AI in Cybersecurity: How it Can Help and How to Prepare

by | Jan 21, 2023

I want to talk about a topic I’ve been all over recently: Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is changing the game. Instead of discussing how it will take over the world or change how we create, I want to talk about its role in cybersecurity — from both sides. As I’ve said in previous articles, AI is simply a tool for humans to use. How we choose to use them is what the legacy of AI will be. 

AI can help to automate threat detection and response, making it easier to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. Because of its ability to analyze vast amounts of data and identify patterns, AI can indicate a security breach. Once a threat is detected, AI can help to automate threat response, making it easier to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. But, as with any powerful technology, the potential risks must be considered. In this article, I’ll look at how AI can help improve cybersecurity, the likely threats it poses, and how to prepare for them.

Potential Risks of AI in Cybersecurity

Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: the potential risks of AI in cybersecurity. While AI has the potential to vastly improve the security landscape, it is crucial to be aware of the potential risks. One of the biggest risks is that AI can be used by bad actors to carry out more sophisticated attacks. For example, AI-powered phishing attacks could be used to mimic human behavior, making them more challenging to detect. Let me tell you, it’s not fun trying to spot a phishing email powered by AI. We’ve all become accustomed to the email from the Nigerian Prince willing to give us millions if we spend some cash to help him out. Not to mention the many misspelled words and bad English — that’s all changing. With the help of AI, phishing emails will become much more sophisticated. 

In addition to hitting you up in your inbox, AI will be used to create more realistic and convincing social engineering attacks — you’ve heard of deep fake videos, right? It’s like spotting a needle in a haystack, but the pile is made of needles instead of hay. Good luck spotting the one you want. 

“Deep Fake Example”
One of the most scarily convincing deepfakes is this Morgan Freeman deepfake. The video was first shared by Dutch deepfake YouTube Channel Diep Nep (opens in new tab) last year.

Another security risk is that AI models can be fooled by AI bots trained to circumvent security and malicious actions. So it’s crucial to validate the robustness of future AI security models and test them against such criteria.

How to Prepare for the Risks of AI in Cybersecurity

Despite these potential risks, the overall outlook for AI in cybersecurity is positive. The key to successfully leveraging AI in cybersecurity is to be aware of the potential risks and take steps to mitigate them. Here are a few things organizations can do to prepare:

  • Implement AI-based security solutions specifically designed to detect and mitigate the risks associated with AI-powered attacks.
  • Train security teams to recognize the signs of an AI-based attack and have incident response plans in place to deal with such incidents.
  • Validate the robustness of your AI models and test them against adversarial examples.
  • Continuously monitor the AI models and re-train them as the threat landscape evolves. AI can quickly analyze a lot of data, so keep it fed with current information. 

So how much should we worry? AI has the potential to vastly improve cybersecurity by automating threat detection and response. By implementing AI-based security solutions, training security teams, and validating the robustness of AI models, organizations can prepare for the risks and reap the benefits of this powerful technology. However, it is crucial to be aware of the potential risks and take steps to mitigate them. So, don’t be afraid of the future. Embrace it with open arms and a well-prepared strategy. And please! Remember to keep your passwords safe, and don’t trust anyone who asks for them over email — AI-powered or otherwise.

UPDATE! 1/23/23

I am writing this update on January 23, 2023, just 2 days from my original post. I want to make sure my readers understand how serious things are regarding AI and your security — things are moving fast and this is a serious warning. AI-powered scams are becoming more sophisticated.

In a recent incident, scammers used AI to mimic a family member’s voice and convinced the victim to transfer money. Don’t let this happen to you. I strongly advise speaking to your family about creating a password that must be disclosed before any transfer of money occurs. Watch the video for more information. To the right you will see a video I saw on TikTok after writing this article. The poster of the video talks about how an AI was used to fake his voice and fool his parents out of $21,000. PLEASE WATCH!