. Phishing attacks accounted for the highest reported cybercrime by far in 2023, and this trend shows no sign of stopping. Last year, UK government research showed that 79% of businesses and 83% of charities highlight phishing as the cause of cyberattacks.
Meanwhile, dark web threats causing an estimated $6 trillion in damage annually. With compromised credentials, personally identifying information (PII), and malicious AI tools are readily available, this trend looks set to reappear again in the months ahead.
As we tackle the trend this year, the threat landscape demands comprehensive intervention from smart, next-gen solutions. Find out more about evolving dark web threats, and the ways that businesses tackle them, here.
Continuing the conversation in 2024 with EBRAND experts
These unprecedented times demand dynamic expertise and a capable digital toolkit. At EBRAND, our teams remain dedicated to helping you with whatever 2024 throws your way. Get in touch directly, and we’ll address your concerns and flesh out your strategy for the year ahead.