GISEC Global 2024 to address growing influence of AI on international cybersecurity industry

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As the Middle East prepares for GISEC Global 2024, the largest and most impactful cybersecurity nexus in the region, artificial intelligence (AI) continues to emerge as a hot topic in industry discussions.

Held under the theme of ‘AI-Driven Cyber Resilience’, GISEC Global 2024 will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 23-25 April and will see over 750 of the world’s biggest cybersecurity brands, as well as 350-plus global cybersecurity speakers and 1,000 international ethical hackers, convene in the UAE to address the AI-related challenges and trends shaping the future of technology.

 

Managing a double-edged sword

Charles Brooks, President of Brooks Consulting International and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., believes that cybersecurity is already being “exponentially” impacted by AI.

“AI has the potential to make cyber threat detection and identification quicker,” said Brooks, a headline speaker at GISEC Global’s main stage. “Software and platforms powered by AI scan files and data to identify unauthorised connections and communication attempts, abnormal or malicious credential use, brute force login attempts, unusual data movement, and data exfiltration. This enables companies to draw conclusions from statistics and guard against anomalies before they are discovered and fixed.”

With the widespread availability of AI-driven tools and their transformative impact on accessibility, Brooks also warns against the drawbacks for businesses, emphasising that malicious AI can be used by criminal actors to conceal malware in commonly downloaded programs.

According to Brooks, attackers are able to get user data, including identity management features, by using delayed self-executing assaults that are activated after a given amount of time.

“Malicious AI can enable intelligent malware to learn from both successful and unsuccessful operations,” added Brooks. “After then, clever malware can find and take advantage of holes in systems, disseminate itself by trying different kinds of attacks, and adjust to countermeasures”.

 

Generative AI’s rise poses unanswered questions

Perhaps most notable in the AI landscape, however, is the rise of Generative AI. Vectra AI, a leading AI-powered platform that delivers attack detection, investigation, and response services, will be one of 750 exhibiting brands from 130-plus countries at GISEC Global 2024. The group has spearheaded AI in cybersecurity since 2012.

Christian Borst, EMEA CTO at Vectra AI, highlights the positive impact of Generative AI on cybersecurity operations. “With the rise of Generative AI, such as Bart and ChatGPT, AI has arrived in many aspects of our lives,” said Borst. “These more novel applications are being put to good use, enabling the user of cybersecurity technology to make faster and better decisions.”

But there are certain unknowns, too, with the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape lending itself to vulnerabilities and, in turn, unforeseen opportunities for attackers.

“Generative AI has been particularly well received by criminal hackers, who may use technology for gain to write malicious code, create undetectable malware, and social engineer past password security. The biggest problem for defenders is that Generative AI is becoming ubiquitous and easy to use, meaning hackers don’t need a high level of training or expertise to wreak havoc on systems,” Brooks said.

Quantum Computing has also played a role in driving uncertainty across the international cybersecurity landscape, due to its rapid development and decryption capabilities. Any company using regular encryption tools faces a serious threat from quantum computers, which can break through the techniques used by conventional computers, Brooks added.

 

AI’s pivotal role in defining the world’s cybersecurity posture

Despite a collective awareness of the new challenges presented by AI, cybersecurity experts from around the world are optimistic about the opportunities these new technological solutions will bring to the future of the industry.

“Applying AI and Machine Learning is innovation at its best,” said Borst. “This requires a desire to be a front runner and a failure culture to be successful. Especially in cybersecurity, an important enterprise for security domain, taking risks may not be top-of-mind for many. But leading an AI revolution requires an entrepreneurial mindset, and I believe that countries here in the Middle East are displaying incredible momentum towards leading the upheaval of traditional technological approaches.”

More information is available at: www.gisec.ae

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