Technology has advanced at an astounding rate in the past decade and the pace is only set to accelerate. Capabilities that seemed impossible only a short time ago will develop quickly, aiding those who see them coming and hindering those who don’t.
As artificial intelligence (AI) systems are adopted by organizations, they will become increasingly critical to day-to-day operations. Some organizations already have, or will have, business models entirely based on AI technology. Securing these systems and the information that feeds them will be of vital importance.
AI: friend or foe?
According to some experts, AI will bring significant benefits to society, especially in areas like research and healthcare. AI, using advanced analytics, could offer a significant, if temporary, advance in thwarting potential attackers, however, technological advances tend to be a cat and mouse game. Hackers usually work in close pursuit of security workers, meaning security workers can be compromised.
In the coming years, attackers will take advantage of breakthroughs in AI to develop malware that can learn from its surrounding environment and adapt to discover new vulnerabilities. This malware will surpass the performance of human hackers, exposing information, including mission-critical information assets, and causing financial, operational, and reputational damage.
As it is AI-based, this new form of malware will learn from its environment, analyzing applications and systems to discover and exploit new vulnerabilities in real time. It will be hard to distinguish what is safe from unauthorized access and what isn’t. Even information previously believed to be well-protected may be compromised.
Conventional techniques used to identify and remove malware will quickly become ineffective. Instead, AI-based solutions will be needed to fight this new malware — leading to a race for supremacy between offensive and defensive AI.