Corporate races are not driven by a concern for safety and security.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

August 10, 2023

8 Slides

BLACK HAT USA — The opening keynote Wednesday at Black Hat USA focused on the AI and ChatGPT race among tech giants, and what the future of AI could mean for the cybersecurity community.

Maria Markstedter is founder of Azeria Labs, which provides training courses on ARM exploit development, reverse engineering and vulnerability research. This is the largest-ever Black Hat USA with attendees representing more than 120 countries.

Jeff Moss, Black Hat’s founder and CEO, told attendees AI is essentially prediction, and it’s getting cheaper and cheaper to do predictions.

“Turn all of our problems into prediction problems,” he said. “The more you can turn your IT problems into prediction problems, the sooner you’ll get the benefit from AI.”

Smart cars are predicting where to go, when to brake and when more fuel is required, and that’s based on models of what people have done, Moss said.

In addition, unlike the dawn of the internet, governments are trying to get ahead of AI via regulation, he said.

“We’ve never really seen governments get ahead of things, so we have a chance to participate in rule making,” Moss said.

In addition, there should be more emphasis on opportunities for business to help steer the future, he said.

Black Hat USA Keynote Highlights Key Realities of AI and Cybersecurity

During her Black Hat USA keynote, Markstedter said AI systems and their use cases are evolving and capabilities are becoming more powerful.

“Second, we need to take the possibility of autonomous AI agents becoming a reality within our enterprises seriously,” she said. “And we need to rethink our concepts of identity access management of true autonomous assistants having access to our data and apps, which also means that we need to rethink our concepts around data security.”

AI models today are “more like a troubled teenager,” Markstedter said.

“It lies, it makes stuff up, conspires and is completely unpredictable, yet people trust it. So thankfully it is now in the safe hands of big tech companies racing against time to compete for market penetration,” she joked.

That comment got a big laugh from the audience. Microsoft is leading the race in generative AI and ChatGPT, rushing to add ChatGPT to all of its products, Markstedter said.

“This race comes as no surprise because whenever the world is shifting toward a new type of technology, corporations are racing to dominate the market,” she said. “And corporate races are not driven by a concern for safety and security. As we all know, security slows it down.”

The Cybersecurity Community’s Task

The cybersecurity community’s purpose is to focus on the technological changes from a security standpoint, Markstedter said.

“So our job is to understand the technology that is changing our systems and as a result, our threats,” she said. “We need to find creative ways to break it.”

Current threat models will turn upside down in the next few years, Markstedter said.

“And if you’re not thinking about the emerging risks of these models deployed within your enterprise, or within the products and services that you’re responsible for, you are doing it wrong,” she said.

Any problems or challenges for which the cybersecurity community doesn’t have solutions, there’s a lot of money in creating those, Markstedter said.

Scroll through our slideshow above for more from Black Hat USA. (Black Hat USA is part of Informa Tech, Channel Futures’ parent company.)

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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