Autonomous AI dangers create a need for responsive defense
Thus far, we’ve discussed the various roles AI will have in the realm of IT, production, and cybersecurity. Since the early days of ChatGPT, numerous competitors emerged to hopefully find a space in the exploding machine-learning scene. From that competition, we observed different assistance models and GPT-likes all vying for their share of the market.
But we’ve also touched on the dangers presented by AI too. From autonomous AI-generated attacks and AI-generated code are a handful of problems advanced machine learning creates. Like every development in the tech sector, it’s a double-edged sword. What benefits the public and private sector also benefits malicious third parties.
That’s why the implementation of AI security is inevitable. AI-learning models can adapt and provide powerful analytics creating insight-driven responses. It can filter spam and identify phishing attempts while potentially working in tandem with IT experts.
The importance of AI today
We’ve shifted from contained, monitored IT environments. Reliance on technology creates numerous internet-facing surfaces, whether personal or professional. Meaning IT environments have expanded well beyond traditional WLAN. Business connectivity extends to data centers, remote worker environments, and clients across the world.
With this expansion came speed, opportunity, and growth. But it also created danger and complex security management hurdles. Anti-virus and firewall solutions prove to no longer be sufficient for practical anti-malware security. Awareness training, BDR, and zero-trust policies are a handful of modern security strategies. However, with the emergence of new machine learning and AI generation, the realm of cybersecurity has rapidly shifted.
Attack sophistication is another blossoming problem. Today, hackers possess an exhaustive list of tools to compromise networks, personal computers, and unprotected systems. Worse, their targets exist outside of IT data caches. Hackers go after any form of valuable data and deploy a ravenous set of techniques to acquire it, ransom it, or destroy it. From administrator credentials, personal information, home addresses, and even critical infrastructure – these are a handful of potential targets. In the early days of network security, lobbing complex attacks required state-level expertise and resources. Today, one can purchase a list of targets and even ransomware services with minimal required knowledge.
Bundle that with the speed of AI-generated attacks, and the need for equally automated defense is all too apparent. Securing tech-adjacent apps, hardware, and devices will require the speedy response of AI in at least some capacity because of contemporary dangers.
The dangers of AI threat campaigns
With all this talk of AI, what exactly can it specifically do that poses a threat to people and organizations?
Danger 1: AI can analyze and “understand” behavioral patterns of a targeted enterprise, ideally to create social tactics for phishing.
Danger 2: Smarter phishing campaigns and social engineering tactics. AI can craft convincing, articulate phishing messages posing an even greater threat to recipients.
Danger 3: Better targeting. Malicious AI can compile the best list of vulnerable targets with high-value data for ransom exfiltration.
Danger 4: Deepfake content and AI-generated media present not only massive ethical concerns but serious security dangers too. AI is quickly reaching a point where it can convincingly emulate a voice with enough sample models. In conjunction with social engineering, its ability to deceive users is startling, if not dystopian.
The deception and level of ingenuity posed by AI attacks translate to the very dire need for improved intelligent defense.
It’s important to remember that the current environment is not the same as tomorrow. AI will continue to see focused development until it’s either no longer feasible or financially unstable. Threat actors utilize any tool available to them. Therefore, recognizing those threats and creating a plan of action to counter them is critical.