70% of Tech Leaders Will Adopt Generative AI for Cyber Defense Systems: PwC Report
PwC’s 2024 Digital Trust Insights report claims that as many as 70% of tech and business leaders will use generative AI for cyber defense within the next 12 months.
The development aims to mitigate growing unease for traditional cybersecurity systems, as generative AI’s rising capacity to generate sophisticated business email on a large scale has fueled the danger of cyber threats. A prevailing sentiment among industry experts indicates that 52% anticipate generative AI to spearhead catastrophic cyber-attacks within the next year.
On the contrary, nearly 77% expressed a commitment to leveraging Generative AI in an ethical and responsible manner. This underscores the dual nature of generative AI, posing both a promising technological advancement and a potential source of cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
Generative AI is a Double-Edged Sword
Generative AI emerges not only as a defender’s asset but also as a formidable tool in the arsenal of cyber attackers. Attackers can leverage capabilities to craft alluring emails and realistic deepfake content, including videos, recordings and images, to target unsuspecting individuals through phishing schemes.
A real-time threat intelligence report from SlashNext reveals that some of the most frequent users of large language model (LLM) chatbots are cybercriminals. The report sheds light on the purpose behind utilizing LLM chatbots.
Cybercriminals are employing these tools to craft business email compromise (BEC) attacks and execute meticulously targeted phishing campaigns, as outlined in the report. Since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022, there has been a notable surge in malicious phishing emails, witnessing a remarkable 1,265% increase.
Additionally, the adaptability of generative AI allows malicious actors to easily modify established attack codes, ensuring they remain just different enough to elude detection. The prevalence of generative AI has become a focal point among malicious entities, with mentions proliferating on the dark web in the ongoing year.
The resulting dangers include the creation of malware strains that self-evolve, generating variations tailored to attack specific targets with unique techniques, payloads, and polymorphic code – effectively evading detection by existing security measures. In this high-stakes cybersecurity arena, only the most agile and adaptive operations will maintain an edge against these evolving threats.
How to Beware and Defend?
To fortify defences, industry experts underscore the importance of securing the entire AI pipeline. This includes a concerted effort to secure and encrypt the data used in training and fine-tuning AI models. Continuous scanning for vulnerabilities, malware and corruption during model development is identified as a critical step in fortifying defenses against potential breaches.
Secondly, it demands convening leaders from cybersecurity, technology, data and operations for a board-level discussion, and focus on evolving risks, specifically how generative AI can be exploited to expose sensitive data and allow unauthorized access to systems.
While existing security controls can be extended to protect infrastructure and data supporting AI systems, it is vital to understand the necessity of innovative methods specifically designed to detect and stop adversarial AI attacks. There needs to be a proactive stance against the rising tide of cyber threats from generative AI. Fostering awareness, securing the AI pipeline and investing in cutting-edge defenses is the way forward.
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