Alex Woodward

Alex Woodward

Senior Vice President - Consulting Delivery, Cyber Security, CGI in the UK & Australia

In an era where organisations are increasingly reliant on digital infrastructure, the critical role of IT in achieving mission objectives cannot be overstated. As this digital landscape expands, supply chains grow longer and more complex, incorporating both companies and the intricate web of software components that make up end-to-end solutions. The resulting interconnectedness presents cyber security experts with the formidable challenge of defending an organisation's crown jewels in an environment characterised by a larger attack surface and increasing complexity.

Challenges and Actions

1. Digital Transformation and Interconnectedness:

  • Understanding your digital supply chain is paramount. Delve into the practices of key suppliers and their security measures.

  • Unravel the layers of your software supply chain. Identify the software components integral to your solutions and services.

  • Practice resilience. Rehearse your response to potential incidents, ensuring that your organisation is prepared to manage and recover from threats.

2. Increasing Regulatory Oversight:

Regulatory efforts aim to enhance the UK's overall resilience to cyber-attacks, yet they pose a challenge for organisations, particularly those scaling up. The key is to embed security intrinsically into products, leveraging existing controls for efficiency. Use common control frameworks to reduce duplicated effort and improve focus on value. 

My predictions for 2024

1. Evolution of Ransomware

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will fuel the evolution of ransomware, automating reconnaissance, target selection, and initial access through the exploitation of vulnerabilities at scale. Thankfully we are unlikely to see completely new attack classes over the next year.

2. Intensified Supply Chain Targeting

Focus will heighten on key suppliers and niche technologies used across multiple targets with the aim of disrupting business operations, compromising software integrity, or manipulating the flow of goods and services.

3. Deep Fakes Threat Escalation

AI-driven deep fake campaigns will rise, leveraging convincing audio and video manipulations to deceive individuals into unauthorised transactions or leaking sensitive information.

4. IoT Challenges

The proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in corporate environments will transcend traditional IT boundaries, leading to cross-platform attacks on interconnected systems. Attackers are likely to achieve their goals without developing niche Operational Technology malware by focusing on these IP connected assets.

As the digital landscape evolves, organisations must proactively address the challenges posed by increased interconnectedness and regulatory scrutiny. By understanding and fortifying digital and software supply chains, practicing resilience, and staying ahead of evolving cyber threats, cybersecurity experts can navigate these complexities successfully.

Looking forward to 2024, vigilance in the face of ransomware evolution, intensified supply chain targeting, deep fakes, and IoT challenges will be crucial for safeguarding organisational assets and supporting cyber security resilience.

Explore how we're helping organisations to stay vigilant to ever-changing threats through our cyber security services. 

About this author

Alex Woodward

Alex Woodward

Senior Vice President - Consulting Delivery, Cyber Security, CGI in the UK & Australia

Alex leads the delivery of the Security Operations element of CGI’s UK cyber practice with responsibility for Security Operations Advisory, Managed Security Services and Penetration testing functions.