NewsFebruary 13, 2017 @ 7:00 AM

When Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and EU Policy Meet

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a game changer for the future of cybersecurity. Security professionals need to mine not only structured information, but also unstructured data, including human-generated content. Artificial intelligence enables IT teams to reason, learn and provide context in real time beyond simple analytics patterns. Armed with this collective insight, security analysts can respond to threats with increased speed, accuracy and confidence.

Starting the Conversation

Like any new technology, AI introduces many concerns related to governance, transparency, human interactions, privacy and security principles. There is much learning ahead for all of us. IBM already started a conversation with policymakers and industry leaders to help shape thoughts and understanding around the new dimensions that AI brings to cybersecurity.

Last week, IBM organized a discussion on AI and cybersecurity for the European policy community in Brussels. In a packed room, I was joined by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), which offered a preview of its new study on the current and evolving market of network and information security products and services. The upcoming report covers sectors such as online banking, wireless telecommunications and online media. The findings show that cybersecurity customers expect the next generation of ‪cybersecurity products to come from AI, according to Dr. Athanasios Drougkas of ENISA.

I then had the privilege to present the keynote address for IBM. I emphasized that at IBM, we are working with AI to augment the human intelligence we apply to our cybersecurity solutions for clients. In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, we need to stay ahead of the game, and AI adds another layer of value.

Applying New EU Regulations to Artificial Intelligence

These exciting developments for AI come as the European Union (EU) introduces new data protection legislation. When it comes to cybersecurity policy framework, we need continued clarity in the implementation of the EU legislation, especially regarding the need to prioritize security incidents and the requirement for consistent incident reporting protocols across Europe. This transparency is critical to the law’s success and the ability of security professionals to realize the full potential of AI.

The session’s full house was one sign that the policy community is eager to learn more about AI and cybersecurity. The pace and breadth of audience questions was another. Questions covered topics such as liability when AI malfunctions, the various approaches to cybersecurity and the risk of cybercriminals using AI. There was also genuine interest in IBM’s recently announced Guiding Principles for AI.

The intersection of AI, cybersecurity and EU policy will only generate increased interest — and debate — for years to come. At IBM, we will continue to encourage EU policymakers to enable an optimal combination of innovation and security.

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Nick Coleman

Global Head Cyber Security Intelligence, IBM

Nick Coleman is a recognized leader in Cyber security. He is Global Head, Cyber Security Intelligence Services at IBM. Previously he was The National Reviewer of Security at the UK Government and Authored the ‘Coleman Report’ published in the UK Houses of Parliament. He is an appointed Advisor to the Executive Director of the EU Security Agency (ENISA). He is an Honorary Professor at Lancaster University's GCHQ Accredited Centre of Teaching and Research Excellence. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a Fellow of the BCS. He holds an MBA with Distinction from Manchester Business School.