Cyber security is a top concern for businesses and IT leaders across all industries. They have a slew of potential threats to deal with, ranging from ransomware and phishing, to advanced threats and cyber espionage. They may soon have something else to worry about: artificial intelligence (AI).

While AI comes with huge potential in terms of increasing productivity, lowering cost, managing routine tasks, and freeing up resources to focus on more important elements of the business, there is also a massive downside.

Threat actors could also employ AI tools to discover new vulnerabilities and design exploits and other attacks, in a fraction of the time it's taking them now.

Like all advancements in technology, AI can be exploited by hackers to carry out attacks on businesses and individuals alike. Cyber criminals often attempt to attack as many people or businesses as they can, and at the same time, remain hidden. AI could be used as an effective tool to help them decide what, who and when to attack.

"AI has a profound impact on our future Internet, and the potential for it to enable digital criminals," says Eleanor Weaver, commercial director of Darktrace, who will be presenting on ‘The future impact of AI in cyber crime', at the ITWeb Security Summit 2018, to be held from 21 to 25 May at Vodacom World in Midrand.

Darktraceis a global machine learning company for cyber defence that uses artificial intelligence systems to identify and respond to in-progress cyber security threats.

During her presentation, Weaver will discuss the complexity of business and protection, and how current defenders are being outpaced, as well as how machine learning and advanced mathematics can be used as tools for handling complexity. She will give real-life examples and applications of attacks, and discuss the inevitable rise of data theft and how best businesses can protect themselves.