AI is key weapon on both sides of the phishing war

The use of artificial intelligence to both cause and combat data breaches reflects that the crime is less about pure technology than it is about understanding human behaviour, according to Mariana Pereira, director of email security products at Darktrace.

In a presentation at this month’s Last Thursday in Privacy, organised by the Data Protection World Forum, Ms Pereira said AI was being used to hone the chances of “tricking a human being into clicking on that email. In many ways AI is using the same techniques marketing has used for many years.”

She said phishing attack methods were now too sophisticated to be effectively combatted with user training alone and that AI was needed to weed out often very subtle signs of fake communication.

The increase of remote working during the coronavirus outbreak was, she also said, “increasing the mixing of corporate and personal devices and therefore increasing the attack surface dramatically. And it has shown how quickly attackers can adapt”.

She also said there was clear evidence that state actors were using AI to target government, healthcare and pharmaceutical organisations either to disrupt anti-coronavirus measures or gaining access to intellectual property associated with finding a vaccine.

To watch Mariana Pereira’s presentation from Last Thursday in Privacy on 25 June, click here 

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