GenAI revolutionizes cybersecurity and reshapes the CISO duties entirely.

December 14, 2023
1 min read
  • The emergent technology of Generative AI is creating a new landscape of cybersecurity threats and tools.
  • This rapid change is altering the role of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), who now is required to understand and contend with these new AI-enabled attacks, build new defense tools, manage policy and compliance, and innovate quickly.
  • The growing pressures could potentially split the CISO role into two – operational and governance-oriented tasks.
  • Generative AI is enhancing the ability of hackers to conduct persuasive phishing attacks and quickly generate vector attacks.
  • This has led to a rise in malicious actors selling hacker-targeted chatbots in the dark web.
  • Generative AI technology is also creating tools to cope with these new threats, although this is an ongoing development.

As discussed at Fortune’s Brainstorm AI conference in San Francisco, Generative AI is contributing to the defending side as well as the attacker, thus altering the role of the CISO. Subha Tatavarti, Chief Technology Officer at Wipro Limited emphasized the importance of innovation within the CISO role. Tatavarti joined other leaders in discussing the evolving cybersecurity landscape due to AI. While AI brings new cybersecurity threats, it also offers invaluable tools for defense.

One apparent effect of this rapid change is the transformation of the CISO role. CISOs nowadays need to not only understand emerging generative AI-enabled attacks and develop new defense tools, but also manage fast-paced changes relating to internal usage of these tools, policy, and compliance.

Rodrigo Madanes, Global AI Innovation Leader at EY, pointed out the added responsibility CISOs face in protecting against injection attacks on conversational interfaces being deployed. He also noted the need for different skill sets and tools, many of which aren’t developed yet or are homegrown.

Generative AI is making phishing attacks more persuasive and is creating a new breed of malicious actors selling hacker-targeted chatbots. Companies are now rushing to build commercial solutions to these impending threats. Despite the complexity of the emerging threats, professionals advocate for multiple lines of defense and caution not to rely on a single system or product.

A participant in the conference, Ross Camp from data security and protection firm Commvault, also touched on the growing risks and personal criminal liability faced by CISOs. Legal analysts predict this trend of personal liability for CISOs is likely to become more common in light of recent charges on former SolarWinds CISO, Timothy Brown, by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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