Beating cybercriminals at their own game

Cybersecurity has become an increasingly complex cat and mouse game, where attackers and defenders are both using AI technology to optimise their operations.

03 May 2023

Sergey Shykevich, Check Point

The cybersecurity landscape is evolving at a rapid pace. Where threats once meant your email password wasn’t strong enough, they can now put an entire country into a national state of emergency. But for cybersecurity companies, AI is a double-edged sword, an ever-evolving contest of skill and intelligence. According to McKinsey, AI, ML, and automation will be used to accelerate cyberattacks over the next several years, and to defend against the attacks, companies will need to adapt and use the same AI techniques.

“The advancement of AI, when used efficiently, is going to make the world a lot better, but cybercriminals will also start leveraging things like AI to make their attacks better,” says Nomalizo Hlazo, the head of security governance at Investec. Phishing, for example, is one area where bad actors can take advantage of AI. “They could imitate an executive’s voice and get staff to respond. Conversational AI makes it a lot harder to identify when you’re being phished.” And there’s a reason for that: phishing emails created with AI often look better than the real thing. Hackers no longer need to intentionally misspell words to avoid spam filters – they can achieve this with AI.

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