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AI Technology’s Potential for Misuse Necessitates Robust Security Policies

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Ram Narayanan, the Country Manager at Check Point Software Technologies, Middle East, says collaborating with AI providers and researchers is essential to remain current with AI advancements

What have we achieved so far in terms of use case scenarios of Gen AI?
Generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard have witnessed remarkable growth in their use case scenarios, showcasing their versatility and potential across various applications. These AI tools have proven to be valuable assets in enhancing productivity and creativity. However, they also present significant challenges, primarily related to their vulnerability to misuse in cyber-attacks.

Instances of Generative AI being exploited to create malicious content, such as malware, phishing emails, and deceptive videos, have raised concerns in the cybersecurity domain. Organizations have had to proactively address these issues to protect their digital assets and sensitive data. While Generative AI continues to offer substantial benefits, organizations must remain vigilant in their efforts to protect against emerging AI threats, ensuring that AI and machine learning-based defences become essential components of their cybersecurity strategies.

Why according to you should companies leverage generative AI?
Companies should leverage generative AI for a multitude of reasons that promise transformative benefits. Generative AI streamlines content creation processes, allowing for efficient, cost-effective production of customized content at scale. Moreover, the scalability of generative AI ensures that businesses can adapt effortlessly to varying audience sizes without compromising content quality. Generative AI extends its utility to customer support through AI-powered chatbots, offering round-the-clock assistance while freeing up human teams for more complex tasks.

Furthermore, its flexibility to generate content in diverse formats, from text to images and audio-visual content, enables companies to diversify their content offerings and reach audiences across multiple platforms. Embracing generative AI grants companies a competitive edge in a dynamic business landscape, fostering agility and innovation. However, responsible AI use is paramount.

The technology’s potential for misuse, including cyber threats and malicious content creation, necessitates robust security policies, especially for mobile devices. Advanced technology, including AI and machine learning, is crucial to effectively detect and mitigate these risks. Companies must also uphold ethical standards in AI deployment, ensuring responsible use that aligns with societal values while reaping the myriad benefits generative AI offers.

What are the challenges companies face in terms of adopting and using Gen AI and how can they be overcome?
Companies face several challenges when adopting and using Generative AI. A primary concern is the potential for misuse, as Gen AI can be exploited for cyber-attacks, including the creation of malware, phishing emails, and deceptive content. This poses significant security risks that must be addressed. Firstly, robust security policies should be established and enforced, governing the use of AI tools on corporate devices and networks.

Employee education is crucial to raise awareness and empower staff to recognize AI-generated threats. Advanced threat detection technologies, utilizing behavioural analysis and machine learning, enhance security measures. Access control to AI tools helps mitigate misuse risks, and regular security updates are essential. Mobile devices, often entry points to organizations, require special attention with robust mobile security solutions.

Ethical concerns, regulatory compliance, quality control, bias mitigation, and public perception challenges also need to be addressed through collaboration, self-regulation, responsible AI development, and continuous monitoring. Striking a balance between AI’s potential and ethical considerations is key for successful Gen AI adoption.

Are companies aware of regional and global policies surrounding the use of Gen AI? 
The awareness among companies regarding regional and global policies surrounding the use of Generative AI can vary significantly. Some companies are well-informed and proactive in understanding and adhering to these policies, especially if they operate in highly regulated industries or have a global presence. These companies often invest in compliance efforts to ensure they align with regional and international regulations related to AI.

However, many companies, particularly smaller or newer ones, may have limited awareness of the full scope of regional and global policies concerning Gen AI. It’s worth noting that the awareness of Gen AI policies can also be influenced by the region in which a company operates. The United Arab Emirates has been actively embracing AI technology in various sectors, including healthcare, transportation, finance, and government services.

