What Should You Look Out for in 2024? Top 3 Risks

2023 was a year of rapid developments and changes


– from the emergence of generative AI into the mainstream to an upsurge in armed conflict and a rapidly shifting geopolitical landscape, the world was changing so fast that it became a blur. The war in Ukraine is still ongoing, the situation in the Middle East is critical, progressing climate change slowly forces a green energy transition, and tensions rise over Taiwan, affecting global supply chains and political scales.  


With all of this going on, how can we prepare for the year ahead? What will be the impact of those things on security? Can we do anything to prepare? 


What does 2024 have in store?  


Except for the Paris Olympics and the new NASA mission to fly astronauts around the moon, what is in store for the year ahead?  

It is hard to fortune-tell, but we can make some predictions. The US, UK and India will hold elections, the conflict in Ukraine is likely to persist, and the war in Gaza can potentially unfold into a wider regional conflict even despite the common pledges to ceasefire. The tension between US and China, sometimes called the Second Cold War, is likely to escalate, with those two countries competing for dominance in infrastructure, digital, manufacturing, and finance networks. 

Experts also predict at least one quarter of negative GDP growth in the Euro Zone, and the numbers suggest that although buzz around AI will quiet down, the technology is most likely to stay here for good.  


What are the security trends in 2024?  

But how does all of this look like from a security standpoint?  


Focus on cybersecurity  

Cybersecurity is not just an IT issue; it’s a critical aspect of risk management and business strategy. According to the report released by Verizon, 74% of all data breaches involved the human element. It is likely, that due to the prominence of AI, that number will rise in 2024, as new technology makes social engineering attacks much simpler, faster and more sophisticated. It could also help to produce fake news on a scale yet not seen, which may have some unpleasant consequences for the organization. 

This will push companies to focus on ensuring data security, broad security training and ensuring seamless communication between cyber and physical security. It will also be a key to communicate clearly and have the skillset necessary to embed a security culture into the organization.


Look out for Geopolitical Risks 

With the elections approaching in many different parts of the world, the number of coups increasing, and the military conflicts escalating, the geopolitical risks will be one of the key things to look out for in 2024.  

Those risks refer to the potential threats arising from interactions between nations or their responses to geopolitical events. Increasing costs of living, unstable political environments and geopolitical tensions can severely impact business operations, especially in regions with heightened security risks. In 2024, companies can anticipate various supply chain disruptions,  which can result in the adaptation of an impact-based approach to security management with robust security measures and contingency plans to mitigate potential disruptions.

Beware of Climate Change 

Extreme weather events, as a result of climate change, should not be overlooked. Those disruptions can have long-term and far-reaching consequences, impacting not only business operations, but also communities, and economies worldwide. This, in turn, is emphasising different risks, such as those of civil unrest, migration or supply chain disruptions. Disruptions like heatwaves, hurricanes, flooding and wildfires vary with region, and all require preparedness and resilience.  

This may also result in energy supply disruptions and carries a lot of potential operational impacts.  


How can you prepare?  

How can you prepare for what’s to come? It might be a good idea to integrate ESG into your security planning. Moreover, as human error is usually the weakest link, focus on developing a strong security culture in your organization and develop contingency plans that will help you manage any potential crises.  Make sure that all your security management processes and systems are running smoothly, and that the physical security is not becoming siloed – closer cooperation with cyber could help you identify the most likely scenarios and prepare for what’s to come.  

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