Cybersecurity in the Age of AI

RapidVPN/ August 5, 2020/ Blog/

Our everyday life is getting affected by IT technology more and more. The use of the Internet has become an inseparable part of so many people’s personal affairs and business deals. With the rise of the cyberworld, the rise of cybercrime was inevitable. With the rise of cybercrime, cybersecurity became one of the most important issues for everyone.

We are living in the age of artificial intelligence. AI denotes the ability of machines, i.e. computers to execute tasks for which human intelligence is needed. In simpler terms, AI is the ability of a machine to think and learn. With more and more threats coming from the dark web, AI has become an obligatory partner for anyone who might be facing serious issues on the web.

One aspect in which cybersecurity is invaluable is the military. The most advanced military AI technology is being developed by the USA, China, and Russia. Alongside this, criminals are thinking of ways to undermine it. This may lead to a serious destabilization of a country’s institutions, be they military, financial, medical, judicial, or any other. Nowadays, every institution has become or is taking measures to become fully digitized. Many of these contain sensitive and personal data about people, and it can be an awfully big mistake to let all the data fall into the wrong hands. This kind of security can be seen as an issue to be dealt with on a national level.

It is not only the state institutions that need to be careful. Private companies are also at a risk, and it is not uncommon for them to be targets of attacks.  The best solution would be for the two sectors – public and private – to cooperate on dealing with the possible threats. One more vulnerable group worth mentioning is regular people who use many devices that are automated, such as cars or house appliances.

Luckily, artificial intelligence is a good way to try and predict the possible steps criminals may take in the future. On the other, unfortunate, hand, a substantial rise in the future cyberattacks is expected in the near future. For this reason, experts consider AI a better way to detect threats and fight them than sole human intervention.

However, worry exists regarding AI. Since it is capable of learning and self-improvement, it may be programmed to become offensive to the system in which it works. This potential hostile use of artificial intelligence should be looked out for by every person who deals with it. The capabilities of AI may give a sense of safety to programmers, but those same capabilities are the reason to be even more careful, as they may be used in the reverse direction.  All in all, even though it will help a lot with security, it will have to be supervised so that we are sure that it is working constructively instead of destructively.

Issues in Cybersecurity

Having mentioned all this, let us take a look at some potential future issues in cybersecurity.

The sophistication of invaders. Attackers of various levels of sophistication may conduct an attack – they may be social activists or religious or political extremists. To prevent this, organizations should try to make their attractiveness to invaders as small as possible.

Lack of symmetry between attackers and victims. The victims, in order not to become that, must defend themselves every single time. The attacker just needs to do the job once to make someone its victim. The harder role is the former one, especially since today’s technology may make it very difficult to find the perpetrators.

Digitized systems. These systems are more prone to attacks with a higher level of digitization. Possible attackers have more room for attacks and so, stronger and more thorough security is needed.

Fear of threats may overpower a company’s competitiveness. This is a psychological issue of great importance. If the head of an organization or company lets caution take over everything else, the company may lose its spot in the market. Even the staff may lose morale and their work may become less effective. To avoid this, experts may be hired to estimate the risks and make a model of security that is appropriate and efficient.

Unpredictable next attack. With the new technology, past attacks of a certain invader, even if known, will not give much information on what they may attack next. All the aspects of an attack – how, when, what, even why they want to make an attack, are expected to be almost impossible to predict.

Less skilled attackers. Due to the ever-growing shadow market (also known as the dark web) where a person can purchase any kind of malware or even pay someone to make it, the person behind an attack does not need to be a skilled programmer, which makes them even harder to catch.

Is AI the threat we think it is?

When we think of cybercrime, we are most likely to think of a hacked email or social media account, or a stolen credit card number. But cybercrime goes a long way beyond that. With the age of AI, it will go even further. Hence, it is very important for programmers, engineers, and other experts working in the field of artificial intelligence to have the possible dangers in mind and to construct their projects with as much caution and defense as possible.

Source: Future of Life, Venture Beat, Day1Tech