Hello, and welcome back to this next TomCast from Iron Bow Technologies; we are a tactical cybersecurity-as-a-service organization dedicated to helping businesses protect their data, their assets, and their endpoints.

Today we’re going to discuss the hot topic of artificial intelligence. Now, since TomCast’s are usually between 3 and 5 minutes long, there is absolutely no way I can get all the way through a comprehensive talk on what artificial intelligence is, what risks are posed by its’ use, different applications, and more. So, I am simply going to do a shallow dive into the artificial intelligence pool with a chance that this topic and related ones like machine learning and deep learning will be discussed in future TomCasts.

Ok, artificial intelligence. Major topic in technological circles at the present, and the use of artificial intelligence, or AI, is becoming more and more prevalent within many different industries. Students use AI to help compose papers and help with research and discovery, organizations use AI to answer complex questions, to automate tasks and various functions, and cybersecurity professionals pull their hair out as they discover more and more use across industries.

Like many different technological breakthroughs over the past century, AI is one of those so-called new things that is not a phase and will not be going away, mark my words. I say so-called new things, but AI has been around since the 1950’s, at least that is when the term was first used. As the decades motored on by, more and more research into what AI was and what it could do has progressed exponentially.

So what is the big deal, and why would cybersecurity professionals be pulling their hair out (figuratively, of course) over its widespread use? The concern that many cybersecurity professionals share is the acceptance and implementation of AI without the complete understanding of what is being used. Much like IoT device use, the use of AI has shown to allow for increased automation and convenience without focusing on the security aspects. AI is made up of complex algorithms. Before we discuss that farther, you need to understand what an algorithm is.

According to the Oxford dictionary, an algorithm is “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer”. So, if we follow that definition, AI uses processes or sets of rules to be followed in calculations or problem-solving operations. These processes or sets of rules are the part, in my opinion mind you, that need to be better understood and paid attention to.

What are the specific algorithms in use by the instance of AI that is being implemented in any particular organization? If those algorithms are broken down and the processes or sets of rules are plainly stated, then we have a better understanding of what we are using and can better secure the AI instances. Problem is the algorithms are very complex, these processes and sets of rules are hard for a layman to understand, and it seems like the nature of organizations is to blindly agree to the implementation and use because of the convenience side of things.

AI can be a vital tool in the toolbox of a cybersecurity professional, but it is also a weapon in the hands of a threat actor. Threat actors that know and understand the algorithms behind AI can insert their own processes or sets of rules to ensure that, while organization A is using AI to complete their complex calculations, to answer their questions, and to automate tasks, the threat actor is able to siphon organizational data without anyone being the wiser and can do all kinds of other nefarious things that no one will have visibility on.

AI is here to stay, as I mentioned earlier. This is something that we will see more and more organizations employ, and we will witness successes and failures like we have with any different technological breakthroughs over the past century. We need to gain a better understanding of how it works, how it functions, how those processes or sets of rules are compiled so we can better secure our future use of the technology.

If you have any questions surrounding the use of AI, reach out to us over here at Iron Bow Technologies. We have the expertise to help you understand how the use of AI will benefit you and your organization, and precautions to take into account before implementing AI across your business. We’re also here to help any way we can to ensure your organization remains as secure as possible.

We here at Iron Bow thank you for taking the time to listen to this TomCast. For more information on various cybersecurity tips head on over to our website and check out more TomCasts. Those are located over on www.guardsight.com/tomcast. Or, if you would like more information on what Iron Bow can do for you, head on over to www.ironbow.com and contact us. There are several free cybersecurity tools out there that can help you improve your overall security posture. We’d love to hear from you! Thanks!