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Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Cybersecurity

Discover the risks and rewards as artificial intelligence transforms the threat landscape.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been developing at a rapid pace and has been integrated into a growing number of applications across every industry. AI continues to widen its capabilities to assist in a variety of daily tasks but, as can be expected with any Internet-based technology, AI also has a dark side. As cyberattacks have grown in volume and complexity over the last few years due to Covid-19, what could cybersecurity and AI look like going forward? If you want to know more about how Covid-19 affected cybersecurity, check out our blog “Cybersecurity in the post Covid-19 world.”

What Is AI and Why Is It Getting So Much Attention Lately?

Artificial Intelligence is, in a nutshell, a technology that is able to start and augment tasks that are usually done entirely by humans. Like humans, AI learns from those tasks and applies those lessons to future actions, which in turn allows it to learn and improve the way it completes a task. Rinse and repeat. One of the well-known AI applications you may have heard of is ChatGPT, the powerful, fast-growing consumer app, capable of writing about endless topics with speed and sophisticated language skills based on a seemingly infinite depth of knowledge.

But did you know that AI has been around for decades? Take Grammarly for instance; this tool has been in circulation for 14 years and uses a powerful method of Generative AI to assist in writing proper sentences. Why has there been a massive upscale in AI visibility recently? After ChatGPT, a conversational AI model developed by OpenAI, burst onto the scene, it seems like there has been an acceleration of Artificial Intelligence implementations around the world. From image recognition, generation and optimization to website development, moderation and authorship, new uses for AI are continually being unearthed. Now that we see the potential of AI and how quickly it’s moving, that brings up the next question: will the power of AI be helpful or hurtful to cybersecurity as we know it, or both?

AI Entering the World of Cybersecurity

AI is already surprising the world of art by producing pieces in any style, on demand. It’s capable of digging up facts and writing on highly varied topics. If AI can act like a jack-of-all-trades while delivering the comprehensive power of high end search engines, why can’t they shatter security protocols too? Or perhaps enhance them?

It’s no secret that AI has been shown to be useful in automation and the same goes for AI in the cybersecurity field. Some AI security solutions are able to detect patterns to discover malicious code and make cyber predictions based on historical data. Some companies have also used AI by integrating it into their vulnerability and risk management programs to analyze their threat exposure and understand their security posture. It’s known that many security breaches involve human error, therefore the implementation of AI systems to monitor networks for all internal and external threats can assist in decreasing, if not entirely eliminating, these numbers. However, AI does not come without its own set of challenges and risks.

Preserving Privacy Around Artificial Intelligence

The cost of implementation for these types of integrated AI systems can be very high, making it an unattainable option for smaller businesses. Unfortunately, on the threat front, cybercriminals can use AI to devise and launch increasingly more complex cyber attacks. A study from 2023 by Blackberry stated that 51% of IT decision makers believe there will be a successful cyberattack credited to ChatGPT within the year.

Some malware architects have used AI to recreate malware strains and techniques described only in research publications, introducing an entirely new level of cyberattacks. For example, Chat GPT has successfully written functional malware that is capable of stealing sensitive files, encrypting hard drive content, and more. While this malware is not yet sophisticated, the speed and scale at which it can be produced is alarming. Additionally, other AI models have the capability to make attacks even more sophisticated by impersonating the voices of people and demanding money transfers. We can expect to see more attacks that are highly targeted social engineering attacks. Cybersecurity experts also state that AI-created deep fakes are finding ways to bypass biometric authentication, thus gaining access to protected systems.

We are still in the early stages of AI. These AI integrated systems need to be constantly monitored as they are far from perfect and can be prone to errors and biases. But it is clear AI products will continue to improve with time. When AI is used for corporate purposes, it is important that businesses which incorporate these AI systems ensure the technology is used for ethical purposes. These AI systems must be monitored to prevent them from being engineered to act against the corporate assets, and are not used to invade user privacy or circumvent traditional security measures – the  double-edged sword when it comes to security. While AI can provide benefits in threat detection and response capabilities, it can also pose a significant threat – be sure that your data is protected.

Defense Steps You Can Take Right Now to Protect Your Company

As it seems that every company is working on incorporating AI in one way or another into their businesses or products, make sure to understand how you can take defensive steps to secure yourself from the new forms of attack that AI has created. Below we have outlined what you can do right now: 

  • Stay informed – As the world of AI continues to change, it is important to stay up to date on the latest trends and techniques that are related to AI, and more specifically those that are related to AI-based cyberattacks. This will ensure that your eyes are open to the new forms of attack so you can respond quickly and effectively.
  • Train employees – While remote work increased the need for training employees, the new AI-based cyber attacks brings this to the forefront yet again. Teaching your employees how to detect and report suspicious activity can help you stay protected and secure. Additionally, as things update – make sure that your training is also up to date.
  • Ensure you have robust passwords and access management set up – Utilizing strong passwords helps protect your information from unauthorized users. Strong passwords are not your only defense, but weak passwords that are easy to crack will  leave you vulnerable to attack.
  • Encrypt your data – Not only does encrypting your data protect your company’s assets and helps avoid data breaches, but it also allows you to easily comply with regulations and privacy laws. Having an encryption defense strategy ensures that you are proactive rather than reactive to a threat.
  • Engage with security professionals – Not sure where to start? That’s where NetLib Security can help. Our Encryptionizer solution secures databases in physical, virtual or cloud environments. Our data encryption solution can be deployed in a few clicks with no additional programming, and virtually no impact on performance. Best of all, you can start with a free trial to see if it’s the right fit for you and your company.

About NetLib Security

NetLib Security has spent the past 20+ years developing a powerful, patented solution that starts by setting up a formidable offense for every environment where your data resides: physical, virtual and cloud.  Our platform simplifies the process while ensuring high levels of security.

Simplify your data security needs. Encryptionizer is easy to deploy. It is a cost-effective way to proactively and transparently protect your sensitive data that allows you to quickly and confidently meet your security requirements. With budget considerations in mind, we have designed an affordable data security platform that protects, manages, and defends your data, while responding to the ever changing compliance requirements.

Data breaches are expensive. Security does not have to be.

NetLib Security works with government agencies, healthcare organizations, small to large enterprises, financial services, credit card processors, distributors, and resellers to provide a flexible data security solution that meets their evolving needs. To learn more or request a free evaluation visit us at www.netlibsecurity.com.

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