You’ve probably heard a lot about the powerful technology advancements found within the constructs of artificial intelligence (AI). From the adaptable automation known as machine learning to speech recognition (natural language processing), the algorithms behind AI are being used to help corporations improve. But the worrisome part of AI isn’t really that the machines will take our jobs — instead, it’s that hackers are using the same technology to steal our data.

Here’s how cyberterrorists are using AI to mine your personal and corporate data and what you can do to fight back.

Understanding AI

Every tool that’s beneficial for humankind can also be used as a weapon. The same is true of AI.

The power of AI is that it brings the digital horsepower necessary to make thousands of complicated decisions in an instant and then learn from the outcomes. ZDNet says that real AI will have many of the same features as human intelligence, including planning, reasoning, problem-solving, and the ability to learn. Throw in visual perception and a dash of creativity and you have a machine that’s closer to human, but smarter and faster.

While true AI hasn’t been realized yet, it’s important to understand that the building blocks of the intelligent computer are here and in use every day. For example:

  • Natural language processing (NLP) consists of computer algorithms that recognize the nuances of human language. You experience this today every time you use social media, where companies use NLP to analyze consumer behaviors.
  • Machine learning (ML) allows the computer to make better predictive decisions based on previous data. That’s the “learning” in ML and it helps Google create a better search experience and Alexa respond to your queries.

While these are just two of the foundational blocks of AI, it’s clear already that hackers have culled the best features of these tools and are now actively using them against us.

How hackers leverage AI

From governments to individual computer nerds, AI is now a cyberterrorism tactic. A recent study suggests that AI tools will soon be used to do more than steal corporate data — they could be used to take over your car or turn drones into a weapon. Hackers now use AI in a variety of ways:

  • Automated phishing, to create fake emails, links, and websites to steal data
  • Robot swarms that digitally attack infrastructures
  • Remote attacks launched and automated from outside the U.S.

These techniques are used to generate “fake news,” steal corporate information, or even take down the internet. Hackers can wreak havoc faster than ever before with the use of these tools.

The point here is that cyberterrorists are now leveraging AI to go after your secure data in smart ways that maximize their efforts. How can companies fight back against technology-enabled hacking? The answer is to use the tool for good to beat hackers at their own game

Prepare for the new digital arms race

Will AI help or harm your company? It depends on how you prepare for the future.

Virtualization & Cloud Review calls the AI arms race a “cold war” between digitally enabled “black hat” enemies that we can’t even see or recognize, potentially until it’s too late. But “white hat” AI can help companies fight terrorists on their own turf — and win.

AI can be used to augment human security expertise in dynamic ways that will use the intelligent automation found in these tools to block and parry our cyberterrorism opponents. AI can help companies improve predictive threat monitoring as well as create a faster response should a network breach occur.

SecureNation can help you prepare for the new digital arms race with a confidential assessment of your security preparedness. Reach out to me here on LinkedIn, email me at [email protected], or contact the SecureNation team.

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