AI predicted to boost global ransomware threat – NCSC | #ransomware | #cybercrime

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued a warning about a projected increase in global ransomware threat due to artificial intelligence (AI) in the next two years. It is noted that the use of artificial intelligence in malicious cyber activity is only anticipated to heighten the volume and impact of cyber attacks. The findings were detailed in the NCSC’s latest assessment of AI’s effect on cyber threats.

What’s causing the alarm? According to the NCSC, artificial intelligence lowers the entry barriers for inexperienced cybercriminals, hackers-for-hire, and hacktivists, allowing less skilled threat actors to carry out more efficient access and information-gathering operations. Coupled with AI’s ability to enhance victim targeting, this is expected to exponentially amplify the global ransomware threat over the next two years. Currently, ransomware is the principal cyber threat facing organisations and businesses in the United Kingdom.

The impact of this growing threat has led cybercriminals to adapt their business strategies for improved efficiency and profit maximisation. To counter this elevated risk, the UK Government has pledged £2.6 billion through its Cyber Security Strategy to bolster the country’s resilience. Both the NCSC and private sector have begun employing AI solutions to increase cybersecurity resilience, with a focus on advanced threat detection and security-by-design.

Cyber expert Suid Adeyanju, Chief Executive Officer of Riversafe, said “Cybercriminals are persistently exploiting ransomware and powered by AI advancements these attacks pose a detrimental risk to businesses that aren’t sufficiently prepared. In response to escalating attacks, organisations should increase their threat intelligence while adopting a comprehensive strategy that blends advanced technologies and heightened observability.” He also emphasised the need for thorough training programmes for all staff on the hazards posed by cyber threats and advocated for securing data and mitigating risks as top priorities for businesses.

The issue of AI and security was also addressed at the AI Safety Summit hosted in the UK in November at Bletchley Park. Here, The Bletchley Declaration was endorsed, announcing a groundbreaking global initiative to mitigate the risks associated with cutting-edge AI and promote its secure and responsible advancement.”

The UK’s seriousness in dealing with these threats can be seen in its investment in the AI sector, which currently employs 50,000 individuals and contributes £3.7 billion to the economy. It is indicative of the government’s commitment to align with technology in fostering the evolution of the national economy and job market, according to the Prime Minister’s five key priorities.

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