Securely adopt AI for your growing business

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the business world, creating virtually limitless opportunities for growing companies to be more innovative, efficient and customer focused. By using AI to automate and streamline functions like customer service, marketing, accounting and human resources you can boost productivity, quality and customer experience. And that can lead to happier, more loyal customers and increased revenue.

Before jumping head-first into AI, though, it’s important to consider cybersecurity risks associated with AI-powered systems and have a strategy for managing your business’ security posture.

The Risks of Deploying Artificial Intelligence Tools

Although AI tools can offer many advantages, they also pose potential risks. Security incidents can occur due to malfunctioning systems or components caused by multiple factors, such as:

  • Disruptions, downtime and data breaches may occur because of network issues or cyberattacks that cause breakdowns, outages or degradation of AI systems. This can potentially jeopardize the confidentiality, data integrity or availability of information.
  • Flaws in processes can introduce errors, inefficiencies or biases that may affect the reliability or performance of AI systems or their components.
  • Flaws in policies can compromise the quality, accuracy or trustworthiness of AI systems or their outputs.

For growth-oriented businesses, it’s critical to think about security when adopting AI tools to ensure everything runs smoothly—specifically, how AI is making it easier for hackers to launch several types of disruptive and costly cyberthreats.

Bad Actors Are Using Artificial Intelligence, Too

Cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated with the increasing use of AI. This technology allows bad actors to launch complex attacks with fewer technical skills and resources, and concerns among IT decision-makers and organization leaders grow as cybercriminals adopt this technology in greater numbers. A recent poll conducted by KPMG on generative AI and cybersecurity found that 9 in 10 Canadian CEOs worried that the emergence of generative AI will make them even more vulnerable to breaches.

One of the most common types of AI-powered cyberattacks is spear-phishing. Attackers use this tactic to create highly convincing phishing messages that imitate the style and tone of legitimate senders to deceive people into revealing sensitive information. Deepfakes also use AI-generated synthetic media such as images, videos or audio to create believable but false representations of people, events or information. Lastly, data poisoning is an attack where attackers corrupt training or operational data with malicious data to mislead or sabotage the system and compromise its performance.

The Q4 2023 Lumen Quarterly DDoS & Application Threat Report highlights cases of how bad actors are using AI to increase security risks by:

  • Hiding from defenders by making their attack sources more difficult to trace
  • Automating tasks and anticipating defensive strategies
  • Quickly and easily writing malware, ransomware and phishing emails

Given this rapid evolution of the threat landscape, you need advanced threat intelligence, 24/7 visibility into your network and security tools tailored to your operations and needs to effectively protect your data and applications.

Moving to a Secured Adoption

More than a technical challenge, securing AI systems is a strategic and organizational one. Expanding businesses need to adopt a holistic and proactive approach to security that covers the entire lifecycle and ecosystem of AI systems. Best practices for securely adopting AI include:

  • Integrating security measures and controls into the design and development of AI systems rather than adding them as an afterthought. Apply data protection, encryption, authentication and authorization, conducting security testing and auditing throughout the process.
  • Assessing the potential threats and vulnerabilities of AI systems and how they may affect business goals and operations. Perform frequent and thorough reviews of the AI systems’ data, models and outputs along with internal or external factors that could influence their security.
  • Tracking and measuring AI system performance and behavior and detecting and responding to anomalies or incidents. Collect and analyze data and metrics from various sources, such as logs, sensors and feedback, and use alerts and notifications to inform the relevant stakeholders.

By adopting these practices, growth-oriented organizations can confidently embrace AI while safeguarding against potential pitfalls.

To effectively protect your data and applications, you need advanced threat intelligence, 24/7 visibility into your network and security tools tailored to your operations

Encouraging AI Cybersecurity Awareness and Collaboration 

As you approach the final stages of developing, deploying and using AI systems, it’s important to foster a culture of security awareness and collaboration among everyone involved. Achieving this culture involves implementing measures such as:

  • Training and education: Provide regular training and education programs for stakeholders to raise their awareness and knowledge of the security risks and best practices associated with AI systems. These programs should cover topics such as data privacy, ethical use and incident reporting, and provide practical exercises and simulations to test and improve stakeholders’ skills and behaviors.
  • Governance and accountability: Define and enforce stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities, as well as the policies and standards for the security of AI systems. Governance and accountability structures should include frameworks like codes of conduct, guidelines and regulations, plus mechanisms such as audits, reviews and certifications.

While encouraging AI cybersecurity awareness and collaboration within your organization is crucial, partnering with a trusted and experienced technology provider can further enhance your security posture.

Partner With Lumen for Secure AI Adoption and Business Growth

AI brings many benefits to businesses, along with challenges and risks. As your business grows and adopts AI systems, malicious actors pose increasing threats that can damage and disrupt your operations. And Lumen is here to help.

As your single partner for all your technology needs, we enable digital transformation, support secure AI adoption and accelerate business expansion. Our extensive and deeply peered global network, advanced threat intelligence from Black Lotus Labs and experienced security experts provide the protection and guidance you need. With security and compliance at the heart of our capabilities, Lumen empowers your organization to focus on growth and achieve strategic goals.

Learn more about how we can help your business leverage new technologies for business growth.



This content is provided for informational purposes only and may require additional research and substantiation by the end user. In addition, the information is provided “as is” without any warranty or condition of any kind, either express or implied. Use of this information is at the end user’s own risk. Lumen does not warrant that the information will meet the end user’s requirements or that the implementation or usage of this information will result in the desired outcome of the end user. All third-party company and product or service names referenced in this article are for identification purposes only and do not imply endorsement or affiliation with Lumen.

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