7 Cybersecurity Trends in 2024

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

The rise of new technologies require new ways of keeping data safe and secure. Learn about the developments taking place in the field of cybersecurity.

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People now share more information digitally than ever before—and in ways that continue to evolve. With the rise of new technologies come new kinds of attacks. In fact, McKinsey predicts that cybercrime will cost companies an annual total of $10.5 trillion by 2025 [1]. That makes it especially crucial for cybersecurity professionals to stay informed about major trends.

In this article, we’ll cover seven cybersecurity trends that will be important to the field in 2023, and the jobs you can pursue to address each issue. 

1. The rise in remote work requires additional data protections.

Remote and hybrid work arrangements continue to be popular options in the United States. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11.1 percent of companies offer a fully remote work environment, while 27.5 percent of companies offer a hybrid work environment [2]. 

With many employees now working from home (or another offsite location) some portion of the time, the chance of a data breach increases. Cybersecurity professionals must work to ensure that their company’s data stays safe with the use of additional measures, like VPNs and anti-virus software. They must also stay informed about unique threats, including phishing attempts and ransomware.  

Jobs to explore if you’re interested in this trend: 

2. AI and machine learning are creating more sophisticated attacks.

Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning also come with emerging threats. Threat actors now use these advancements to develop and implement sophisticated attacks at a much faster rate. For example, as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hypothesized, threat actors could potentially use ChatGPT to first synthesize a company’s marketing materials and then generate more believable phishing emails in the company’s voice [3]. 

Experts say this problem is only just beginning. Tech security firm Zscaler saw a 47 percent increase in phishing attempts in 2022 and attributed a portion of that rise to AI [4]. Companies will need security professionals who understand AI, its abilities, and its inherent risks. 

Jobs to explore if you’re interested in this trend: 

  • Incident responder

  • Security engineer

  • Cybersecurity manager

Learn more: 10 Cybersecurity Jobs: Entry-Level and Beyond

3. Attacks on the cloud, mobile, and IoT also remain high.

Technology has become an integral part of people’s lives. By 2025, it’s estimated that the demand for smart devices will reach 1.8 billion products [5]. But that industry growth also leaves people more vulnerable than ever before. 

As people become more reliant on mobile apps, the cloud, and “smart” homes and vehicles, the number of opportunities for threat actors to hack their privacy will grow. Attacks on these three components vulnerabilities—the cloud, apps, and the Internet of Things (IoT)—remain high, as does knowing how to combat such attacks.  

Jobs to explore if you’re interested in this trend: 

  • Security systems administrator 

  • Security engineer

  • Security architect

4. Open-source code contains potential risks.

Open-source application libraries offer codebases that are free to use and modify without formal permission—and developers lean heavily on them. Experts estimate that open-source application libraries are used in somewhere between 70 to 90 percent of software solutions [6]. 

The problem is that the majority of open-source software contains real security risks. In a 2023 report, Synopsis found that 87 percent of the 1,702 codebases it scanned had security risks [7]. Teams will need experts who can review and test open-source code to identify any gaps, and patch them. 

Jobs to explore if you’re interested in this trend: 

5. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) needs innovating.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an added layer of security that helps protect online accounts. Although MFA tends to be split between SMS (text prompts and phone calls) and apps, more companies rely on SMS because it’s easier for companies to develop and implement. 

It’s also far more vulnerable. Threat actors have grown savvier about working with SMS-based authentications because texts aren’t encrypted and remain exposed to Signaling System 7 (SS7) attacks. MFA apps tend to be more secure, meaning that companies who rely on SMS to authenticate their users will likely have to pivot to MFA apps in the future. 

Jobs to explore if you’re interested in this trend: 

  • Security systems administrator

  • Security engineer

6. The growing number of DDoS will increase demand for mitigation services.

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks overwhelm a server’s traffic, often slowing down or completely disrupting users’ experience. Between March 2022 and March 2023, DDoS attacks grew by 109 percent [8]. That increase has led to a greater need to combat DDoS with more sophisticated—and lasting—solutions.  

DDoS mitigation services are expected to grow in response to demand. Companies will also need knowledgeable cybersecurity professionals who can identify and implement the best mitigation service providers for their needs. 

Jobs to explore if you’re interested in this trend: 

  • Incident responder

  • IT auditor 

  • Security engineer

  • Cybersecurity manager

7. It will be important to protect trustworthy information.

When it comes to keeping data secure, cybersecurity initiatives help build and maintain user trust. Any breach of that trust can have serious consequences. 

Yet, the World Economic Forum reports that trust will shift with the rise in AI [9]. As it becomes more difficult to determine whether something was written by a human or an algorithm, users will seek out sources that provide trustworthy, reliable information. That means cybersecurity professionals may pivot from focusing extensively on data privacy to ensuring and protecting legitimate information.   

Jobs to explore if you’re interested in this trend: 

Learn more about how to get started in a career in cybersecurity.

Working in cybersecurity 

Keeping data safe and secure can be a rewarding career path that comes with high salaries, high demand, and high growth potential. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that cybersecurity roles will grow by 35 percent in the next decade—much higher than average [10].

It can also be a particularly interesting field thanks to its ongoing evolution. As the nature of cybercrime changes, so, too, do the responses, making cybersecurity an exciting subject to learn. Fifty-six percent of cybersecurity specialists have a bachelor's degree in a related field [11]. The key cybersecurity skills to learn include operating systems, scripting, intrusion detection, incident response, and more.

Learn more: Cybersecurity Degrees and Alternatives

Get started on Coursera

Learn about cybersecurity and begin working on critical skills with the Google Cybersecurity Professional Certificate on Coursera. You’ll learn about the foundations of cybersecurity, including how to identify common risks, and work with Python, Linux, and SQL. The program takes six months to complete if you can dedicate seven hours a week, and you get to work at your own pace. Get started today. 

Article sources


McKinsey. “Cybersecurity Trends: Looking Over the Horizon, https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/cybersecurity/cybersecurity-trends-looking-over-the-horizon.” Accessed June 26, 2023.

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