Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have brought, and will continue to bring, benefits to many, but just like with email, the internet and smartphones, with advancements come threats to computer system security. For the cybersecurity industry, however, AI could be a boon. The machine learning branch of AI, in which computers explore algorithms to learn from data and improve over time, works in conjunction with cybersecurity systems and the human specialists who monitor them.

“AI can use knowledge it gains to detect threats, including those that are yet to be discovered, by identifying shared characteristics within families of threats,” Alexandre Arbelet, security researcher, and Daniel B. Brown, security consultant, both at FarrPoint, said recently in SC Magazine. For enterprises looking to improve computer system security, AI brings both good and bad news.

Cybersecurity Issues Stemming From AI

DeepMind, a Google-owned artificial intelligence company, recently announced the unveiling of WaveNet, a project which mimics the human voice better than even the most advanced text-to-speech systems. While advances in speech and voice-recognition technology will lead to improved versions of smartphone assistants like Viv, Siri and Cortana, they can also be used by criminals to fool unsuspecting victims into thinking they’re speaking to someone they know. According to The New York Times, some experts claim that the more sophisticated and well-funded cybercrime gangs have been experimenting with the use of AI in attacks for years — we’re already likely seeing its effects, even if they’re not immediately obvious.

The threat to cybersecurity from AI is so real that President Obama recently referenced it in an interview with Wired, comparing it to a pandemic. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper has also warned of the risk of AI deployment by criminals: “Implications of broader Al deployment include increased vulnerability to cyberattack, difficulty in ascertaining attribution, facilitation of advances in foreign weapon and intelligence systems, the risk of accidents and related liability issues, and unemployment.”

As we increasingly place our most valued information in our smartphones, the likelihood of criminals seeking to use the advances in AI to steal the personal and financial data we store on our devices will become higher. Therefore, it’s crucial for users to secure their devices using systems like Samsung Knox, a multi-layered security platform that received the most “strong” ratings of any platform in a recent Gartner report.

Built into Galaxy devices, the Samsung Knox platform provides defense-grade mobile security from the hardware to the application layer.