To ensure responsible and ethical use of AI, the UAE government has developed regulatory frameworks and policies. For instance, the UAE AI Strategy 2031 focuses on creating a conducive environment for AI innovation while also addressing the ethics and legal aspects of AI implementation. Given the substantial investment in AI technology and the government’s commitment to AI governance, it is likely that UAE companies are well-informed about the regional and global policies surrounding the use of Gen AI. Companies operating in sensitive sectors, such as healthcare or finance, may have a higher level of awareness and compliance with AI regulations due to the potential impact on individuals’ privacy and security.

How can companies use their resources on using Gen AI to create a competitive advantage?
Companies can utilize their resources to harness Generative AI strategically, thereby gaining a competitive edge in various aspects. Gen AI enables swift innovation by automating product development, reducing time-to-market, and ensuring companies stay ahead in dynamic industries. Gen AI’s data analysis capabilities facilitate data-driven decision-making, enabling informed strategic choices, rapid response to market trends, and optimized supply chains, leading to cost savings and operational efficiency.

It also plays a vital role in cybersecurity, effectively detecting and mitigating advanced threats to safeguard digital assets and reputation. Automated market research with Gen AI identifies trends and consumer preferences, guiding product development and marketing strategies. Task automation enhances employee productivity, freeing up time for innovation, while Gen AI assists in compliance and risk management efforts.

To maintain a competitive edge, companies should integrate Gen AI strategically, invest in workforce training, ensure ethical use, and implement robust cybersecurity measures. Collaboration with AI providers and researchers is essential to stay current with AI advancements and maintain responsible practices.

What factors do companies need to consider before adopting Gen AI such as having a centralised data strategy?
Before adopting Generative AI, companies must carefully consider several critical factors, one of which is the establishment of a centralized data strategy. Security is of utmost concern, as Gen AI tools have the potential to be exploited in cyber-attacks, exemplified by instances of AI-generated malware and phishing campaigns. To mitigate these risks, robust security policies and measures should be implemented to safeguard sensitive data and prevent data breaches. Mobile devices, commonly used for Gen AI interactions, present unique vulnerabilities, necessitating a focused approach to mobile security that encompasses both prevention and detection, ideally utilizing AI and machine learning in security solutions.

A centralized data strategy should incorporate these security measures to protect against potential AI threats during Gen AI adoption. Additionally, it should encompass data governance practices, data quality assessment, privacy compliance, ethical guidelines, transparency, scalability, cross-functional collaboration, and continuous monitoring to ensure responsible and secure Gen AI integration. Building and maintaining customer trust and preparing for crisis management are integral aspects of a comprehensive Gen AI strategy.

How can companies experiment with Gen AI to predict the future of strategic workforce planning?
Companies can gain a competitive edge by strategically allocating resources to harness Generative AI in various ways. Generative AI accelerates innovation by automating product development processes, leading to faster time-to-market and a competitive advantage in rapidly evolving industries.

It also streamlines content creation, reducing costs, and delivering personalized content to enhance customer engagement and loyalty. With the deployment of AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants, companies can improve customer support, providing efficient round-the-clock assistance while optimizing the supply chain, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Generative AI’s role in cybersecurity is crucial, as it effectively detects and mitigates advanced threats. Additionally, it aids in automated market research, identifying trends and consumer preferences to guide product development and marketing strategies. Lastly, it contributes to compliance and risk management efforts.

To maintain this competitive edge, companies must strategically integrate Generative AI, invest in workforce training, ensure ethical use, and implement robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard against AI-related threats. Collaborating with AI providers and researchers is essential to remain current with AI advancements, allowing companies to effectively harness these technologies while upholding responsible practices.

Artificial Intelligence

ESET’s New AI Assistant Streamlines Threat Detection and Response

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ESET has introduced ESET AI Advisor, an innovative generative AI-based cybersecurity assistant that transforms incident response and interactive risk analysis. First showcased at RSA Conference 2024, the new solution is now available as part of the ESET PROTECT MDR Ultimate subscription tier and ESET Threat Intelligence.

