Emerging Threats and Opportunities in the AI Cybersecurity Revolution

There is no doubt that the rapid advancements and widespread accessibility of artificial intelligence (AI) assets pose both a threat and benefit to the modern world, particularly across Identity and Access Management. Its overarching ability to detect unusual activities adds a significant additional layer of security.

The advances AI enables the technology sector, business development and the everyday person to continue to amaze and astound globally. However, AI also comes with obvious concerns and issues that would be fundamentally harmful if ignored.

Cybersecurity professionals simply don’t have the time to keep up with the lightning-fast developments in AI. Therefore, this article aims to provide a succinct summary of both the emerging threats and opportunities AI creates within the Cybersecurity Revolution.

It is crucial to understand that within the AI development era, there is a continuous need for perpetual learning, especially within identity management.

Customisable Voice Cloning

The first low-hanging fruit within the AI world from a cybercriminal’s perspective comes in the form of voice cloning (creating synthetic copies of human voices) Voice Cloning can transform large-scale operations, providing personalized voice solutions, and enhancing content creation and engagement in a much quicker time than previously experienced. However, biometric authentication methods are becoming extremely low-cost to overthrow.

For example, a three-second audio clip from a person on a video call, or podcast can be pushed through a low-cost AI voice-cloning service and now you possess the ability to transform that person’s voice into saying anything you require. This can then be tweaked to suit any emotion, style or language, all in real time.  AI voice cloning provides a significant potential for malicious

Image Generation

A recent AI development comes in the form of AI image generation, where an AI-powered device takes a prompt (in the form of text), intuitively processes it and then creates an image that best matches the text prompt. AI Image generation not only possesses the ability to create human faces but can now also produce images of identity documents. The positives associated with AI image generation provide the user with a powerful asset at their disposal. They can prove to be very cost and time-effective, allowing endless creativity and innovation through personalised content within the generation process. However, the associated risks involved in creating thoroughly convincing but completely fake images of real people with identity documents could prove catastrophic to cybersecurity. Alongside the ability to convincingly create identity documents, fingerprints may also be forgeable. If the print itself can be imaged, then the fake prints can be printed and will pass most basic sensors.

All of this means that security teams are likely to need to rapidly enhance authentication by requiring additional layers using information that can more deeply authenticate access, geographic location, IP address, time of day, patterns of behaviour, installed security certificates – and even personalized challenge/response questions.

Creating AI Entities

There is one emerging capability within the AI world that can be leveraged by both security teams and cybercriminals: the ability to create and train your own, standalone AI entity.

In contrast to as recent as a year ago, the user now has the capability of running an AI that possesses the skills of a large language model, which would previously have required a reasonably sized data centre to do so. Whereas now, anyone with a competent home computer and large graphics processing unit (GPU) can run and train their AI. All of which is incredibly exciting, but also a huge responsibility!

AI entities prove incredibly beneficial within identity management conferences, as well as  identity management events, providing educators with the latest innovations in IAM tools, techniques, and technologies

Embracing AI Opportunities in Cybersecurity

You may ponder whether the potential risks and threats to cybersecurity through the use of AI outweigh the associated positives. You’d be forgiven for questioning this. However, there are still undoubtedly huge advantages for security teams who work with AI within Cybersecurity.

We must ensure however that as the possibilities of AI develop, so does our knowledge, understanding and application. The correct, intuitive investments into available AI tools and factual, research-based information can equip security teams with what they need to stay ahead of any AI-wielding cybercriminals.

Staggeringly, a recent ISACA survey showed that 54% of organisations do not provide AI training, even to teams directly impacted by AI. The good news – you certainly don’t need to be an existing AI expert to navigate the tools that are emerging. You simply need the time and inclination to learn about them and effectively leverage them. After all, knowledge is power.