Cybersecurity v AI – allies or enemies?

Cybersecurity v AI – allies or enemies?

Renato Mirabili Junior, Information Security Consultant, Protiviti, makes the case for collaborative work to deal with new attacks and opportunities that AI can make available.

One of the most talked about subjects today is AI and it is also one of the most studied areas due to a fascinating and peculiar feature: allowing tasks – previously exclusive to human beings – to be performed by machines through algorithms.

In Brazil, for example, AI is the main topic of learning for 45% of Brazilians, according to the Workmonitor survey by Randstad, a recruitment and human resources company. The national average is above the global average and places Brazil as a technology enthusiastic country.

AI is being applied by both governments and private organizations of all sizes. Proof of this is that a recent survey released by Microsoft and Edelman Comunicação revealed that 74% of micro, small and medium-sized companies in Brazil use AI. Going further, its use is applied in various areas such as health, education, finance and entertainment. But it’s important to mention that as these applications grow, so does the need for more effective cybersecurity.

According to a report by Netscout, Brazil is the main target of cyberattacks in Latin America, with almost 42% of cases in the region.

It’s not just large organizations that are at the mercy of these cybercriminals. Small and medium-sized enterprises, due to the low cost invested in security and infrastructure and the end user, thanks to the rise of the digital economy in the country, have become very attractive victims.

Thinking about this aspect of securing all information, which is cybersecurity, should we evaluate AI as an ally or an enemy?

Considering that AI cannot (and should not) replace humans, its role tends to be crucial in the fight against cyberattacks, automatically detecting threats, anomalies and even security automations more quickly.

As for the possibility of AI being used in cyberattacks, we can already consider this as a real threat, because while cybercriminals acquire technical knowledge, they also use AI to create increasingly powerful vulnerabilities and threats. Unlike traditional threats, AI-based attacks are powered by the ability to learn and adapt autonomously, enabling increasingly fast, destructive and mass cybercrime.

According to data from CrowdStrike, the average breakout time is already at 62 minutes. In this case, we can say that a silent war is taking place and cyberspace becomes a great battlefield.

Faced with this scenario in which AI assumes unprecedented power – for better and for worse, it is of paramount importance that there is collaborative work between cybersecurity, business and risk management professionals so that organizations are prepared and updated to deal with new attacks and opportunities that AI can make available.

In addition, there needs to be mutual collaboration between governments, organizations and society in general to create laws and compliance standards with the aim of using AI in a safe, honest, ethical and beneficial manner.

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