Unlike other vendor offerings and typical generative AI assistants that focus on soft features like administration or device management, ESET AI Advisor seamlessly integrates into the day-to-day operations of security analysts, conducting in-depth analysis. Building on over two decades of ESET’s expertise in AI-driven endpoint protection, the offering provides detailed incident data and SOC team-level advisory. This is a game-changer for companies with limited IT resources who want to utilize the advantages of advanced Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions and threat intelligence feeds.

“As cybersecurity threats become increasingly sophisticated, ESET remains committed to providing cutting-edge solutions that address these challenges. The ESET AI Advisor module represents a significant leap forward in our mission to close the cybersecurity skills gap and empower organizations to safeguard their digital assets effectively,” said Juraj Malcho, Chief Technology Officer at ESET.

One of the primary benefits of this new solution is closing the cybersecurity skills gap. Security analysts of all skill levels can use ESET AI Advisor to conduct interactive risk identification, analysis, and response capabilities, which are provided in an easily understandable format. The user-friendly interface makes sophisticated threat data actionable even for less experienced IT and security professionals.

The ESET AI Advisor also excels in facilitating faster decision-making for critical incidents. Security analysts can simply consult the ESET AI Advisor to understand the specific threats their environment faces. Leveraging extensive XDR collected data, the ESET AI Advisor identifies and analyzes potential malware threats, providing intuitive insights into their behaviour and impact. It assists in recognizing phishing attempts and advising users on how to avoid falling victim to fraudulent emails or websites. By monitoring network traffic, the ESET AI Advisor can flag unusual or suspicious behaviour, helping security teams take appropriate action. Its ability to automate repetitive tasks is an additional advantage. Managing routine processes such as data collection, extraction, and basic threat detection, allows security teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.

In ESET Threat Intelligence, the new module will help researchers analyze vast quantities of unique APT reports and understand latest developments in world of cyber threats. With its conversational prompts and interactive dialogue, ESET AI Advisor empowers organizations to analyze and mitigate threats effortlessly and fortify their cybersecurity posture.

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Artificial Intelligence

VAST and CISCO Simplify AI Infrastructure for Enterprises

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VAST Data, at Cisco Live 2024, announced it is collaborating with Cisco and NVIDIA on a solution to offer enterprises simple, ​​high-performance AI infrastructure coupled with an Ethernet-based AI fabric to handle large volumes of data at an exabyte scale. Through this new relationship, the VAST Data Platform, which offers unified storage, database and data-driven function engine services built for AI, becomes the first data platform optimized and supported with Cisco Nexus HyperFabric.

VAST Data will join this ecosystem integrating with the first Cisco cloud-management solution for data center networking to orchestrate, deploy and manage the stack. Leveraging VAST APIs and pulling both network and storage telemetry back to Cisco Nexus HyperFabric, Cisco customers can now monitor and correlate performance and latency to optimize complex applications.

Cisco Nexus HyperFabric AI clusters are designed to help enterprises build AI data centres using NVIDIA accelerated computing – including NVIDIA Tensor Core GPUs, NVIDIA BlueField-3 DPUs and SuperNICs, and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software – with Cisco networking and the VAST Data Platform. The solution provides end-to-end visibility of compute, networking, storage and data management to allow organizations to seamlessly build and scale their AI operations.

The Cisco Nexus HyperFabric AI Cluster solution also seamlessly integrates VAST’s DASE (Disaggregated Shared Everything) architecture, which is also powered by NVIDIA BlueField DPUs, a collaboration recently announced with NVIDIA. Generative AI requires unprecedented scale and performance to provide incredibly fast access to data, driving enterprise IT buyers to invest heavily in Ethernet networking technologies.

According to IDC, the Ethernet switching market has been impacted significantly by the growing number of enterprise AI deployments, with the overall market rising 20.1% in 2023 to $44.2 billion. With NVIDIA and VAST Data, Cisco can consolidate compute resources, storage and data management capabilities with Ethernet-powered AI network fabrics to offer innovative connectivity with unparalleled programmability, performance, flexibility, and efficiency in order to meet the considerable demands of today’s AI/ML platforms.

