AI and Security: 4 Potential Risks and How to Mitigate Them

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming a hot talking point around the world. With the rapid advancement in the technology behind AI, it’s important that businesses worldwide are aware of the risks that come with AI and how they can affect your organisation. 

One of the biggest risks for businesses worldwide regarding AI is the number of security risks. With AI being such a powerful tool, the dangers for organisations and its potential use for either damaging or nefarious purposes is inevitable — and companies need to be aware of the risks.

In this article, Extech Cloud outlines the top 4 security risks associated with AI and offers advise on how you can go about mitigating these risks and protect your organisation.

Top 4 security risks associated with AI 

AI-powered cyberattacks 

Cyberattacks have always been a massive risk for any organisation. It’s no secret that there are individuals and organisations out there who want to use the power of technology to cripple organisations and cause damage, but AI increases this risk greatly.

AI can be used to boost the ability of cyberattacks in a few different ways —

  • Making attacks more potent: With AI, cyberattacks can be more potent and difficult to detect with filters and detection programs, making them more likely to do damage.
  • Creating new attacks: AI can be used to create fake data to impersonate individuals and create confusion, or even falsely gain credentials to access other more secure parts of an organisation.
  • Automating and scaling attacks: AI lets attackers automate and scale attacks with little effort, meaning they can instigate lots of different attacks on an unprecedented level with minimal resources.

Vulnerabilities in AI systems 

While AI systems are incredibly intelligent, they’re not immune to vulnerabilities and other problems.

The main issue with AI systems is that if the system’s data pool is corrupted, it can have a devastating effect. This type of attack is known as data poisoning and can be used to mess up whole AI-based systems. By injecting malicious data into the data pool, completely changes the AI output and can be used to manipulate information.

Another vulnerability is the supply chain. AI development usually integrates third party libraries, meaning that any vulnerabilities in that chain will affect your organisation as well. This is why it is vital to be vigilant when implementing AI systems.

Sensitive data protection 

AI systems require access to personal information and data to work effectively, and so inadequate safeguarding of this data can lead to a possible breach, allowing sensitive data to fall into the wrong hands.

Using this data, malicious actors can gain access to an organisation’s systems and take advantage of vulnerabilities to cripple or even hold an organisation hostage.

Shadow IT 

Shadow IT is the use of IT within organisations without the oversight of the IT department, meaning that those applications can potentially cause problems within your organisation. Similarly, Shadow AI is the use of AI within your organisation, without prior authorisation.

Generative AI makes Shadow AI a much larger problem than Shadow IT. Where Shadow IT only really has risks from the development stage, generative AI has risks whenever it’s used — creating a realistic risk of data exposure due to the great amount of discoverability that comes with AI.

AI risk mitigation 

The best way to fight against the risks of AI is to fight fire with fire using AI powered tools to help protect your organisation.

There are a couple of different effective ways to do so —

  • AI powered detection: Using AI to power your threat detection capabilities will allow you to detect threats long before they become an issue. Tools like Microsoft Security Copilot use AI to do so, giving you powerful options to ensure you can stop threats quickly.
  • AI security analytics: Analytics will help you collect data throughout your organisation and investigate new threats and vulnerabilities with ease. Microsoft Security Copilot and Microsoft Sentinel are two of the many tools that give you powerful analytics capabilities to protect your organisation.

Other ways to mitigate AI risks is by being vigilant, keeping your organisation’s security hygiene high, and educating employees to ensure everyone is aware of the risks and challenges – and are doing their bit to protect your organisation.

How we can help 

The rise of AI has a lot of different consequences for every business — and consequences they should all be aware of.

By ensuring you know how AI could create risks for your business, you can take the right steps to mitigate these risks and ensure you’re protected. Using a mix of AI tools and a high standard of security throughout your organisation will allow you to tackle these challenges head on and ensure a high standard of security throughout your organisation.

There’s never been a more crucial time to enhance your organisation’s security, get in touch with our team of experts today and see how we can help you navigate the complex world of cybersecurity.

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