The biggest business challenges for 2024

Colleagues discussing a business challenge around a table.
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With 2023 fast coming to an end, businesses of all shapes and sizes are taking stock of what has been yet another turbulent year. From sticky inflation to high interest rates to the cost-of-living crisis, C-suites have had to contend with all manner of economic concerns alongside skills shortages, supply chain delays, and dealing with transformational changes to corporate cultures

As 2024 approaches, all these problems are still sitting on the boardroom to-do list, but they are set to be joined by a raft of other issues. From cyber attacks to new regulations and the demise of passwords, CEOs, CIOs, and CTOs are getting ready for their next challenges. Here we explain seven of those heading their way.

Biggest business challenges: securing cyber talent

With the cyber skills deficit continuing to bite, a lack of highly knowledgeable talent at the top of cyber security will prove particularly acute, says Kevin Curran, a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a Professor of Cybersecurity at Ulster University.

Curran argues this rapidly evolving field means those with the cyber security skills businesses need are in short supply, despite the UK’s cyber sector seeing a 10% jump in its workforce over the past 12 months.

This makes it vital for smaller businesses to retain existing cyber security talent, he says, as senior professionals will increasingly command higher salaries, which they just can’t afford. 

Curran explains: “Employee retention is as much of a concern as recruitment. Skilled professionals are often approached with better offers, and might leave for a higher salary, better benefits, or more exciting work. This is a cause for worry.”

Biggest business challenges: building supply chain resilience

Since the end of the pandemic, supply chains across the world have begun to return to normal. However, there are still pockets of delays in delivery and a lack of raw materials in some sectors meaning companies must accurately forecast their needs further ahead otherwise they’ll fail to meet customer demand.

Spice Kitchen, which sells a range of cookery-related ingredients, acknowledges the vulnerability within global supply chains that still exists. 

Founder Sanjay Aggarwal believes a lack of preparation for 2024 will result in lost revenues and a breakdown in consumer trust. “It’s crucial to diversify suppliers, invest in technology for real-time monitoring and predictive analytics, and establish contingency plans to mitigate these risks,” he explains.

Aggarwal adds: “Those who invest in preparedness will have a competitive edge, ensuring uninterrupted operations and customer satisfaction.”

Biggest business challenges: AI-driven fraud

With fraud eroding customer trust and damaging reputations, companies must prepare for a surge in fraud related to artificial intelligence (AI), experts argue. 

A survey of 1,500 business leaders, conducted by verification platform Onfido, found one in three expected generative AI fraud to become a heightened national issue next year while seven in 10 also recognized the threats of generative AI and how the technology could accelerate the speed and quantity of attacks. 

Despite this, only a quarter (27%) admit they are prioritizing using AI within their fraud prevention strategies. 

Mike Tuchen, Onfido’s CEO, says deep learning tools are “supercharging the fraudsters’ toolkit” and describes an evolving threat landscape of edited photos, submissions of deepfake playbacks on screens, printed images, and 2D/3D masks.

Tuchen warns how “catastrophic losses could follow” and adds: “With so many opportunities for fraudsters to attack online, businesses must develop a multi-layered, holistic approach to fraud prevention. That’s how they will develop the right protections to combat this trillion-dollar problem.” 

Biggest business challenges: divides on digital experience

For those born since the early 2000s, tablet devices have become a natural way of connecting with the world. They may not use traditional desktop computers or business laptops in the same ways as previous generations..

According to Fidelma Butler, Chief People Officer at Couchbase, this presents businesses with a major difficulty given this is a cohort that has “grown up with these screens as an extension of themselves”.


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Dubbing them “iPad babies”, Butler suggests the growing numbers of digital natives now entering the workforce means they expect “seamless” digital experiences across their entire job cycle. These younger workers may be more critical of legacy tech stacks and drive calls for leaders to modernize their environment

“We must prepare for this influx of even more tech-savvy adults,” she argues. “With their technical prowess comes an expectation of instant gratification and seamless experiences that won’t tolerate dated, clunky systems and processes.”

Biggest business challenges: new tech regulations

For all organizations, but especially those in highly regulated industries like financial services, healthcare and energy, 2024 brings the need to adapt to an evolving and increasingly complex regulatory landscape. 

Steve Richardson, Chief Resilience Innovation Officer at Fusion Risk Management, explains this takes in everything from understanding new operational risk to third-party risk management regulations.

He points to elements such as the EU’s Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA), which will require financial entities to bolster their operational resilience, and the US’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has implemented new cyber security rules for public companies. NERC CIP standards in the energy sector are also evolving to enhance grid security, he adds. The changes come as the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has sounded the alarm over the potential for AI to increase attacks on critical infrastructure, alongside a new draft of the UK National Risk Register (NRR) which compared the threat of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure to checmical weapons attacks.

Richardson explains: “New risk and resilience regulations will continue to grow in scope and intricacy. But navigating this regulatory maze isn’t just about compliance – it’s also about transforming potential constraints into catalysts for innovation and sustainable growth. The real challenge lies in staying agile, leveraging them to reinforce customer trust and business integrity.”

The EU’s AI Act and the growing legal nightmare around AI will add to this business challenge, as IT leaders aim to stay ahead of the curve while remaining compliant.

Biggest business challenges: DDoS destruction

Of all the cyber threats facing companies today, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks can prove the most problematic. DDoS attacks limit daily operations by flooding a server with internet traffic prevents users from accessing online services and websites by taking them offline. This hits loyalty and the bottom line.

Netscout’s latest Threat Intelligence Report shows the issue is growing with 7,858,705 DDoS attacks in the first half of 2023, up 30.5% versus H1 2022.

Tony King, Netscout’s SVP International, warns the fallout of the damage caused can often be extensive and he suggests it is “imperative” for enterprises to regularly test their online defenses.

“When critical infrastructure and services are hit by a DDoS attack, reputational damage can swiftly follow,” he explains. “People need to be able to trust that their key services will be online and operating properly. Why do most organizations schedule a monthly fire drill but not a drill for cyber-DDoS defense?”

Biggest business challenges: preparing for passkeys

With tech giant Google having launched passwordless authentication on its platform, all leaders will need to understand what passkeys mean for their business and how they secure themselves both internally and externally.

So-called “password fatigue” is on the rise and six in ten (59%) of Brits would consider switching from their favorite brands to a competitor if they were offered a passwordless authentication model for apps or services, according to recent research from Ping Identity.

With the increase in phishing, passwords are increasingly insecure and with so many now for people to remember, they’ve also become a barrier to achieving a smooth experience for customers, consumers and clients. Alex Laurie, SVP Global Sales Engineering at Ping Identity, says next year will be “the beginning of the end for the outdated login technique”.

“Consumers increasingly crave greater convenience without compromising on security,” Laurie explains. “The path we must embark on leads us toward a passwordless future. In 2024, greater education will lead to this future becoming more of a reality.”

Jonathan Weinberg is a freelance journalist and writer who specialises in technology and business, with a particular interest in the social and economic impact on the future of work and wider society. His passion is for telling stories that show how technology and digital improves our lives for the better, while keeping one eye on the emerging security and privacy dangers. A former national newspaper technology, gadgets and gaming editor for a decade, Jonathan has been bylined in national, consumer and trade publications across print and online, in the UK and the US.