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Parliament cyber summit highlights AI threat to national security
Fri, 1st Mar 2024

Leading figures from the cyber industry, assembled in Parliament for the Parliament Street think tank's Cyber summit, have raised significant concerns regarding the threats posed by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to national security following discussions on Monday night. The summit highlighted the risks that AI deep fakes, hacking, and ransomware impose on critical national infrastructure.

Victor Murineanu, CISO of Chelsea Football Club, focused on the escalating UK cyber skills gap and emphasised the need for improved recruitment and training for young talent and further integration of cyber skills instruction within the school curriculum. Sarah Rench of Avanade stressed the imperative to strengthen the workforce to counter emerging cyber threats and noted that companies have initiated increasing their investment towards cyber skills.

Accelerated advancements in AI are ushering in numerous opportunities in cyber security, but these opportunities heavily tilt towards nefarious activities, warned Nicko van Someren, CTO of Absolute Software. He stated, "Recent, rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence are opening up a whole host of new opportunities in cyber security. Unfortunately, many those opportunities are for the bad guys! It's critical that we put these developments to use for defence as soon as possible, since we can be sure that the attackers are already on the case."

Paul Connaghan, Principal Consultant of Application Security at RiverSafe, insisted on gaining complete visibility over IT systems amidst the growing sophistication of threats like AI, ransomware, and state-sponsored attacks. "Visibility over IT systems is no longer a 'nice to have'; it's a necessity," Connaghan advised. This reliance on robust threat intelligence supplying real-time visibility can enable businesses to spot and nullify potential threats actively, thus ensuring a more substantial defence.

World tensions and conflicts contributing to the complexity of the cyber landscape necessitate that the UK braces itself against current and upcoming threats, Angus Lockhart, Chief Operating Officer of SECQAI, opined. "We need to ensure the UK is protected against today's and tomorrow's threats. This means mitigating 70% of existing cyber attacks by ensuring the hardware we use is 'memory safe'. It also means preparing for tomorrow's Quantum threat to our encryption systems by starting our transition to Post Quantum Cryptography," said Lockhart.

AI is destined to be one of the most revolutionary technologies of this century, foresees Nithin Thomas, Founder and CEO of Klarytee. "As businesses start embracing its potential, we will start seeing a whole new wave of cyber threats, supercharged by powerful AI technologies. It is now more important than ever that we take a proactive approach to ensuring our sensitive data stays protected at all times," he asserted.

The discussions at the summit brought to the hub the need for comprehensive strategising in preparing for a new wave of cyber threats, increasingly empowered by the unregulated advancements of AI, a concern now echoing in the corridors of Parliament.