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Josey George

Cybersecurity and Risk Services General Manager, Wipro

Hitesh Bansal

Cybersecurity and Risk Services Senior Partner, Wipro

Adam Savitz

Sustainability Senior Partner, Wipro

Artificial intelligence is playing an increasing role in the early detection of cyberattacks and the protection of organisations around the world.

Evidence suggests that more than half of organisations in Europe have experienced data breaches in the last three years. Many fear such events lead to the loss of consumers due to an erosion of trust. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI) is proving helpful, both in making attacks more sophisticated and with early threat detection and identification to combat cyberattacks. 

Investing in security automation 

The findings come from technology services and consulting company Wipro and the recent 5th edition of its State of Cybersecurity Report (SOCR). Drawing on a survey of global security leadership and data from its 17 cyber defence centres across North America, Europe, India, the Middle East and the APAC region, it found that 79% of respondents said security automation for attack detection and response is a top investment priority. Around 45% of enterprises said the biggest focus of internal security operations would be on using AI to tackle attacks. 

Cyberattacks getting more sophisticated 

Josey George, Wipro’s Cybersecurity and Risk Services General Manager, says cybersecurity and AI are intertwined within the new tech landscape. “AI models will be the new attack surface in existing digital infrastructure, and adversarial machine learning attacks will increase in frequency and impact as adoption of AI scales up.” 

He notes that open-source AI models will become essential for building trust and ensuring public safety. He adds: “While email phishing and ransomware consistently top the lists of threats, attacks are getting more sophisticated and cyber-attackers are using AI to make their traditional phishing approaches appear even more contextual and relatable.” 

Cyberattack detection with responsible AI 

The main threat against the private and military sector is now from ‘nation-state actors,’ but the global cybersecurity ecosystem is using AI to fight back and detect attacks with natural language understanding and processing, which are used for threat intelligence gathering. 

George says the aim is to minimise the possibility of attack, reduce the window of opportunity to cause damage and respond quickly. “We are now seeing a lot of momentum towards responsible AI, and risk and security plays an important role within that.” That momentum is coming from the US President’s office and the recent UK AI Safety Summit where the UK Government unveiled a ‘world-first agreement’ on how to manage the riskiest forms of AI. 

Attacks are getting more sophisticated and
cyber-attackers are using AI to make their
traditional phishing approaches appear
even more contextual and relatable.

State of Cybersecurity & AI in UK 

AI models and systems are increasingly used to solve business problems, but they also face the risk of being attacked. Hitesh Bansal, Cybersecurity and Risk Services Senior Partner, warns: “AI will be your foe if you do not make it your friend.” 

He observes that the UK and Ireland face significant challenges from state-sponsored attacks. “The threat landscape has evolved from ransomware to more advanced attacks by nation-state actors, which is a serious concern for the UK Government,” he says. He also notes that the post-Brexit situation has affected the cooperation with the EU on cybersecurity matters. Moreover, the UK’s extensive use of technology, especially in critical sectors like energy and healthcare, exposes it to more cyber risks.

Sustainability challenge in AI 

AI also introduces challenges related to an organisation’s sustainability goals and commitments, according to Adam Savitz, Wipro’s Sustainability Senior Partner. With experience building sustainability strategies, he says: “One of the most recognised areas of challenge comes with the increase in data requirements, driving an increase in both an organisation’s data and environmental footprint.” 

A further challenge comes with the increase in smarter technologies; he says this may indeed open an organisation up to cybersecurity risks for customers. “Organisations are coming to terms with a more considered approach to technology,” continues Savitz, “from technology policies around data storage to design consideration across the technology stack, including aspects of AI. Technology organisations are introducing new training and skills in how to architect, design and develop where sustainability and AI are considered.”  

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