21 February 2024

Cyber Security in the AI Realm: Navigating Digital Security Challenges

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Cyber Security in the AI Realm: Navigating Digital Security Challenges
Mark LillicrappWritten ByMark Lillicrapp

As Propeller's Technical Director, Mark is responsible for developing digital policy and strategy, implementing infrastructure and leveraging technology to help Propeller and its amazing clients achieve their goals.

As technology evolves, so do cyber threats. The need for cutting-edge website security solutions is more pressing than ever. 

While AI presents an opportunity for cyber criminals to form new tactics, it also presents business leaders the opportunity to radically improve their security systems with the same technology that is being used to attack them.

Understanding AI in website security

AI is making an impact on every industry – and website security is no exception. A recent research report estimated the global market for AI-based cybersecurity products was about $15 billion in 2021 and will surge to roughly $135 billion by 2030.

Cybersecurity organisations are growing reliant on AI in conjunction with more traditional tools such as antivirus protection, data-loss prevention, fraud detection and other core security areas. 

The Potential of AI in Website Security

Due to the nature of AI, which can analyse enormous sets of data and find patterns, AI is uniquely suited to tasks such as:

Proactive Defense

AI possesses the capacity to draw inferences, discern patterns and execute preemptive measures on behalf of users, enhancing our capacity to fortify against online threats. By automating incident responses, AI streamlines threat detection and analysis of vast datasets.

Real-Time Cyber Monitoring

Cybersecurity tools empowered by AI are crafted to pinpoint and counteract attacks in real time, optimising the incident response process. Moreover, they aid human security professionals in identifying emergent threats and patterns, facilitating preemptive measures.

False Positive Detection

AI aids in identifying false positives, a prevalent challenge for human analysts. This not only alleviates the workload of human analysts but also enhances the accuracy and efficiency of threat detection and analysis.

Access Control

AI bolsters access control mechanisms by employing machine learning algorithms to detect deviating behavioural patterns and flag suspicious login attempts. This facilitates the swift identification of potential security breaches. Additionally, AI-driven solutions enhance password management by automatically identifying weak passwords and prompting users to opt for stronger alternatives.

Finding Insider Threats

AI serves as a wall against insider threats. By scrutinising user behaviour, AI-driven solutions can pinpoint employees engaging in malicious activities, thereby averting data and security breaches.

How Cyber Criminals are Using AI

New technology inevitably meant new methods for cyber criminals to operate. Cybercrime is booming, with 3 in 4 security professionals saying their organisation’s cyber risk has increased due to geopolitics, AI and remote work.

Here are a few of the ways AI is being leveraged to launch cyber attacks:

Password cracking

Password cracking involves using programs to attempt various combinations of common passwords or dictionary words until a password is successfully cracked, known as a brute force attack.

Recent findings highlight the ease with which AI can crack commonly-used passwords. Using an AI-powered tool called PassGAN, the report tested over 15 million frequently-used passwords, revealing that 51% can be cracked within a minute, 65% within an hour, 71% within a day, and 81% within a month.

AI-generated phishing emails

Cybercriminals just got an easy way to create content for their phishing emails. Just as content creators utilise Chat GPT to write articles and captions, cybercriminals have had their work simplified. 

Phishing, a social engineering attack, aims to deceive victims into revealing sensitive information. Traditionally, phishing emails were easy to identify due to frequent grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. However, AI now enables cybercriminals to craft convincing phishing content by mimicking the tone, language, and style of legitimate emails.

By leveraging AI, cybercriminals can personalise emails based on internet data or provided information, making the scams more believable and challenging to detect.


AI impersonation has become increasingly common when cybercriminals are carrying out vishing scams. Through synthesis techniques, AI can even mimic voices from audio and video recordings, making it challenging for targets to discern the authenticity of the caller.


We’ve all seen that Black Mirror episode. Deepfakes, created using AI, manipulate images or videos to depict individuals falsely. As technology advances, deepfakes have become increasingly difficult to detect, even by law enforcement.

These malicious alterations are often used to spread false information, posing significant challenges in discerning authentic media from manipulated content.

In summary...

AI harbours both potential dangers and benefits for website security. While it is crucial to be vigilant against the weaponised use of AI, it is equally important to recognise the potential of AI to improve website security and benefit society as a whole.

Cyber security must be a priority for all companies that hold information about their customer base. AI-driven safeguarding initiatives protect sensitive data and maintain trust in an increasingly digital world.

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