“This is the year of the enterprise for AI. Traditionally, enterprises have been slower to adopt new technologies because of the difficulty of integrating new systems into existing systems and processes. This collaboration with Cisco and NVIDIA makes it simple for enterprises to implement AI as they move from proof of concept to production,” said Renen Hallak, CEO and co-founder of VAST Data. “It’s an honor to be selected by Cisco as their premier storage partner for their AI infrastructure and it’s even more exciting that this is because our customers advocated for this partnership.”

“Business innovation is accelerating with AI applications, requiring efficient, high-speed access to massive data sets,” said Jonathan Davidson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Networking. “With an ecosystem approach that now includes VAST Data and NVIDIA, Cisco helps our enterprise customers tackle their most difficult and complex networking, data and security challenges to build AI infrastructures at any scale with confidence.”

VAST has also certified Cisco Nexus Ethernet-based switches with the VAST Data Platform, delivering validated designs to ensure a seamless deployment experience with the highest levels of support for joint customers. The private cloud-managed Cisco Nexus Dashboard offers innovative congestion management with flow control algorithms and visibility with real-time telemetry. Through this collaboration and validation, and as customers implement the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches into their storage fabric, Cisco and VAST deliver the scale, speed and efficiency necessary to support AI applications, and are simplifying network management and operations across all infrastructure endpoints.

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Microsoft Showcases AI for Secure Digital Transformation at GISEC 2024

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Microsoft is showcasing its commitment to leveraging the power of AI to empower digital transformation journeys while ensuring cyber resilience at GISEC 2024. “The AI revolution has been remarkable and exciting to witness, but it has also presented a growing amount of risk,” said Naim Yazbeck, General Manager of Microsoft UAE. “Increasingly, we are seeing attackers launch highly sophisticated cyberattacks, making it imperative for organizations to bolster their cybersecurity defences and stay vigilant to safeguard sensitive data and maintain operational resilience. At Microsoft, we believe that innovation in AI-powered cyber defence can help reverse the current rising tide of cyberattacks. We are committed to building an AI-based cyber shield that will protect customers and countries around the world, and at GISEC Global 2024, we are showcasing how our comprehensive portfolio of security solutions can achieve that while helping organizations stay ahead of evolving threats.”

Microsoft’s Hub at GISEC Global 2024 consists of a VIP Demo Area, a Surface Zone, a Glambot Activation, a Networking Area, and a Food & Beverage Area. The company is demonstrating alongside nine partners, including QuorumCyber, Trustwave, Wizard Group, 42Crunch, BPS, Commvault, Fortinet, Rubrik, and Github.

At the heart of Microsoft’s showcase is Copilot for Security, the industry’s first generative AI solution designed to help security and IT professionals protect their organizations at the speed and scale of AI while remaining compliant with responsible AI principles. Made generally available on April 1, 2024, users can ask Copilot for Security questions in natural language and receive actionable responses to common security and IT tasks in seconds.

Ahmad El Dandachi, Enterprise Commercial Director at Microsoft UAE, commented “AI greatly enhances our ability to detect and defeat cyberattacks. With Copilot for Security, we are shifting the balance of power by empowering defenders to optimize their defence approach and turn hours and days spent digging through data into minutes of quick analysis and strategic decision-making. The solution is informed by large-scale data and threat intelligence, including more than 78 trillion security signals processed by Microsoft each day, and coupled with large language models to deliver tailored insights and guide the next steps. With Copilot, security teams can confidently lead their organizations into the age of AI.”

In addition to Copliot for Security, Microsoft is also demonstrating Microsoft Defender, Sentinel, Purview, Entra, Priva, Intune, and other innovations designed to advance cybersecurity protection for organizations. All of Microsoft’s solutions are backed by the company’s aggressive commitment to responsible AI development, underpinned by its Responsible AI principles used to develop and deploy every solution.

GISEC Global 2024 is set to attract more than 20,000 attendees from over 130 countries to the Dubai World Trade Center. Taking place until April 25th, the event provides a platform for more than 750 brands to showcase their innovations.

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