AI's Rising Role in Cybersecurity: Adapting to the Changing Landscape

July 5, 2023

AI’s impact on companies of all sizes drastically changes the workplace's potential, but it also opens the door for new and advanced threats to organizations. And with great potential comes great responsibility to navigate this new terrain with caution and awareness. 

In a recent episode of the De-Risking Business Podcast, Ian Paterson, founder and CEO of Plurilock, discusses the opportunities both organizations and criminals see from the increase in AI usage and how forward-thinking organizations can build robust counter-defenses and powerful cybersecurity programs. 

The New Workplace – and New Risks 

AI can be extremely beneficial when it comes to tackling mundane tasks, freeing up human professionals to focus on more critical aspects of their role. However, it likely won’t replace humans entirely. It takes care of about 80% of the workload, allowing human experts to handle the crucial first and last 10%.  

But companies utilizing AI in any capacity (and every company should be using it or risks being left behind by competitors) also have an obligation to protect their valuable data and customer information. And when dealing with sensitive data that contains personally identifiable information, the bar is set even higher. It's crucial to be intentional about the tools chosen to handle such data and to be fully aware of the steps required to maintain its security. 

While AI has proven its value, there are still reservations about deploying it in highly regulated areas. The fear of inaccuracies holds many companies back from fully embracing AI's potential. Concerns arise about data exfiltration risks, accidental data disclosures, and potential violations of regulations like GDPR. The perceived risks can sometimes overshadow the value AI brings. 

It's important to remember that AI in cybersecurity is still in its early stages. Technologies like generative AI are relatively new and evolving rapidly. It's natural for skepticism and caution to arise. However, industry professionals should actively work to ensure the safe, responsible development and deployment of AI in cybersecurity. 

The Evolving Threat Landscape 

And, while AI advances, new concerns arise, too. Threat actors, leveraging AI themselves, have become more sophisticated, and we're witnessing a noticeable surge in social engineering attacks, such as phishing, smishing, and deep fake videos. According to Paterson, “the cybersecurity industry has to respond with better tools to be able to better identify and hopefully block a lot of those malicious communications.” 

Many companies face difficulties in promptly detecting data breaches or other threats. But by adopting a vigilant and proactive approach, cybersecurity teams can swiftly detect suspicious activities and implement necessary controls to protect their operations. The key is deploying scalable tools that empower businesses to leverage productivity-enhancing applications without compromising security. 

In an era driven by AI, the cybersecurity industry faces a pivotal shift that calls for heightened responsibility. Safeguarding data and protecting against threats must become primary concerns for companies as they carefully navigate the selection of AI tools. By embracing AI with a strong sense of responsibility and pursuing the development of cutting-edge tools, the full potential of AI in cybersecurity and empower businesses to thrive in the face of evolving threats can be unlocked. 

Listen to the full episode here.