The rapid development of AI can strengthen cybersecurity defences, according to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. 

Pichai made the comments at the Munich Security Conference, explaining that AI can help strengthen IT professionals’ defences against bad actors. 

However, Pichai also stated that he understood that AI can pose a cybersecurity threat, especially the use of generative AI to create written phishing emails or fake voice robocalls. The US recently made robocalls illegal following a series of calls where generative AI was used to imitate the voice of current US President Joe Biden. 

“We are right to be worried about the impact on cybersecurity. But AI, I think actually, counterintuitively, strengthens our defence on cybersecurity,” stated Pichai. 

“AI disproportionately helps the people defending because you’re getting a tool which can impact it at scale versus the people who are trying to exploit. So, in some ways, we are winning the race,” he said.

Google recently launched an AI Cyber Defence Initiative last week to safely incorporate AI into the hands of security defenders rather than bad actors. 

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A Google blog post, noted that AI marked an inflection point for the state of cybersecurity. “At a moment when malicious actors are experimenting with AI, we need bold and timely action to shape the direction of this technology,” Google’s blog post read. 

The blog post explained that AI could reverse the ‘Defender’s Dilemma’. 

This dilemma refers to the necessity for cybersecurity defenders to constantly deploy security measures with no room for error. 

“AI allows security professionals and defenders to scale their work in threat detection, malware analysis, vulnerability detection, vulnerability fixing and incident response,” reads Google’s blog post, explaining that the scale on which AI works can help manage cybersecurity defender’s time and efforts. 

In this blog post Google also announced that it was open sourcing its AI malware detection software Magika to help foster a safer online ecosystem.