The advent of AI technology has given rise to both novel cybersecurity risks and innovative approaches for bolstering an organization’s protective measures. In our conversation with experts, we explored the effects that AI advancements have had on the security landscape and examined methods by which businesses can leverage this technology while maintaining their data integrity.
Aaron Rosenmund, Pluralsight’s Senior Director of Security & GenAI Skills reports that in the past 20 years it was uncommon for both AI technology and malicious technical skills to coexist. However, recently there has been a surge in advancements with generative AI which now makes these assistive tools available to everyone over the last two years.
With the proliferation of AI tools, a greater number of individuals can now produce complex attacks. Despite this potential threat, Aaron emphasizes that both parties stand to gain from using AI Copilot and Security Copilot. Since effective malware development relies heavily on sound coding practices, copilots offer advantages to everyone involved. As advancements in automated defense capabilities are poised to evolve rapidly over time, I eagerly anticipate what lies ahead.”
The Benefits of employing artificial intelligence (AI) in security are noteworthy.
Professionals responsible for maintaining secure environments typically find themselves constantly on the defensive against an array of threats and malicious entities. Nevertheless, AI tools provide them with expedited solutions to contemporary cybersecurity issues.
John Elliott, a security advisor and Pluralsight author suggests that automating threat detection and response using AI will enhance our ability to defend against potential threats.
Threat detection and response are integral components, wherein AI algorithms scrutinize data to detect possible threats by spotting patterns. By leveraging historical information, these systems can even decrease erroneous alerts while identifying unobserved zero-day attacks or abnormalities that merit further analysis in real-time.
According to Chris Jackson, a cyber security professional and Pluralsight Author, AI has the capability of automating certain aspects of incident response. He observed that AI can identify various threats as well as malicious or abnormal activities within the realm of cloud workloads through automation.
Acquire the skills to protect your company from GenAI-powered risks while leveraging GenAI in identifying and addressing threats.
AI is employed for a thorough evaluation of risks
The utilization of AI resources enables rapid scanning and analysis of extensive datasets to identify potential susceptibilities which could harm the business. Such capabilities empower security experts in prioritizing critical threats that need immediate attention.
In case an important assessment of potential risks identifies certain weak spots, institutions have the opportunity to protect themselves and adopt a more vigilant approach towards security. Additionally, Artificial Intelligence can offer support in this process as well. According to Dr. Lyron H. Andrews, who is both knowledgeable on cybersecurity matters and Pluralsight Author: “Within my field of expertise I particularly come across training programs concerned with safeguarding vulnerable attack surfaces within learning models.”
Achieving stronger adherence to AI regulations
Staying aligned with AI directives can prove difficult due to privacy risks, corporate guidelines and government mandates. Nonetheless, leveraging the power of AI can facilitate security compliance irrespective of whether it’s related or not.
Utilizing it can help to simplify compliance duties, decrease errors and avoid costly penalties. Additionally, keeping abreast of the most recent legislation is achievable by leveraging AI models that continuously scrutinize regulatory databases and reputable news sources for updates. This approach enables organizations to promptly integrate any changes in their compliance systems.
Enhancing cost control
Although implementing AI solutions may require significant initial investments, the benefits that follow can be highly rewarding. As per IBM’s report on Data Breach Cost projected for 2023, a data breach could result in an average expense of $4.45 million. The positive aspect is that companies utilizing security-based AI tools encountered fewer expenses associated with data breaches compared to those businesses lacking such measures of cybersecurity intelligence.
In addition to their primary functions, AI security solutions can be utilized for various purposes including:
- Threat intelligence can be rephrased as information that involves the identification, assessment and categorization of potential security threats.
- Detection of vulnerabilities
- Maintaining data
- Observability and visibility
Although AI can bring benefits to security, it has also brought about fresh cybersecurity obstacles leading to negative consequences.
The inadequacy of AI and cybersecurity competencies remains evident. Only a meager 17% of tech experts feel fully assured about their proficiency in safeguarding against cyber breaches, while an even smaller proportion (12%) are confident in their ability to wield artificial intelligence/machine learning effectively. This dearth of knowledge compounds pre-existing mental health worries, rendering it challenging for security specialists to equip themselves with the necessary capabilities required to counter AI-enabled risks or utilize AI as a protective mechanism.
Despite the advantages of AI, security professionals must still acquire new skills to comprehend its interactions with other tools and technologies. According to John, “Information security experts will have ample opportunities for acquiring insights into how AI collaborates with cybersecurity and privacy.”
Gain further knowledge on the shortage of IT competencies.
Social engineering is being enhanced by the existence of Deepfakes. Malicious parties frequently utilize social conventions and coercion to deceive individuals into disclosing confidential information, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology assists them in doing so. Aaron affirms that tools such as voice emulation, deepfake videos are empowering cybercriminals’ efforts towards successful phishing attacks on unsuspecting targets through advanced social engineering tactics.
Once they have gained initial entry, it provides them with the means to infiltrate network environments. Despite this, their next step requires enumerating the environment followed by lateral movement towards other areas of the network and escalating privileges. Furthermore, they must download tools or ransomware along with communicating via C2 protocols before either exfiltrating data or encrypting devices; however at each juncture thereof lies an opportunity for detection and apprehension.
John states that threat actors, ranging from inexperienced script kiddies to entire nation-states, are utilizing AI technology in order to refine and enhance their cyber attack strategies.
Thanks to generative AI, those lacking in coding expertise can now create malware and bot attacks which enable them to conduct larger, more intricate assaults. As a result, there has been an upsurge in the number of threats posed by attackers.
Attackers are exploiting AI users, targeting the data and models they rely on. These threat actors employ various tactics to carry out their attacks, such as:
- The injection prompt.
- The injection of open-source code
- Reworded: Poisoning of data
- Evading the model
According to Chris, the utilization of AI is more prevalent in offensive operations. These include activities such as hacking wherein it can aid in developing diverse scripts and tools rapidly while also providing alternative viewpoints since a significant part of this field involves thinking unconventionally outside established norms. Coming up with ways to manipulate systems into behaving abnormally forms an integral aspect of these types of security endeavors.
The security landscape is experiencing a surge of innovations in AI and it’s only set to increase the risk. Equip your team with knowledge on AI to safeguard against potential threats whilst enhancing defenses for your organization.
To begin, there are several courses available.
Security professionals can utilize Generative AI.
The Usage of Generative AI Raises Concerns About Security and Privacy Risks.
Techniques for Cyber Defense Utilizing Generative AI
“ChatGPT Security Hot Takes: Exploring Potential Vulnerabilities and Solutions.”