11-17-23 | Blog Post

AI is a Double-Edged Sword: Its Power and Peril in Cybersecurity 

Blog Posts

By TJ Houske, CEO of OTAVA 

This article was originally published in TechPoint Index


Cybercrime is predicted to bring damages totaling $8 trillion USD globally this year, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. If this were measured as a country, it would be the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China. So, it comes as no surprise that cybersecurity continues to be a top priority of business leaders, CIOs, and CISCOs everywhere.  

Today, the cybersecurity spotlight is largely centered around artificial intelligence (AI). This technology has emerged as a formidable force, with the power to be used for both good and bad. AI can help organizations to defend against attackers, but it can also be used by cybercriminals to carry out the attacks. As technology advances, the tools available to both cybersecurity experts and malicious actors continue to improve, leading to a growing concern about the misuse of AI.   

Phishing attacks, social engineering, credential stuffing, deepfake tech, AI-enhanced and -generated malware, ransomware, and automated bot attacks are just a few examples that underscore the versatility of AI in cyberattacks.  

AI on Attack   

With such range and adaptability, AI provides a potent tool for cybercriminals. Already, AI-driven cyber-attacks have become increasingly sophisticated, leveraging machine learning and automation to exploit vulnerabilities and breach security systems. Recently, Check Point Research released its 2023 Mid-Year Security Report, which reveals a concerning 8% surge in global weekly cyber-attacks during Q2, marking the most significant increase in two years. It finds that the misuse of AI has escalated, as attackers use generative AI tools for phishing emails, keystroke monitoring malware, and basic ransomware code.  

AI is being used effectively by ransomware instigators to increase their ability to identify and launch successful attacks. Additionally, automated bots are enabling cybercriminals to launch large-scale attacks that can disrupt websites and services, leading to financial losses and reputation damage.  

The potential devastation that AI-powered cyberattacks can inflict is a sobering reminder that the same technology that can drive progress and innovation also has a dark side.  

AI as Armor   

In the never-ending battle against cyber threats, the power of AI is also being harnessed for defense. AI-enhanced cybersecurity solutions have become pivotal in identifying and mitigating risks. These technologies can quickly analyze vast datasets and detect anomalies, allowing for the early identification of threats. For example, AI can identify unusual patterns in network traffic that may indicate a breach or malicious activity.  

To effectively defend against AI-driven threats, businesses must take proactive measures. Here are a few strategies that organizations can implement:  

  • SIEM & SOC Solutions: Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Security Operations Center (SOC) solutions offer real-time monitoring and threat detection. By using AI to cut through the noise of automated alerting, these solutions reduce alert fatigue and technical debt, allowing security teams to focus on addressing genuine threats.  
  • Managed Security Services: Outsourcing security to experts can be a wise choice in the age of AI-driven threats. Companies like OTAVA specialize in staying ahead of the curve, continually adapting to new cyber threats. By entrusting your security to these professionals, you can free up your internal resources to concentrate on your core business operations.  
  • Disaster Recovery: With the looming threats posed by AI-driven attacks, having a solid disaster recovery plan is essential. Because AI villains can interrupt your operations, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) has become key to helping mitigate the damage and ensuring business continuity.  

The Way Forward  

The rise of AI-driven cyber threats requires that organizations take cybersecurity more seriously than ever before. The fact that AI can present both a threat and a defense is more evidence that a proactive approach is the only approach.   

At OTAVA, our cybersecurity experts help organizations stay one step ahead of cybercriminals in this dizzying landscape. From our experience we know that by embracing the power of AI for good, and also being prepared for the bad it can bring, businesses can protect their assets, maintain business continuity, and ensure a safer digital future for all. The ability to navigate the double-edge sword of today’s AI effectively will result in tomorrow’s success.   


TJ Houske, CEO of OTAVAAbout the Author:  

TJ Houske is OTAVA’s CEO. For over 20 years he’s held senior and executive leadership roles in engineering, architecture, and strategic business development. He’s been an IT executive, consultant, entrepreneur, and the head of one of the industry’s most dedicated technology operations teams. A visionary with a down-to-earth approach, TJ is on a mission to make service providers, enterprises, and public sector organizations successful in cloud.  


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