Balancing AI threats, benefits

ARTIFICIAL Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a double-edged sword in the realm of cybersecurity. It has the power to strengthen digital defences significantly, but it also brings risks if used wrongly by bad actors.

ARTIFICIAL Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a double-edged sword in the realm of cybersecurity. It has the power to strengthen digital defences significantly, but it also brings risks if used wrongly by bad actors.

My team of AI Bots and I, looked closely at this crucial issue. We bring you this article which explores the complex relationship between AI and cybersecurity, discussing both its benefits and dangers. We delve into the intricate interplay between AI and cybersecurity, exploring both its promises and perils.

Deloitte Middle Eastern PoV says, “In an era where the digital landscape evolves at breakneck speed, the quest for security has taken centre stage. The interconnectedness of our modern world has opened unprecedented opportunities for innovation and communication, but it has also exposed us to a growing array of cyber threats. As businesses and individuals rely more than ever on digital technologies, the vital role of cybersecurity cannot be overemphasised.

The digital frontier - Imagine a world where our every move, our every thought, lives in the digital realm.

Our thoughts are shared openly on social media platforms, capturing our emotions, ideas, and opinions for the world to see. Our physical presence is captured through check-ins, travel updates, and real-time location sharing, creating a digital trail of our journeys. In this interconnected landscape, the line between the logical and physical worlds blurs into our identity, seamlessly merging our digital persona with our real-life experiences.

It is a frontier where security battles exploitation, defining our digital era. AI's role in the battle - Enter artificial intelligence, a technological marvel that has promised to revolutionise cybersecurity. With its ability to process vast amounts of data, recognise patterns, and make split-second decisions, AI offers the potential to bolster our digital defences.

But, like any powerful tool, AI can be a double-edged sword. It holds the key both to fortifying our security and to unleashing new forms of cyber threats.”

The Promises of AI in Cybersecurity AI offers a myriad of benefits in bolstering cybersecurity measures:

Improved threat detection and response: AI excels at analysing vast datasets in real-time, identifying anomalies and potential threats with unparalleled speed and accuracy. This capability enables lightning-fast detection and proactive responses, minimising the impact of cyberattacks.

Automation of routine security tasks: AI-driven tools can automate routine tasks like network monitoring, vulnerability identification, and patch application, reducing the workload on cybersecurity teams and minimising human error.

Scalability and adaptability: AI systems can effortlessly scale to handle increasing data volumes and adapt to evolving threat patterns, continuously improving their ability to safeguard digital environments.

Enhanced data analysis and insights: AI algorithms can process and analyse vast amounts of data, uncovering patterns and insights that would be impossible for humans to discern. This capability aids in proactive threat detection and informed decision-making.

The perils of AI in cybersecurity

While AI offers significant advantages, it also presents substantial risks:

AI-powered cyberattacks: Just as AI can enhance cybersecurity, it can also empower cybercriminals by providing sophisticated methods to execute faster, more targeted, and more destructive attacks.

Manipulation and poisoning attacks: AI systems are vulnerable to manipulation through input attacks, where adversaries introduce malicious data to alter the system's behaviour, or poisoning attacks, where the training data is compromised.

Ethical and regulatory challenges: The use of AI in cybersecurity raises ethical concerns regarding privacy, bias, and accountability. Regulatory frameworks are still evolving to address these challenges.

Talent scarcity and complexity: Developing and deploying AI systems for cybersecurity requires specialised expertise, which is currently in short supply.

Additionally, the complexity of these systems can make them difficult to understand and maintain. Striking a Balance To harness the full potential of AI in cybersecurity while mitigating its risks, a balanced approach is crucial:

Invest in AI security research and development to enhance the robustness and resilience of AI systems against adversarial attacks.

Establish clear ethical guidelines and regulatory frameworks to ensure responsible and transparent use of AI in cybersecurity.

Foster collaboration between academia, industry, and government to share knowledge, best practices, and address emerging challenges.

Prioritise cybersecurity education and training programs to develop a skilled workforce capable of designing, deploying, and maintaining AI-driven security solutions.

Implement rigorous testing and validation processes to ensure the accuracy, reliability, and fairness of AI systems before deployment.

Towards the end of last year, Palo Alto Networks advised, “In 2024, real solutions will be deployed, and even though they might be preliminary, they will be steps in the right direction.

Also, an intelligent evaluation framework needs to be established to dynamically assess the security and safety of an AI system.

Remember, Large Language Models (LLMs) are also accessible to the bad actors. For example, hackers can easily generate significantly larger numbers of phishing emails at much higher quality using LLMs.

They can also leverage LLMs to create brand-new malware.

But the industry is acting more collaboratively and strategically in the usage of LLMs, helping us get ahead and stay ahead of the bad guys.

On October 30, 2023, U.S. President Joseph Biden issued an executive order covering the responsible and appropriate use of AI technologies, products, and tools. The purpose of this order touched upon the need for AI vendors to take all necessary steps to ensure their solutions are used for proper applications rather than malicious purposes.” advised Palo Alto Networks.


As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the role of AI in cybersecurity is set to become increasingly pivotal.

By embracing AI's potential while proactively addressing associated risks, we can leverage this powerful technology to fortify our digital defences and stay ahead of ever-evolving cyber threats.

However, there is a significant concern regarding the threat posed by untrustworthy individuals—bad actors—in the realm of AI. These deceptive actors operate from the shadows, making their true intentions difficult to discern.

It is not far-fetched to imagine them infiltrating various aspects of AI security development, potentially turning into adversaries from within. We must trust that the dedicated efforts of ethical professionals will outpace these bad actors. Meanwhile, we continue to vigilantly monitor this critical space.

  • Bangure is a filmmaker. He has extensive experience in both print and electronic media production and management. He is a past chairperson of the National Employment Council of the Printing, Packaging and Newspaper Industry. He has considerable exposure to IT networks and Cloud technologies and is an enthusiastic scholar of artificial intelligence. — [email protected].

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