The Surge in Artificial Intelligence Poses Cybersecurity Concerns
May 18, 2023
I recently came across an article in the Washington Post on Artificial Intelligence and the concerns it poses for cybersecurity. Organizations are facing the threat of AI more frequently as the technology becomes more advanced and readily available. Attackers are leveraging AI to craft software that can exploit vulnerabilities in ways never seen before. These sophisticated programs can alter their appearance and processes to slip past traditional detection methods, allowing them to exfiltrate sensitive data undetected. This presents an urgent challenge for experts, executives, and government officials who are working to safeguard their networks from these insidious attacks.
When the article highlighted the need for stepping up proactive security especially for end-user devices which contain a lot of user personal and enterprise information, I couldn’t have agreed more. Proactive security is needed to defend against the indicated attacks like the one mentioned in the article where attackers using AI tools targeted an employee by impersonating the founder of the company in an attempt to steal from the company. Many organizations in this situation typically would not have been able to prevent such attacks and have used a reactive approach which tends to prove ineffective when it comes to such vishing/phishing attacks.
We have seen an increase in AI being integrated into mobile applications in recent years, providing users with a more personalized and efficient experience. However, the use of AI in mobile app security is a double-edged sword. On one hand, AI incorporated into applications can make users more productive and personalize their experience based on user data and behavior. On the other hand, this data is very personal and if it gets in the hands of malicious actors can be very detrimental not just for that end-user but also for an organization since the personal devices also have personal and corporate data. No matter the approach, many AI-based attacks require at least one connection between the app and the outside world to inject code or commands, or to extract the targeted information. When AI attacks become more sophisticated, unrecognized, and indefensible by other technologies, blocking these connections is the best way to defeat an attack. Proactive domain blocking becomes key to help keep personal and corporate private and secured.
AI is revolutionizing mobile app development by enabling apps to learn and respond to user behavior and preferences. Machine learning algorithms, neural networks, and other AI technologies are being integrated into many mobile apps, from chatbots to personal assistants. However, mobile app developers need to be vigilant when updating their code since AI algorithms can change over time, sometimes in unexpected ways. Developers need to ensure that the 3rd party libraries and training data used to create AI models is accurate and up-to-date, as biased or outdated libraries and data can result in flawed algorithms. Additionally, privacy concerns around the use of personal data by AI-driven apps have become a significant issue. In order to ensure the safety of mobile app users, companies must invest in developing robust security protocols and continuously vetting their application’s code and keeping it up to date with the latest security standards. Failure to do so could lead to serious legal and ethical issues, as well as damaging the reputation of the app and its creator.
Additionally, mobile app users should be aware of the potential risks associated with AI-based mobile applications and take necessary precautions, such as avoiding downloading apps from untrusted sources and regularly updating their mobile devices. The key here is to focus on securing devices and applications, particularly around user data such as contacts, voice memos etc. to combat emerging threats effectively. Fortunately, there are apps like Q-Scout, that can help prevent sensitive private information from exfiltration and can provide a much-needed added layer of security.