AI improves cybersecurity by tens to thousands of times, international cooperation urged: insiders
Published: Jun 05, 2024 09:32 PM
A concept photo of cybersecurity Photo: VCG

A concept photo of cybersecurity Photo: VCG

Artificial intelligence (AI) has improved the ability of cyber protection by tens or even thousands of times, industry insiders said during a cybersecurity conference that kicked off in Beijing on Wednesday. They also stressed that cyberattacks happen globally, and international cooperation is urged.

Security is the premise of development, and development is the guarantee of security. The theme of this year's conference - "AI-driven security" - is of great forward-looking and practical significance, participants said during the opening ceremony of the 2024 Beijing Cyber Security Conference (BCS 2024), which kicked off on Wednesday.

"With the development of AI technologies, hackers can use them to generate cyberattacks and phishing tools. Cybersecurity has gradually evolved from person-to-person and man-machine confrontation to AI-based offensive and defensive confrontation," Wang Yingkang, an official at the Cyberspace Administration of China, said during the opening ceremony. 

The development trend of the cybersecurity industry is clear: Those who get AI get safety. To solve the contradiction between limited security resources and the pursuit of 100 percent security, it is necessary to rely on AI, Qi Xiangdong, chairman of Qi An Xin Technology Group, told the Global Times on the sidelines of the event on Wednesday.

According to statistics from Qi An Xin, which were derived from surveying about 100 enterprises with more than 10,000 employees, about 86 percent of the surveyed enterprises have fewer than 10 cybersecurity operation employees.

Only 1 percent of the enterprises have more than 30 employees involved in cybersecurity operations.

"The application of AI can already cover several stages of cybersecurity protection, and bring an improvement of tens or even thousands of times in cyberspace protection capabilities. But whether AI can truly drive security depends on data, systems and standards," said Qi.

Qi noted that the industry should improve three factors - data, computing power and algorithms - to completely unleash the potential of AI in the cybersecurity sector.

The rapid development of the AI industry has had a huge impact on cybersecurity innovation, and the effect is expected to increase as AI technology penetrates further into more industries, participants said at the BCS 2024.

AI is one of China's new quality productive forces, and the trend of becoming more intelligent is unstoppable in almost every industry, Gong Ke, executive director of the Chinese Institute of New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Strategies, said on Wednesday at the opening ceremony.

"Lack of AI development is the biggest 'insecurity,' and we must develop AI to promote security," Gong noted, calling for the integration of AI and cybersecurity innovation.

Industry insiders also called for international cooperation in the cybersecurity field, as cyberattacks are global, as the world is becoming more and more webified, digitalized and intelligent.

The BCS has been held since 2019, with more than 2,000 politicians, industry leaders and cybersecurity experts from more than 30 countries and regions attending and sharing views.

The 2024 session gathered more than 100 experts from over 10 countries and regions, with about 200 corporate representatives from over 10 industries. They had broad discussions about AI-driven security in data, energy, finance, transportation, manufacturing and other fields.

Beijing, the host city of the BCS, will promote the accumulation of the cybersecurity industry, improve relevant policy planning and build industrial clusters with complementary advantages, You Jing, an official of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology, told reporters on Wednesday on the sidelines of BCS 2024.

"The construction of a national cybersecurity industrial park will be able to drive the development of the cybersecurity industry in Beijing and even the whole country," said You.