AppOmni experts warn of artificial intelligence risks and major disruptions in 2024

As 2024 unfolds, AppOmni’s cybersecurity experts and executives, trusted by 20% of the Fortune 100, provide their insightful predictions for the cybersecurity landscape. Brendan O’Connor, CEO and co-founder of AppOmni, warns that good intentions can lead to unintended consequences when artificial intelligence (AI) is linked to highly sensitive data.

O’Connor warns, “Anyone with good intentions attaches AI to highly sensitive data they shouldn’t (eg, PII, medical records, financial transactions) and it can turn out very badly. While AI can be a force for good, data security-hungry LLMs have not matured.”

It also predicts the continuation of major breaches affecting major platforms and industries, a recurring threat in the cybersecurity world. O’Connor notes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same. In 2024, major breaches will continue to have a profound impact on SaaS platforms, large institutions, and industries such as healthcare, consumer goods, and automotive. Attackers will use the same tactics and techniques because they have proven successful.”

The top official also expects an escalation of cyber weapons and emphasizes the importance of proactive measures. “Expect to see an arsenal of new cyber weapons. There’s a hierarchy of how these things get on the dark web. Military-grade exploits and espionage-motivated campaigns work their way up to organized crime. Businesses need to get ahead of that. Without a governance process, they’ll be far behind if they won’t do anything.”

Joseph Thacker, chief AI engineer and security researcher at AppOmni, also highlights the growth of AI security in the coming year, with the rise of AI-driven start-ups and increased integration of AI into mainstream applications, which can lead to new vulnerabilities. However, he cautions against the practical deployment of AI without extensive security testing.

Joseph Thacker states: “Allowing AI systems to make decisions is convenient. This means many products will include it without adequate security testing. We’ll soon see where this leads.”

According to Tim Bach, SVP of security engineering at AppOmni, the targeting of SaaS applications in cyber attacks is expected to increase. It’s reminiscent of the notable misconfigurations in Salesforce and ServiceNow that severely impacted a number of organizations. For Bach, vigilance and increased monitoring of SaaS activity logs for signs of attackers is essential.

Tim Bach points out, “This threat scanning is only possible if and should be done in addition to deploying a comprehensive SaaS security management solution.” This could help IT and security executives understand and monitor the security status of their SaaS applications, leading to proactive and reactive measures for their most sensitive applications and data.

Bach concludes with a note of action: “IT leaders must direct their threat hunters to be vigilant in monitoring SaaS activity so that incidents can be quickly detected and mitigated.”