How will Artificial Intelligence (AI) impact Identity Access Management in 2024?

AI didn’t come out of nowhere in 2023, but it was certainly a popular tech buzzword and hype cycle. However, unlike past buzzwords, the latest leap forward in AI creates entirely new use cases for many industries — including new cybersecurity threats.

How will AI impact cybersecurity throughout 2024? We saw new use cases emerge throughout last year, and we expect many of them will continue to mature while entirely new utility will likely be discovered. 

Keep reading to learn how we see AI impacting cybersecurity in the new year.


The Emergence of Generative AI

It would’ve been a challenge to miss the rapid advancements in generative AI throughout 2023, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. While some use cases for this new technology may not affect cybersecurity, many will.

Overall, generative AI can process a large amount of data and generate specific request results. For example, if enough examples of a specific person’s voice are available, their voice could be replicated. This possibility has the potential to make social engineering attacks more sophisticated than ever before.

As for enterprises, generative AI can create accurate voice recognition that unlocks new ways to develop UIs. AI can also enable advanced intrusion detection systems (IDS) that are able to detect attacks better.


AI Becomes Your Personal Assistant

Digital personal assistants have been a valuable tool since the early PDAs and human personal assistants have been a cornerstone of many high-level positions for decades. Now, AI can advance digital assistants by leaps and bounds, increasing their utility for consumers and business users alike.

An advanced personal assistant can better manage mundane tasks and provide personalized insights based on comprehensive data analysis, such as conducting thorough financial analysis. An AI assistant can even be empowered to manage credit cards, interact with banks, and even make purchases.

However, there are concerns about the extent of control given to these emerging systems. How much control should they have in your life? Even if we assume an error-free system, an assistant with a high level of access would be a target for bad actors. This high access level creates a greater need for decentralized identity systems as we move forward.


AI Becomes a Serious Threat

AI creates new opportunities for malicious actors to create increasingly sophisticated attacks. In the keynote speech “Identity Under Attack” at Identiverse 2023, Andre Durand emphasized the biggest concern he sees is a new level of social engineering attacks.

Social engineering attacks will benefit from AI-generated voices that can mimic a manager’s voice, emails or texts will be increasingly convincing, and even generated images may help. As Durand puts it, trust itself is under attack.

Now, cybersecurity must evolve to meet these new challenges by exploring methods like decentralized identity stored on local devices, always authenticating, and distrusting by default. As Durand pointed out, AI as a threat will likely precede AI as a cybersecurity tool, but he’s confident the industry can remain adaptable to meet this challenge head-on.


Managing Cybersecurity and Policies with AI

While AI presents new cybersecurity challenges, it can also enable new tools and systems to help defend IT assets. One emerging use case is its ability to create more scalable cybersecurity policies, especially in the context of Identity and Access Management (IAM).

In the past, IAM has focused on protecting the perimeter, like a bouncer at a club. However, legacy methods struggle to monitor people already inside the club. In technical terms, IAM monitoring is challenging once an identity is granted access. 

AI-enabled tools can detect anomalies with better accuracy than existing systems, analyzing patterns to find any suspicious patterns. From there, access can be terminated, or an alert can be sent to a system admin.

One hurdle in effective IAM is creating layers of identity with granular authorization controls. An AI tool could allow developers to define access permissions, and then AI could formulate and enforce new policies. Human oversight would remain critical, but a more intelligent system makes the process more accurate and efficient.


Supercharging Quality Assurance with AI

AI-enabled tools have the potential to increase the efficacy of QA for IAM by generating a large amount of realistic yet synthetic user data for systems testing. 

Identity systems need to have a significant amount of user data, PII, and other information that isn’t always provided to QA environments. Relying on unrealistic user data during QA often affects the results of the tests themselves, which can lead developers to miss defects or bugs until post-deployment. 

More mature IAM systems will often take real user data, anonymize it, and provide it to QA environments. However, AI systems can create an alternative method based on learning from existing data and generating new data entirely detached from real users for testing purposes.


Take Advantage of These Trends by Partnering with Indigo Consulting

Clearly, we’re in the age of AI — what do we do next? Malicious actors are already using these new tools to launch a new level of attacks, so cybersecurity experts must develop and deploy AI-enabled tools to meet this challenge.

Indigo Consulting is an industry leader in IAM, and we’re always exploring the latest AI use cases to enhance IAM security and efficiency. Is it time to establish a future-ready IAM program? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.