Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are revolutionizing the workplace and will become increasingly prevalent in the upcoming years. This technology provides countless opportunities in every industry from healthcare to manufacturing. As a matter of fact, 83% of companies say that AI is a priority for their business.
With this information in mind, it’s important to focus on the cybersecurity component of AI. These systems can be hacked just like any other computer. When this happens, the consequences can be dangerous. For example, a famous experiment showed that AI can be tricked by changing a photo by only one pixel. This can be dangerous for many companies who rely on this technology. With all of this in mind, it is critical that businesses protect their AI from cybercriminals, just like they would with any other online information.
How Cyber Attacks Happen
AI systems are hacked into just like anything else. Oftentimes, cybercriminals will use phishing tactics, hoping that an unsuspecting employee will open it and infect the server with malicious software. This is why making sure all employees follow cybersecurity best practices is critical.
Once they’ve infiltrated your network, typically hackers will expose the AI to new data, which will confuse the system and cause it to make incorrect decisions. This will have a negative impact on your network and business.
How To Prevent an Attack
There are many ways you as a business owner can protect you and your company. Your first line of defense against a cyberattack should be a comprehensive antivirus suite. This program should protect company devices against threats such as ransomware, keyloggers, viruses, phishing scams, and other threats. To get the maximum use out of the program, make sure it is installed on every device that connects to the Internet. This includes cell phones, tablets, and even certain smartwatches.
It’s also wise to have a policy for employees who work remotely. These employees may be using their own personal devices to work, as well as connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. Encourage employees to work on company-provided devices only, or insist on making sure personal devices have the proper protections. You should also equip all company devices with a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which prevents devices from being seen on a public network.
Additionally, it’s important to educate your employees on cybersecurity best practices. This should begin in orientation and continue throughout an employee’s time with the company. Cyberthreats are always evolving, so it’s important to keep everyone up to date. Make sure you are setting a good example for your company by also following best practices.
The last main thing you need to do to secure your AI is to make sure all your data is backed up. Many companies are starting to back up their data to the Cloud using one of the many services available. Others prefer the old-fashioned way of hard drives stored at an off-site location. Regardless of where you decide to store your data, it’s very important to have multiple copies in different locations. If your network was to be hacked, some (if not all) of the data on your server would need to be erased. If you did not have a backup, essential information about your company would be gone forever. Backing up data can be the difference between a company surviving a cyberattack or losing thousands of dollars, which could be fatal to your bottom line.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will have a massive impact on our lives in this century. These technologies can help revolutionize business, but also come with risks. If the proper precautions are taken, and employees and business owners are vigilant, AI can be a source of relief for many companies.