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Security in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

A big buzzword that is transforming the way businesses use new technology is artificial intelligence, or AI. Learn more about this misunderstood technology.

“Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.”
– George S. Patton

Let’s think about this saying and how it relates to the current change we are seeing in business-related technology. With every new addition into our ever-changing ecosystem, there have been ways to understand, add and protect business data that could be affected.

Let’s think about digital transformation, which is one of the biggest buzzwords of the 21st century. Cloud computing is part of this. Although it has been around for well over 20 years, the potential risks it can introduce into our businesses are sometimes not fully understood or considered. Proper security and privacy measures need to be implemented as we extend our protected information into the ether.

Another big buzzword that is transforming the way businesses are taking advantage of new technology is artificial intelligence, or AI. This misunderstood technology has given a bad name as of late, due to the fear that it could lead to the downfall of civilized nations. This thought process can be easily mitigated by understanding some of advantages and disadvantages that allowing AI into your ecosystem brings.

What is AI?

First, let’s discuss what AI is and what enables it to learn and adapt. Artificial intelligence is really a simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans.  In other words, algorithms are utilized to learn, create and adapt to “normal” processes and changes that may be presented.

So, what makes AI perform tasks and make decisions that would most likely require human intelligence? How does AI learn from data, recognize patterns and adapt to new information or situations?

In simple terms, it is its subcomponents, machine learning and deep learning, that allow all this data to be collected, correlated, pattern recognized and adapted to new information. Machine learning allows machines to learn from data and make decisions without explicit programming.  This is called unsupervised learning, which is self-learning based on “if, then,” simplistic decision trees and anomaly detection based on profiles and patterns. Deep learning, a subset of machine learning, leverages artificial computational models for more advanced tasks. ChatGPT is an example of machine learning that utilizes deep learning to create text, images, video and audio as directed.

Now, let’s get to the stuff that affects our everyday business lives. If we have a system that can think and learn like humans and allows machines to process and analyze large amounts of data, identify patterns or anomalies and make predictions and overall decisions based on collected information, how can we trust the outputs that come from such machines? Where are the safeguards that protect decisions being made by human or machine from erroneous data?

We have all heard of how AI can elevate security by learning and adapting to network security, anti-malware capabilities and fraud detection by understanding anomalies, but what about the risks that AI can pose by simply not understanding the threats within? These include:

Cyber Attack Optimization

By utilizing generative AI, texts, images, audio and video can be manipulated to elevate attacks.

Automated Malware

With the assistance of ChatGPT, users can try to find loopholes in executables without the user’s awareness.

Physical Security

In a world of IoT, AI used maliciously could pose a threat to human lives when applied to verticals like manufacturing, healthcare, utilities and autonomous vehicles.

AI Privacy Risks

As AI utilizes data lakes to make business decisions, so could a hacker who manipulates the system and collects personal identifiable data.

Data Manipulation and Poisoning

This key risk could be detrimental to decisions being made by healthcare, utilities, manufacturing and so on, as data could become compromised and used erroneously.


With the right apps, voice calls can be impersonated, allowing authenticated safeguards to be circumvented.

Reputational Damage

The physical, monetary and consumers’ confidence risks could be catastrophic to any organization that suffers a breach, data compromise or leakage.

Check back soon for the next part of this blog series, where I will share how you can protect your organization from the risks that AI introduces. You may also download my full white paper on Security/Privacy Concerns and Mitigative Measures in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.

White Paper: Security/Privacy Concerns and Mitigative Measures in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Discover seven key building blocks to protecting your organization from the risks that AI introduces, as well as the ways that AI can be utilized to enhance your cyber security program. DOWNLOAD THE WHITE PAPER
About the author:
Vito Nozza's career spans 20+ years in Enterprise Architecture, with 15 years specific to Cyber Security. He has held roles as a CTO, Director, Principal Architect and Global Security Advisor, which have all led to establishing guidance and consultative measures to SME and Enterprise-grade entities. Vito has been paramount in establishing cloud security, guided frameworks and disaster/incident response plans, with overall GRC and ERM goals.