Artificial Intelligence – the Boon or the Bane?
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Artificial Intelligence – the Boon or the Bane?

By CIOReview | Thursday, August 12, 2021

According to a survey from Forrester, about 77 percent of the respondents believes that artificial intelligence can be weaponized for destructive future cyber-attacks, and 66 percent agreed with the fact that the scale of these attacks would be shockingly erratic.

FREMONT, CA: There have been groundbreaking advancements in terms of technologies in the past two decades, and one that has been leading the line is artificial intelligence (AI). The possibility of AI is limitless indeed, and in the form of AI-powered applications, the future holds wonders for diverse industries.

How AI is extensively being leveraged across the cyber landscape today presents a perfect testament to this. Organizations are increasingly leveraging AI systems and machine learning algorithms to analyze large chunks of data and identify possible threats today. No matter which cybersecurity solution is used, AI is a requisite, thanks to its competency in defending cyber threats in real-time without impacting the day-to-day operations of an organization.

However, there is a flip side to it. On the other side of the fence, AI is increasingly being leveraged by cybercriminals today to penetrate the very cybersecurity networks that these technologies protect. And thus, lies the billion-dollar question of the cybersecurity landscape! Does AI aid in eliminating cyber threats, or is AI itself the next biggest threat? This question warrants an investigation into the link between the latest cyber threats and AI.

Examining the major cyber-attacks of today reveals a common pattern. Typically, hackers either take advantage of the bugs found in software systems or obtain authorization credentials of users without their knowledge. AI fits in as the modern tool here used by hackers to automate the bug discovering process without leaving any trace. However, most software vendors are unaware of these bugs and hence cannot ensure protection against any attacks that can happen. Similarly, AI is also used by hackers to obtain critical password data and perform phishing attacks on a specific target using impersonations, like deep fakes.

On an enterprise level, hackers adopt a cleverer approach. Utilizing AI, hackers are continually attacking application programming interfaces (API) and connected edge devices leaving most of the businesses powerless. With AI, hackers can easily impersonate ecosystem partners or digital devices undetected. Even though certain measures like creating digital identities of all ecosystem machines and acquiring more distributed data architectures can help to an extent, reports show that AI-based cyber-attacks can overwhelm such actions.

Recent surveys also point out that AI will lead to more threatening and harmful attacks in the future as the technology itself is on a path of rapid evolution. Thus, the cat-and-mouse dynamic that has always been a fundamental trait of the cyber landscape will prevail, and those who would emerge victoriously would be the ones who could better leverage AI.