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Information Security Forum Examines the Future of Artificial Intelligence in Latest Research
According to the Information Security Forum (ISF), trusted resource for executives and board members on cyber security and risk management, Artificial Intelligence (AI) inspires intrigue, fear and confusion in equal measures. To thrive in the new era, organizations need to reduce the risks posed by AI and make the most of the opportunities it offers. That means securing their own intelligent systems and deploying their own intelligent defenses. 

ISF research has found that AI already poses risks to information assets, as well as the potential to significantly improve cyber defenses. In an effort to support global organizations, the ISF today announced the release of Demystifying Artificial Intelligence in Information Security, the organizations latest digest which helps security professionals to remove the confusion, demystifying AI in information security. The report allows business and security leaders to better understand what AI is, identify the information risks posed by AI and how to mitigate them, and explore opportunities around using AI in defense.

"AI is creating a new frontier in information security. Systems that independently learn, reason and act will increasingly replicate human behavior - and like humans they will be flawed, but also capable of achieving great things. AI poses new information risks and makes some existing ones more dangerous," said Steve Durbin, Managing Director, ISF. "However, it can also be used for good and should become a key part of every organization's defensive arsenal. Business and information security leaders alike must understand both the risks and opportunities before embracing technologies that will soon become a critically important part of everyday business."

As AI systems are adopted by organizations, they will become increasingly critical to day-to-day business operations. No matter the function for which an organization uses AI, such systems, and the information that supports them, have inherent vulnerabilities and are at risk from both accidental and adversarial threats. Compromised AI systems make poor decisions and produce unexpected outcomes. Simultaneously, organizations are beginning to face sophisticated AI-enabled attacks - which have the potential to compromise information and cause severe business impact at a greater speed and scale than ever before.  Taking steps both to secure internal AI systems and defend against external AI-enabled threats will become vitally important in reducing information risk. Organizations must be ready to adapt their defenses in order to cope with the scale and sophistication of AI-enabled cyber attacks.

Security practitioners are always fighting to keep up with the methods used by attackers, and AI systems can provide at least a short-term boost by significantly enhancing a variety of defensive mechanisms. AI can automate numerous tasks, helping understaffed security departments to bridge the specialist skills gap and improve the efficiency of their human practitioners. Protecting against many existing threats, AI can put defenders a step ahead. However, adversaries are not standing still - as AI-enabled threats become more sophisticated, security practitioners will need to use AI-supported defenses simply to keep up.

"As early adopters of defensive AI get to grips with a new way of working, they are seeing the benefits in terms of the ability to more easily counter existing threats. However, an arms race is developing. AI tools and techniques that can be used in defense are also available to malicious actors including criminals, hacktivists and state-sponsored groups," continued Durbin. "Sooner rather than later these adversaries will find ways to use AI to create completely new threats such as intelligent malware - and at that point, defensive AI will not just be a ‘nice to have'. It will be a necessity. Security practitioners using traditional controls will not be able to cope with the speed, volume and sophistication of attacks."

Demystifying Artificial Intelligence in Information Security is available now to ISF Member companies via the ISF website.

Published Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:41 AM by David Marshall
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