CES: AI at the Forefront of Cybersecurity’s Future
Matthew TaylorMatthew Taylor

CES: AI at the Forefront of Cybersecurity’s Future

Examining the Increased Use of Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

By Matthew Taylor, Vice President of Projects and Engineering, MxD

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the world’s largest consumer technology trade show, acting as a global stage for technology giants and industry leaders to convene and showcase their latest innovations and ideas. Many manufacturing companies attended CES to learn about the emerging technological trends impacting the business world. From artificial intelligence (AI), to cybersecurity, this year’s CES examined how digital technology integrations are reshaping the future of manufacturing, a trend that MxD has been at the forefront of for years.

AI’s ability to learn, adapt, and predict behavior makes it an indispensable tool in the ongoing cyber battle, resulting in its emergence as a leading discussion topic at CES. As the manufacturing sector has surpassed all industries as the most targeted sector for cyber-attacks, the potential of AI to bolster manufacturers’ cyber defense capabilities has taken on both greater urgency and greater potential. Already, cybersecurity experts use AI to identify and guard against vulnerabilities online. We expect this trend to continue, with AI playing a pivotal role in safeguarding against cyber-attacks by predicting threats, conducting behavioral analysis to best monitor and detect unusual activity and adapting threat intelligence with countermeasures.

As companies embrace digital innovations, AI remains a key ally in protecting sensitive data. Manufacturers must fortify their defenses against data breaches, ransomware and supply chain vulnerabilities. IBM reported that, in 2021, the manufacturing industry replaced the financial services sector as the industry with the most cyber-attacks. Robust cybersecurity measures are essential to maintain trust, safeguard intellectual property and ensure uninterrupted operations.

However, despite its promise, several CES panelists warned that AI also poses threats around cyber-attacks. Though AI can be an invaluable tool in protecting a company’s confidential data, in the wrong hands, it can also be used to create deepfake attacks, which have become more prevalent. Because of this, there is a need to upskill the current workforce to not only recognize these attacks, but to also know how to respond to them.

But meeting this need will be difficult: many small or medium-sized manufacturers do not have a dedicated IT team, or someone in the chief security or technology officer position, in addition to other unfilled positions. In fact, more than 80% of manufacturing companies are experiencing a labor shortage, according to the Women in Manufacturing Association. What’s more, the World Economic Forum reports that more than half of all employees will need to be upskilled or reskilled by next year to prepare for the anticipated increase in automation and AI.

Beyond AI, CES also highlighted how important digital modernization is for the supply chain, evaluating how new technologies play a pivotal role in enhancing supply chain logistics and impacting how goods move from manufacturers to consumers. CES recognized the importance of resilient supply chains and showcased technology, such as AI integration, that will help companies become more cyber prepared.

This conference underscored the urgency of embracing digital transformation in manufacturing. Many digital tools are no longer optional; they are vital for companies to survive and grow. As facilities become smarter, more connected, and more data-driven, manufacturers need employees who are trained to use the technology. CES showed the need for robust supply chain solutions, emphasizing both security and agility in an ever-evolving technological landscape.

About the Author

CES: AI at the Forefront of Cybersecurity’s FutureMatthew Taylor is the Vice President, Projects and Engineering of MxD. He leads the Institute’s Projects and Engineering team, which includes the Project Management Office (PMO), Cybersecurity and IT, Workforce Development, and Engineering. He also works closely with teams across MxD and its industry partners to ensure the MxD Future Factory floor delivers maximum value for members, as we collectively work to demystify new technologies and apply them to strengthen America’s manufacturers and supply chains.

Prior to joining MxD in October of 2022, his background spanned the semiconductor industry, as well as aerospace and defense – gaining hands-on experience across the entire product lifecycle. At Teradyne, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and ManTech International, he demonstrated a track record of success as a technical fellow, manager, and architect in several functions including digital engineering, project management, functional management, strategy, innovation management, and supply chain. Matthew holds a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Tufts University, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Matthew can be reached online at LinkedIn and at our company website https://www.mxdusa.org/.

June 5, 2024

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