Is the latest MGM Resorts attack a harbinger for the future of cybersecurity in the age of artificial intelligence (AI)? Disruption to MGM Resorts’ Slot Machine operations and electronic guest room access were the systems most visible to customers that were adversely affected. These events all highlighted how vulnerable information systems can be and the devastating impact that can result from those vulnerabilities.
Companies are striving to create seamless operations across their diverse information and manufacturing systems and while each system may have strong cybersecurity protocols in place, the interface boundaries of these systems may have significant cracks for cybercriminals to exploit.
AI has the capability to look at millions of scenarios for disparate types of data and expose these vulnerabilities. These compute hungry AI algorithms need massive processing and they get it, fueled by the availability of cloud computing. This enables them to explore and expose vulnerabilities in the most advanced systems.
Data breaches are typically conducted covertly with the goal of going undetected for as long as possible. This latest brazen attack declares that it is not just the liability of exposing customers’ private information that is at risk. These sophisticated attacks can infiltrate and feast on the most advanced information systems and impact operations that could paralyze a company. This tells us that in the future, customer trust in a brand may not the only casualty of the cyberwar. Human safety and security of our public critical infrastructure need to learn from MGM Resorts painful experience.
Companies are working hard to keep up by using the latest safeguards and are investing millions of dollars in protecting their information systems. Customers expect large companies to have the best most secure protections, but if the latest attacks were enabled through utilizing AI as a weapon, what does that mean for the small businesses and our educational institutions?
Hopefully, this latest attack will highlight that companies and institutions need to band together to share the knowledge and details of the attacks, so others can plug holes in their own systems to prevent similar attacks.
AI is a powerful tool that can truly benefit humanity, but it is still in its infancy. For AI to flourish for good, many more ethical guardians are needed to develop and train it. Furthermore, we need to be willing to share the things that go wrong so we can collectively learn to make it right.