AI in cyber security: a double-edged sword?

AI in cyber security: a double-edged sword? 612 344 Timewade

Blog written by Candice Walters, Business Technology Consultant and Women in Tech Ambassador at Timewade

When speaking with clients recently, I’ve noticed that everyone wants to talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI has undoubtedly transformed the way we work in many positive ways; streamlining operations, data analysis, supply chain management and much more. Many people are, however, concerned about the risks that AI could pose, particularly when it comes to rapidly advancing cyber security threats. In this blog post, I explore the key benefits and risks that AI is bringing to the world of cyber security, and how organisations can keep themselves cyber secure.

Benefits of AI and cyber security

Many organisations are turning to AI to bolster their cyber security, transforming the way they protect their digital assets.

Threat detection

AI-powered cyber security solutions excel at analysing vast amounts of data from various sources, enabling them to detect potential threats that may have gone unnoticed by traditional security measures. By continuously monitoring network traffic and users, AI can quickly identify unusual network patterns, and mitigate these threats automatically.

Vulnerability management

AI helps organisations stay on top of their security by automatically scanning their networks, systems, and applications for potential weaknesses. It can also help IT teams prioritise the most critical vulnerabilities based on the levels of risk.

Speed and accuracy

AI drastically improves the speed and accuracy of threat detection and incident response. Traditional methods often involve manual analysis, while AI can respond to threats in real-time, reducing the time between detection and response. 

Risks of AI and cyber security

In addition to the numerous benefits AI is bringing to cyber security, there is a ‘dark side’ to AI which can increase the number of threats, and the sophistication of them. 

Intelligent communication

ChatGPT can generate natural human conversations using machine learning algorithms to learn human language, and develop discussions based on its understanding of how humans communicate. It can be used to help cyber criminals develop more targeted attacks, using carefully crafted language to more easily encourage users to click on malicious links or download malware.

Deepfake impersonations

Deepfake technologies are going one step further, allowing cyber criminals to create realistic audio and video content that impersonates individuals or organisations. You may have seen the recent deepfake of Martin Lewis from, mimicking his face and voice to promote a scam investment app. These can be incredibly convincing, posing risks to organisations through realistic phishing emails and messages.

Powerful phishing attacks

Whilst phishing attacks rely heavily on social engineering tactics to manipulate individuals into clicking on links or attachments or divulging information, AI has given cyber criminals another avenue. A key example of the new, highly targeted attacks is AI-powered spear phishing, whereby cyber criminals leverage machine learning algorithms to analyse data and craft personalised and realistic attacks that bypass traditional security measures. Most commonly, craft messages that appear to be from trusted sources such as senior members of staff or reputable organisations.

How to keep your organisation safe from AI in cybersecurity

In 2022, 39% of UK businesses reported a cyber attack, so it’s vital to consider how your organisation can stay cyber safe. It can be costly and time consuming to keep up with AI advancements, and while the majority of organisations would benefit from a dedicated cyber security team or individual, many simply don’t have the resources.

Implement cyber security policies

Most cyber security breaches are due to human error, such as employees lacking the right knowledge to properly assess a threat. Ensure that your organisation has up-to-date policies on how data is handled and secured, as well as guidelines for employees to prevent them falling prey to phishing attacks or malicious softwares.

Stay up to date with the latest developments

It’s important to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to AI advancements in cyber security. Cyber threats are becoming much more advanced and prevalent, with more innovative ways of hacking databases or accessing employees’ details.

How an IT support company can help keep your organisation cyber secure

Expertise at your fingertips

In the fast-paced world of cyber security, having access to a team of experts can be a game-changer for keeping your clients, employees and data safe. Our team has in-depth knowledge of the evolving threat landscape, and the best practices to combat cyber attacks. By entrusting your cyber security to an IT support company, you can rest assured that your data is in capable hands.

Cost effective

Building and maintaining an in-house cyber security team can be expensive. By outsourcing your cyber security needs to an IT support company, you can avoid the costs of recruiting and training a team, while still benefiting from cyber security expertise.

Uninterrupted protection

We provide round-the-clock automated monitoring that ensures potential threats are identified promptly, allowing us to act swiftly to prevent or mitigate potential damages.

Stay ahead of the curve

The cyber security landscape is constantly evolving, and keeping up with these changes is challenging for organisations without sufficient resources. Our team stays on top of the latest developments, emerging threats, and cutting-edge technologies. We continuously update and optimise our tools to tackle new cyber challenges effectively.

Empower your employees

We offer cyber security training for our clients’ employees, empowering them to identify and respond effectively to potential threats. This helps employees become more vigilant, reducing the likelihood of successful cyber attacks caused by human error.

AI presents a double-edged sword in the world of cyber security. The rise of AI and machine learning presents both exciting opportunities for the development of security IT solutions, as well as cyber security risks. IT offers unparalleled defences, allowing organisations to proactively protect themselves from, and react to, a range of threats. However, the dark side of AI is concerning, increasing the rate and sophistication of attacks. It’s vital to keep your organisation up to date with changes in the cyber security world.

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