Strategic Trends

Cybersecurity in the Age of AI

25 Feb 2024

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IBAN: 978-9948-764-48-9

AED 15

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The unprecedented acceleration of human societies due to artificial intelligence (AI) systems has rendered the process of managing change within them exceedingly complex and challenging. Laws, regulations, and policies are no sooner established than they are overtaken by a new technological advancement that necessitates their reconfiguration. While institutions, in their varied roles, strive to anticipate the future to prepareeffectively for it and develop appropriate plans and strategies, theyfind themselves caught off guard by the rapidity with which the future unfolds, compelling them to grapple with its implications, both positive and negative, in an immediate and ad hoc manner, as if “improvisation” has become one of the tools for dealing with this new reality.

What makes the matter more dangerous is that the world around us has become heavily concentrated around the Internet. All human, social, political, economic, as well as military interactions have become primarily dependent on it. Work and education systems, as well as trade and economic affairs, cannot continue to perform their tasks without the Internet. It has become the backbone of critical infrastructure management for countries, such as surveillance and security systems, power plants, dams, and power stations management systems, selfdriving transportation systems, traffic lights, and even the control of traditional household appliances. All of these things have become essentially dependent on the Internet. 

The main problem is that the Internet infrastructure, which runs all of these smart interactions, is not without vulnerabilities and cybersecurity threats. Although the silicon system and the binary system used in computers and software have proven to be a great success over the past 50 years, this system itself may not be able to be, in its current form, the cornerstone on which technological developments will be based over the next 50 years. It has become necessary to reconsider the working mechanism of this system in order to ensure a stable and secure life against cybersecurity threats.

A security system founded on the premise of zero vulnerabilities and backdoors can never serve as the bedrock of an integrated human life that is fully based on taking advantage of the gains of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: AI systems, IoT, robots, self-driving cars, and autonomous drones. These systems manage all of the daily interactions of humans, and if they are hacked, the losses will be disastrous. Suffice it to say that only one massive cyberattack would be able to return humanity to the Dark Ages. Within a matter of few minutes or hours, the prosperous life with smart luxuriant technology, the expected source of human happiness and prosperity, would turn out a mere pile of electronic devices and torn human bodies stacked on top of one another, as total destruction occurs without firing a single bullet.