Six Key AI Cyber Security Risks – And How to Address Them

Artificial intelligence (AI) is enhancing our lives both in and out of work, making it easier to complete tasks and providing easy access to information at the click of a button. But the uncontrolled use of AI can introduce risk to organisations, too. In this blog we’ll take a look at six key AI cyber security risks – and provide guidance on how to address them.

AI’s ever increasing influence on our everyday lives has continued apace in 2024, with significant developments including Microsoft launching its Copilot for Microsoft 365 AI work assistant (you can check out our blog on how to prepare for Copilot for Microsoft 365).

In recent blogs we’ve taken you through a number of AI use cases that will make your work and personal life easier, but it’s important to balance the opportunities AI offers with the risks it can present. Hackers are using AI to get better and more effective at attacking us, but it goes further than this – by its very nature, AI presents risks that need to be understood and mitigated. In this blog we’ll take a look at six key AI cyber security risks – and provide guidance on how to address them.

Let’s get started.

Six Key AI Cyber Security Risks

Here are six key AI cyber security risks your organisation should be aware of:

  • AI hallucination. AI hallucination refers to instances where AI systems generate deceptive or misleading information, leading to erroneous decision-making. This risk underlines the importance of ensuring the reliability and accuracy of AI-generated outputs.
  • Data protection. The proliferation of AI relies heavily on vast amounts of data, making data protection a paramount concern. Unauthorised access or misuse of sensitive data can result in severe breaches and regulatory penalties.
  • Data poisoning. Data poisoning occurs when adversaries manipulate training data to corrupt AI models, leading to compromised performance or malicious outcomes. Safeguarding against data poisoning involves robust data validation and anomaly detection mechanisms.
  • Accountability and understanding. The opacity of AI algorithms poses challenges in understanding and attributing accountability for AI-driven decisions. Establishing transparency and accountability frameworks is essential for fostering trust and accountability in AI systems.
  • Bias. AI algorithms are susceptible to bias, perpetuating or exacerbating societal inequalities. Addressing bias requires proactive measures such as diverse and representative data sets and algorithmic fairness assessments.
  • Enabling hackers. While AI offers immense potential for enhancing cyber security defences, malicious actors can also exploit AI techniques to orchestrate sophisticated cyber-attacks. Vigilance and continuous monitoring are imperative to detect and mitigate AI-enabled threats effectively.

How to Address AI Cyber Security Risks

AI carries cyber security risks, but they are not insurmountable. Here are four strategic methods you can employ to address AI cyber security risks and ensure you and your organisation get the most from your AI investment:

  • Maintain a use-based approach. Adopt a use-based approach to AI implementation, balancing the potential benefits with inherent risks. Prioritise risk assessment and mitigation strategies to safeguard against cyber threats.
  • Align AI to your mission and vision. Ensure that AI initiatives align with your organisation’s mission and vision, integrating ethical considerations and cyber security principles into AI development and deployment processes.
  • Champion human-centric, responsible AI. Embrace a human-centric, responsible AI ethos, emphasising transparency, fairness, and accountability in AI design and operation. Define clear guidelines and standards for ethical AI practices within your organisation.
  • Find your AI balance. Strive to strike a balance between implementing stringent cyber security controls and fostering innovation and productivity. Encourage a culture of responsible AI usage while empowering employees to leverage AI technologies effectively.

Partner with Six Degrees to Secure Your Organisation

AI presents opportunities and threats to organisations, and will continue to do so. By understanding the threats it poses and implementing strategic initiatives to address them you will put your organisation in the best position to reap the benefits while mitigating risks as much as possible.

There’s never been more pressure on organisations to defend themselves against the damage that can result from downtime and data breach. In a highly specialised field like cyber security, working with a specialist partner can unlock complexities, bolster in-house capabilities, and enhance your organisation’s cyber security posture – enabling you to be proactive in assuring your ongoing stability and success. Speak to us today to discuss how we can secure and enable your organisation.

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