Valimail, a firm specialising in email authentication, has shared its 2024 predictions regarding AI, cyber-security, and email authentication. Key insights emphasise a heightened risk of AI-fuelled disinformation and escalating cyber threats, primarily during the U.S. election year.
Widespread use of advanced AI tools is anticipated to lead to the diffusion of false narratives at an alarming pace. Email authentication is expected to become essential for safeguarding against false narratives, as it could potentially help with verifying digital communications. Alongside this, the growth in AI sophistication will make robust authentication an absolute necessity, owing to its ability to distinguish genuine interactions from AI-generated deceptions.
In the words of Valimail's CEO and Co-Founder, Alexander Garcia-Tobar, "In 2024, there will be an acceleration in disinformation, exacerbated by ongoing global conflicts and the growing availability of AI tools that will create and/or spread false narratives more rapidly and convincingly."
"This trend will be viewed against a backdrop of declining public trust in institutions, a phenomenon intensified by the US election year. With email being the primary communication tool used, validating sender authentication will become increasingly more important."
He further detailed the vulnerabilities expected during the election year and the potential threats from foreign state actors intent on disrupting or influencing the electoral process. He said, "2024 brings a national election, which will bring a heightened risk of targeted information attacks, especially given explicit warnings from foreign state actors about their intentions through information warfare."
On the issue of transparency in digital communication, Garcia-Tobar emphasised, "Email authentication will play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of digital communications, especially as disinformation becomes more prevalent. Ensuring the authenticity of the sender will gain acceptance as a vital first step in building trust and accountability online."
Meanwhile, Valimail's CTO, Seth Blank, predicted an increase in the sophistication and pervasiveness of cyber threats due to advancements in AI. He stated, "There will be a significant rise in the sophistication of cyber threats, primarily due to the advancement and widespread use of AI and generative AI. This will lead to an increase in the challenges in determining the authenticity of communications."
Drawing attention to authentication as a key line of defence, Blank further elaborated, "Authentication will become the first line of defence against sophisticated cyber threats. And any communication lacking proper authentication will be treated with suspicion. This approach will become an accepted crucial measure in filtering out potential threats."
Blank also noted potential changes in the threat landscape due to improvements in email security. He expressed, "With advancements in email security, particularly through stringent authentication requirements, there will be a shift in the threat landscape. As email becomes more secure and less susceptible to attacks, attackers will pivot to other, less secure communication channels, such as SMS, phone calls, and IOT communications."