Embracing AI amid cyber security fears – FE News

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Manny Athwal, founder of School of Coding & AI and School of Cyber Security, gives his expert opinion on the threats and opportunities artificial intelligence (AI) presents to cyber security and how he is helping kids prepare for the age of AI.

Businesses and organisations must stay ahead of the game when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI) in order to maintain effective cyber security. Embracing AI is no longer an option, but a necessity in order to thrive and succeed safely in the digital age. AI is all around us and impacts everything from our search results when we’re online to the way we shop.

The potential hazards and benefits of it for businesses, organisations and society in general are enormous, and it’s crucial to have a solid grasp of both. People must read up on and embrace the most recent developments in AI and automation so they can foresee how they will affect their line of work. This will put them in a better position to anticipate changes and prepare for them.

A growing threat

This week, the head of the UK’s cyber security agency, Lindy Cameron, has warned Britons must “strengthen their defences” against the growing threat posed by ransomware developed or enhanced using AI. It comes as a new report from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has found that AI is lowering the barrier of entry to novice cyber criminals and it has warned new technology will almost certainly increase the volume and impact of cyber attacks in the near future. The NCSC has previously identified ransomware as the biggest cyber threat facing the UK. It said analysis from the National Crime Agency (NCA) suggested that cyber criminals had already started to develop criminal versions of generative AI models, making better hacking tools available to anyone willing to pay.

Cyber threats have evolved significantly over the years. In the early days of the internet, they were relatively simple and unsophisticated. However, as technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, so do the threats to our online security and the methods used by cybercriminals. Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and complex, making it increasingly difficult to stay protected.

Benefits vs risk

In terms of benefits, AI has the ability to detect, analyse and respond to security threats faster than traditional security tools. But AI can also be used by hackers to create more sophisticated attacks and avoid being discovered by AI-based security systems. It can also be costly to implement AI-powered security systems and there is currently a severe lack of experts in cybersecurity who possess the knowledge and expertise needed to use AI. Businesses and organisations must carefully assess the benefits of AI in cybersecurity against the associated costs and risks.

Protecting oneself from cyber threats requires a combination of education, awareness and technology. Updating software, using strong passwords, being careful of what you click on, using two-factor authentication, and anti-virus software are some practical tips to safeguard your online security. It’s essential to stay informed about the latest cyber threats and follow best practices to prevent falling victim to a cyber-attack.

Preparing the next generation for the age of AI

Here at School of Coding, we teach over 5,000 students each month, working with major universities and over 150 schools and colleges across the UK. Along with our state-of-the-art E-Learning platform, we also operate education centres where students go to learn coding and digital skills using innovative virtual reality and augmented reality tools as well as practical applications.

I believe now is the time to prepare for the age of AI by investing in education and training. Coding powers our entire digital world from our smartphones to our cars. Our children are living in a generation that has never known a world without tech and for that reason, I believe that just as we teach them lifelong skills like how to read, write or do basic maths, we should be teaching them how the devices and the programmes that they use on a daily basis actually work.

By Manny Athwal, founder of School of Coding & AI and School of Cyber Security

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