2018: The Year of the AI-Powered Cyberattack

10. January 2018.

From WannaCry to Equifax and Uber, the major data breaches that plagued 2017 were a wake-up call for corporations where security systems were lax. This past year has seen a rise in automated bot attacks and bore witness to the first AI-powered cyberattack detected in India, where machine learning was used to study patterns of normal user behavior within a company’s network.

If these developments are any indication, it’s that 2018 will not only be a worse year for data breaches, but the year of AI-powered cyberattacks, which makes prevention more difficult. In order to successfully combat these attacks and prevent larger-scale breaches, here are some trends we can expect to see take shape in 2018.

1. Reliance on centralized systems will drive the need for decentralized AI

AI platforms that hoard millions of users’ private information are experiencing data breaches due to the reliance on unsecure centralized servers, which act as easy targets for hackers to access sensitive information in bulk. Recently, the AI.type keyboard app that learns users’ writing styles to create a personalized messaging experience suffered a leak that exposed 31 million Android users. Hackers were able to gain access to their server containing user’s names, emails and exact location, along with how long the app had been installed on their device.

Right now, AI platforms help to concentrate power in the hands of those few organizations which are able to source, process and store large amounts of data. As a result, developers and security teams will need to shift to a decentralized approach where AI can digest large amounts of information and then distribute that data to multiple devices as opposed to a single database or entity.

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