MapleSEC webinar: AI can be used by defenders, and threat actors

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One expert says there is no doubt that threat actors are either using or soon will be using artificial intelligence to build malware and craft their attacks.

“The bad guys are almost certainly going to use AI,” said Dave Mason, director of enterprise security based in Ottawa. darktrace told this week IT World Canada MapleSec Satellite Webinar.

“Why? For the same reasons we use AI: It’s going to do the bulk of the work for them. Likewise, if they can take humans out of [their work] And the attack is powered by AI, making it less prone to error.

“In fact it’s going to be more efficient. It’s going to allow them to launch attacks on a much larger scale than they could before.”

This means, he said, that if adversaries are going to use AI to attack, CISOs must find AI-powered solutions to defend themselves. “You can’t get into an AI battle,” Mason said, “you’re not going to win.”

Asked by session host Jim Love, CIO of ITWC, if ChatGPT is a bigger threat than AI, Mason called it a “harbinger of things to come”. It can write text that they can use. If you’re an attacker where English isn’t your first language, you can say goodbye to all those silly grammar mistakes that allow your phishing emails to be intercepted.

On the other hand, Mason said, it may be possible for an AI solution to detect whether the text of an email message was generated by a human.

Related Content: Does AI Benefit IT Operations?

Artificial intelligence solutions can be used in a number of scenarios, he said, from searching for assets on IT networks to reacting faster than humans to quickly spotting malware.

Mason said an AI solution might be able to restore your environment back to the state it was in before an incident.

Not that AI is perfect, he stressed. “It has to work on the data it has,” Mason said, “and that data is input by humans.” As the old saying goes, he said, “garbage in, garbage out.” The best way to use AI is not to rely solely on its reactions, but to use it to help IT/infosec employees make decisions, he said.

“Some people say, ‘It’s AI. Should I care?’ You should care. What you shouldn’t do is worry, because that’s almost the way we’re going. It’s about artificial intelligence supporting humans in all different ways and guises.

The next MapleSEC Satellite Online Series event will be held on June 21st.

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