Can Artificial Intelligence Beat a Human Hacker?

Author:Wilkins, Jonathan
Position:DATABASE AND NETWORK INTELLIGENCE: SECURITY
 
FREE EXCERPT

Please type the words you see in the image. At some point we have all completed a captcha to prove we are human when online. So, when a robot successfully completed the test, we were left asking, are our computers secure? Here, Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director at obsolete parts supplier, EU Automation, explains how machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) impacts cyber security.

A captcha, or Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, is designed based on the Turing test. Alan Turing, the founder of modern computing, built a machine that was capable of mimicking human speech in letters, so that outsiders could not distinguish between human and robotic conversations. This machine inspired the field of artificial intelligence, bringing with it security tests to distinguish between humans and machines.

Technology is advancing rapidly, meaning that computers can now solve problems that could only be solved with human intuition traditionally.

But, what does a robot beating a captcha have to do with cyber security in manufacturing facilities?

Digitalisation

As manufacturing becomes more digitalised, connected machines collect real-time data that is vital in keeping facilities running at optimum capacity. As more machines become connected, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), they also become more vulnerable to viruses that can be introduced to the system.

Hacking

The growing use of AI in industry means that manufacturers must do more to secure information. However, manufacturers can look to similar AI technology for help. If it can hack a system by pretending to be human, could it successfully block a similar threat from a human hacker?

Industrial viruses are traditionally introduced from an external source, such as a USB or incoming data file. Both machines and humans...

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