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The transformative power of generative AI in cybersecurity

Geert van der Linden
19 Feb 2024

Generative AI represents a transformative force in cybersecurity. It has the potential to revolutionize security practices while simultaneously elevating the capabilities of malicious actors to unprecedented levels. In this era, where technological advancements are moving at lightning speed, chief security officers (CSOs) must prepare for a landscape in flux.

That said, the vast potential of generative AI cannot be overstated, and its ability to enhance cybersecurity is particularly promising. In many ways, it comes as a ray of hope for an industry grappling with a severe shortage of skilled professionals. Recent research by ISC2 shows that up to 71% of security experts say their organization has been impacted by skill shortages – with a deficit of more than 3.4 million professionals. While 43% of those experts report high burnout rates and staff attrition.

At Capgemini, we see four critical perspectives that together provide a comprehensive understanding of generative AI’s role in the imminent future of cybersecurity.

1. Efficiency

One of the most compelling aspects of generative AI in cybersecurity is its capacity to boost efficiency . The power of automation and generative AI algorithms allows for streamlined processes, quicker response times, and the optimization of routine tasks.

Imagine a world where repetitive and time-consuming security operations are handled seamlessly by AI, allowing human experts to focus their energies on strategic and complex challenges. This is the promise of generative AI: a more efficient, cost-effective cybersecurity landscape that maximizes the value of human expertise while minimizing their workload.

2. Enhanced security effectiveness

The second perspective to consider is the potential for generative AI to significantly improve security effectiveness. By harnessing the power of AI, organizations can strengthen their threat detection and remediation efforts. AI-driven algorithms have the ability to analyze massive amounts of data, identify anomalous patterns, combine more sources, and detect hidden patterns as well as breaches in real time.

This heightened vigilance translates into faster response times, improved incident management, and a proactive approach to cybersecurity. At its core, generative AI doesn’t just augment human capabilities, it enhances them, enabling organizations to stay ahead of cyber threats.

3. End-to-end security

Thirdly, in the generative AI era, ensuring end-to-end security goes beyond threat detection and response. It encompasses a holistic approach. Generative AI is an integrated system that addresses critical aspects of cybersecurity. That means that generative AI and its environment need a solid zero-trust approach to avoid unwanted interference with the output of the generative AI function.

Generative AI systems can provide advanced access control mechanisms to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access, and data integrity is maintained through constant monitoring, preventing tampering, and ensuring that data remains reliable.

In this area, trust is paramount. Generative AI implementation has to be transparent and accountable if it is to provide a solid foundation for robust cybersecurity practices.

4. Defense against AI-generated fraud

Finally, we see generative AI not just as a tool, but as a shield against AI-generated fraud, and deep fraud protection. As the use of AI in cybercrime continues to grow, the need for countermeasures becomes more apparent. Deepfakes, identity theft, and AI-driven fraud pose serious threats to individuals and organizations alike.

Generative AI’s ability to detect and combat these threats is critical to protecting the digital landscape. With the ability to detect and mitigate AI-generated fraudulent activity, generative AI can ensure that organizations remain resilient in the face of evolving threats.

Navigating the unknowns

Amid the excitement surrounding the potential benefits of generative AI, it’s important to maintain a balanced perspective. While the allure of increased efficiency and improved security is undeniable, it’s equally important to acknowledge the potential risks that lurk in this rapidly evolving landscape. In this genesis period, the risks lie in the realm of unknown unknowns, underscoring the need for careful and responsible exploration of generative AI’s capabilities.

Take the example of polymorphic malware, which represents an ominous evolution in cyber threats. Unlike traditional malware, polymorphic malware is not only self-aware, but it can also be container-aware and control-aware. This means that in addition to knowing its own structure, it can quickly adapt to its environment and exploit the weakest links in security controls and policies.

This inevitably increases the effectiveness of malware attacks, including ransomware, to unprecedented levels. This challenge can be met with AI, harnessing its power to not only detect but also understand and counter these advanced forms of malware. By dissecting and analyzing polymorphic malware, organizations can gain invaluable insight into attack strategies and ultimately strengthen their security posture.

This new approach, driven by both good and bad actors, is emblematic of the ongoing acceleration of the cybersecurity arms race and so it’s natural to approach AI with a degree of caution and responsibility. Ultimately, the balancing act needs to be done thoughtfully, as hasty implementation can leave gaps and lead to accidents.

The imperative for partnerships

Generative AI is not an off-the-shelf solution; it demands collaboration and guidance from a strategic partner. At Capgemini, our unique combination of cybersecurity knowledge and AI expertise positions us as a reliable partner. We are not in the business of selling AI-in-a-box. Instead, we focus on the strategy, opportunities, and potential risk implications of implementing generative AI in organizations.

The importance of collaboration cannot be overstated. The complexity of generative AI requires a holistic approach that goes beyond selling technology to building trust and ensuring that the technology aligns with an organization’s strategic goals.

We stand on the brink of a remarkable journey, and Capgemini is committed to guiding our clients through the complexities and challenges that lie ahead. The future of cybersecurity is being shaped by generative AI, and we are excited to be at the forefront, working hand-in-hand with our clients, combining the power of AI with human expertise to ensure a secure and prosperous digital future.

Contact Capgemini to understand how we are uniquely positioned to help you structure cybersecurity strength from the ground up. 


Geert van der Linden

EVP and Head of Global Cybersecurity Services & CISO, Cloud Infrastructure Services (CIS GBL), Capgemini