Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the world of business, enabling organizations to operate more efficiently than ever before. While there are immense opportunities associated with AI, concerns around its security controls and measures persist. This is especially crucial for managed service providers (MSPs) who need to stay updated with AI technology and implement effective security measures to protect their clients. In this blog, we will explore the importance of securing AI and offer practical guidance for MSPs.
The Need for Governance and Critical Thinking:
As AI capabilities continue to advance, so do potential threats and vulnerabilities. Ann Westerheim, president and founder of Ekaru, emphasizes the importance of a different approach to governance for AI. “These technologies are very, very good. But the model of governance surrounding it must be very different,” she said during a ChannelCon2023 session. Westerheim highlights the need for critical thinking, caution, and robust guardrails and braking systems to secure AI effectively.
Assessing Risk in AI Adoption:
When considering the adoption of AI, organizations must carefully evaluate the associated risks. Implementing any new technology involves risk, including deploying and maintaining its security. However, it is essential to strike a balance between risk and the benefits AI can provide. Karen Silverman, CEO and founder of The Cantellus Group, points out the need to actively decide our relationship with technology and the authority we grant it. To remain competitive, organizations must be willing to accept a certain level of risk and implement proactive safeguards.
The Role of AI in Cybercrime:
Unfortunately, cybercriminals are quick to leverage any tactic available to exploit vulnerabilities. AI has become a valuable tool for cybercriminals, enabling them to conduct phishing attacks, automated bots, social engineering, data harvesting, and spreading misinformation. Chris Hazard, CTO and co-founder of Diveplane, highlights that AI, like any technology, is vulnerable to exploitation. Therefore, it is crucial to continuously update AI models and data to stay ahead of cybercriminals.
Combatting Cybercrime with AI:
While AI is used by cybercriminals, it can also be harnessed by MSPs and businesses to combat cybercrime. MSPs can use AI technology to develop and implement defensive security measures. These measures can include phishing scanning, automated endpoint protection and patching, and integrated threat intelligence capabilities. Additionally, raising awareness and providing education on cybersecurity best practices is an effective way to combat threats.
Using AI to Support Client Security Solutions:
As part of their service offerings, MSPs are expected to support client security. AI can be a valuable tool for MSPs in this regard, providing a range of capabilities to enhance security solutions. It is crucial for MSPs to avoid complacency and ensure ongoing vigilance, as the cybersecurity landscape is ever-evolving. Building trust with clients and leveraging AI-generated offers and machine learning can help MSPs create effective security-centric solutions.
Securing AI is imperative for MSPs and businesses alike. By adopting a proactive and responsible approach to AI security, MSPs can effectively protect their clients from cyber threats. Balancing the benefits and risks of AI adoption, staying educated on emerging cyber tactics, and leveraging AI for defensive measures are key steps toward building robust AI security practices. As the AI landscape continues to evolve, MSPs must remain agile and adaptive to secure AI effectively.