Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity

Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity

The mention of Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings up different associations for people. Some recall Hal 2001: A Space Odyssey and others may point to self-driving cars, robots, smart homes, Siri or IBM’s Watson. Applications already exist or are being developed in education, science, travel, healthcare, retail, entertainment, technology and other industries. Large organizations may use a form of artificial intelligence to automate various processes that involve labor-intensive repetitive tasks, like invoicing or customer service.


As much as AI is already present in our lives, it’s going to be an even larger one in the future. Businesses, consumers and cybersecurity attackers are all advancing AI. And it all comes down to data. With the help of AI, businesses, scientific organizations, government entities and other groups can analyze data more quickly to make decisions faster, increase efficiency, improve customer experience, create revenue opportunities and realize other positive outcomes. 


And what does that mean for attackers? They want the data for any number of reasons, although monetary gain still is the No. 1 motivator. Over time, more attackers are using AI for their nefarious purposes.


The implementation of AI requires organizations to think even more about cybersecurity. Having a cybersecurity plan as part of the overall AI program is critical, and just as important as ensuring the program has standards for data quality, data management, data privacy, acquiring the right talent, ethics and compliance. Regulations about AI are not always clear, and they’re bound to evolve quickly and effect all parts of a business and its data.


As a result of the surge in AI development, cybersecurity programs must be up to speed in crucial ways to reduce risk. One is protecting the AI environment that’s being developed, and the other is securing an organization against AI-enabled attacks. Fortunately, "cybersecurity leads AI use in enterprises,"1 so appropriate controls can be identified and applied – preferably from the very beginning of any AI initiative. In many cases, existing technologies can be extended to cover AI, but there’s always going to be a role for humans in security because hackers (and their AI) are human.


Learn more about AI fundamentals, adoption rates and rationale, business considerations and how to think about security by reading “Artificial Intelligence and Implications for Cybersecurity.” It provides insights valuable to managers and executives involved in or overseeing AI implementations.


1Gartner, 5 Questions That CISOs Must Answer Before Adopting Artificial Intelligence. August 2018.

Greg Baker
VP & GM, Cyber Digital
Prior to Optiv, Greg was Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Decision Lab which was acquired by Optiv in Nov 2017. He previously held executive positions in technical delivery for Intelligence Contractors such as PCI, and KeyW.