6th December 2023 12:34 pm
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AI is the biggest threat – and maybe the biggest tool – in cybersecurity

It is almost impossible to discuss anything in the world of tech without artificial intelligence (AI) quickly becoming the main topic of conversation and this is doubly true in the sphere of cybersecurity where the fate of businesses, governmental bodies and other important institutions of society can – at any time – fall victim to the worst kinds of breaches.

But with the internet filled with countless uninformed comments it is always refreshing to speak to the experts, and you don’t get more expertise than from Arctic Wolf. The South African arm of this leader in security operations recently held a C-Suite Roundtable to directly speak to leaders in the local tech industry about their challenges, opportunities and the future of cybersecurity.

Andre Den Hond, Senior Sales Engineer at Arctic Wolf, was asked at the roundtable what is new in this field and what is most forefront on his mind. The answer, unsurprisingly, is AI.

“I think what probably scares me the most is AI and how it is going to change the whole game when it comes to cyber attacks. These threat actors are now using AI to attack organisations. These generative AI models can also make people look or sound like other people which is honestly scary. It is more important than ever to have checks and balances constantly in place – there has to be multiple levels of authentication and that has to be part of all communication channels going forward. We have to verify people’s authenticity at all times. In the future it is going to be AI fighting AI and you are going to need an organisation that can leverage the power of multiple people working together to combat cyber attacks. You need to leverage the power of all the security data you have been collecting and it all needs to come together in one place so you can harness it to challenge AI,” Den Hond answered.

Just a few days ago Arctic Wolf published an article in its resources website around social engineering. In the past social engineering has been one of the most effective “low tech” methods of penetration with old tools such as phishing now greatly honed. But now these old tools are enhanced with AI and organisations need to be even more careful. Even if your security culture (more on that later) is trained against easy to spot phishing emails, for example, do your employees know to spot a fake AI video of the CEO asking for sensitive information? It’s these old tools with new AI tricks that are going to be important to keep track of.

As scary as AI is and as worried as experts like Den Hond are, AI can also be a tool for good. As Den Hond pointed out the future of cybersecurity may be AIs fighting AIs, but it can go deeper than that. It is also important that we always incorporate human intelligence into cyber security which helps define the business context. Ensuring a balance between AI and Human Intelligence helps achieve an efficient strategy.

Jason Oehley, Regional Sales Manager at Arctic Wolf, points out that organisations of all sizes need some of the same advice.

“What we’re seeing in the market is that, no matter the size of the organisation, the challenges they face are quite similar. For the bigger organisations it is a lot easier to build your own environment to look after but, for the smaller organisations, the biggest challenge is around security efficiency. There’s too many tools, too much to manage and not necessarily having the right knowhow to manage it all. We always talk about the ‘security culture’ in business and I think that the security culture isn’t about a blame game, but incorporating the entire organisation to work together towards security,” Oehley says.

Not in the future, but right now, AI can be leveraged to help those smaller companies pick the right tools and implement them faster. While some ill-informed pundits may state that AI is going to take jobs, it is instead going to enhance them. With some of the so-called “grunt work” taken care of by AI, professionals have more time to focus on more important work, especially the important work of cybersecurity.

To enhance the important work of cybersecurity for your organisation, contact Arctic Wolf directly today by emailing southafricasales[at]arcticwolf[dot]com