Governments are moving to put regulatory shackles on the flip side of what AI can do. And then there are the software counters to this emerging risk. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Spark a debate around AI, and chances are that for every two in its favour, there could be the one who will go on and on about all the risks lots of AI could expose society to. Multiple governments have announced plans to rein in the downsides to this trending piece of technology, well before any serious threats emerge.

The biggest risk is how AI in the wrong hands could do with the data that’s available. You have all heard about the base-level threats, of a call coming in the voice of a near-and-dear one and asking for immediate transfer of funds. (That in itself should be a giveaway…)

Dr. Moataz Bin Ali, Regional Vice-President , and Managing Director – MMEA of Trend Micro, better known as a bulwark against cyber threats, talks through the upsides and downsides to AI. And what should be done about it.

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Everyone is well aware of the cyber threat, but what about threats from AI?

While the dangers posed by conventional cyber-attacks are widely understood, there is growing concern AI-driven threats can manifest in several ways, including AI-generated phishing content that is almost indistinguishable from genuine communications.

Or advanced Machine Learning algorithms that can predict and evade standard security measures. They can also involve the use of AI to analyze large sets of data to identify vulnerabilities faster than any human could. Because of the learning capabilities of AI, these threats can evolve over time, becoming increasingly sophisticated and harder to detect.

Trend Vision One addresses this emerging landscape by offering a platform that not only guards against traditional cyber threats but designed to combat evolving AI-driven attacks. The platform’s advanced threat detection and response capabilities - aided by the AI powered security assistant – Companion - are geared towards understanding and mitigating complex, multi-layered threats, whether they are generated by human hackers or AI algorithms.

Should AI be classified as a risk category in itself?

AI-driven threats do represent a unique category of risk.

It looks like cyber breaches were relatively muted in the year to date? Was it the case?

From an external standpoint, it may seem so, likely due to increased investments in cybersecurity, heightened awareness, and stricter regulations. Many organizations have significantly strengthened their cybersecurity defenses, leading to improved security postures and a decrease in successful breaches.

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"It’s important to be cautious in such assessments as cyber threats evolve, and the impact of cybersecurity investments can vary," says Dr. Ali. Image Credit: Supplied

Threat actors are becoming more sophisticated, requiring ongoing vigilance, adaptation, and investment in the latest technologies. Reporting delays or nondisclosure of breaches for various reasons further underscore the need for continued proactive investment in cybersecurity.

Are you hearing clients telling you they need a unified solution for all external threats, whether cyber or AI delivered?

We are increasingly hearing that from clients. As the threat landscape continues to evolve, organizations are realizing the limitations of disjointed, siloed security solutions. They’re expressing a strong interest in integrated platforms capable of countering a range of threats.

This trend underscores the growing awareness among businesses that modern threats require a comprehensive, multi-layered defence strategy.