Verizon's Novak: Be on the lookout for internal AI security threats

AI largely isn't the looming security threat that the tech and telecom industries imagined, but internal misuse of GenAI tools could pose a problem.

At a Glance

  • What the data shows about AI as a potential threat vector (06:07)
  • Internal misuse of AI could create security breaches (10:02)
  • Organizations need to move quicker to address zero-day vulnerabilities (18:08)

Organizations face myriad threat vectors such as ransomware and DDoS attacks, and AI is now also top-of-mind as a potential security threat. 

Fortunately, AI largely is not yet the looming security threat that the tech and telecom industries imagined. AI could actually be used to protect and remediate threats, says Chris Novak, senior director of Cybersecurity Consulting for Verizon Business, on the podcast.

However, Novak warns that many organizations don't have acceptable use policies for GenAI tools. This means employees could accidentally share confidential information and create a threat from inside the organization.

In addition to AI and security, Novak shares several highlights from Verizon's 17th Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), covering topics such as the threat of zero-day vulnerabilities, the importance of cyber risk quantification and the problem with "breach fatigue."

Click on the caption button for a lightly edited transcript.

About the Author(s)

Kelsey Ziser

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Kelsey is a senior editor at Light Reading, co-host of the Light Reading podcast, and host of the "What's the story?" podcast.

Her interest in the telecom world started with a PR position at Connect2 Communications, which led to a communications role at the FREEDM Systems Center, a smart grid research lab at N.C. State University. There, she orchestrated their webinar program across college campuses and covered research projects such as the center's smart solid-state transformer.

Kelsey enjoys reading four (or 12) books at once, watching movies about space travel, crafting and (hoarding) houseplants.

Kelsey is based in Raleigh, N.C.

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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