AI Cybersecurity

Aramco and AI: Building a cybersecurity domain

How do Al-related attacks differ from conventional? How do we address them?

Aramco and AI: Building a cybersecurity domain

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming various aspects of our lives at an unprecedented pace. Companies across the globe are identifying applications and use cases, and technology giants are competing to commercialize AI-powered solutions. 


As the technology becomes more advanced, it’s imperative to protect against cybersecurity attacks. 


About the author, about technology
Lead cybersecurity analyst Eidan K. Aleidan explains how Digital and Information Technology (D&IT) is collaborating with business and academia, empowering Aramco to safely and effectively integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.


AI-related cybersecurity breaches may differ from “conventional” cybersecurity breaches. One example of an AI-related threat is an “adversarial attack,” which involves providing tailored data that can mislead an AI system’s decision-making process. Securing AI models against such attacks is crucial to preserving their integrity. 


D&IT senior vice president Nabil A. Al Nuaim said: “AI is enabling our business to achieve remarkable benefits, unleashing unparalleled possibilities for growth, efficiency, and innovation. Simultaneously, we acknowledge the perils of compromising AI and the severe implications it could entail. We will persist in adopting and developing the most advanced cybersecurity technologies for AI.” 


Information Protection Department director, Omar Y. Al Thukair, said, “Securing our AI systems is a vital strategic priority that can enhance our business performance and future prospects. 


As AI becomes more pervasive in various domains of our operations, we must be aware of the possible threats associated with AI and the demand for rigorous cybersecurity protection. Securing AI is not only about defending our data and systems from cyberattacks; it also involves preserving our reputation, and competitive edge.
— Omar Y. Thukair


SecureAI and the AI protection team

Accordingly, D&IT has established the SecureAI task force, a dedicated team of experts responsible for developing a robust AI cybersecurity domain. This domain will serve as the foundation for adopting and developing AI solutions and technologies.


The SecureAI task force has given rise to the AI protection team, a specialized group that conducts security assessments related to Aramco’s AI solutions and technologies. The team leverages the power of AI, machine learning, and intelligence to recognize patterns in data and respond to threats almost immediately. 


Sultan S. Al Sharif, Vulnerability Management manager, stressed the crucial role of cybersecurity operations in enabling secure business opportunities. 


By establishing state-of-the-art AI cybersecurity capabilities, Aramco can leverage the benefits of in-house AI models and systems,” he said. “D&IT will take the lead in protecting these systems.
— Sultan S. Al Sharif


Aramco’s AI cybersecurity domain will unify the cybersecurity requirements for implementing AI safely. The domain is composed of two main components: AI infrastructure security, which protects the hardware, software, and networks to support AI applications; and AI cybersecurity assessment solutions and technologies, which evaluate the security risks and vulnerabilities of AI solutions and technologies.


Microsoft and more

D&IT has established engagement channels with diverse and leading AI proponents — including the likes of Microsoft, IBM, and ORACLE — to build Aramco’s AI cybersecurity domain. 


Another important collaborator is academia. We have engaged with three of the Kingdom’s universities: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, and Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University. 


Partnerships with both academia and business help to foster innovation and creativity. Additionally, the collaboration will promote AI security among students across adamic disciplines, helping to prepare the next generation of talented experts. 


Caption for top photo: Nabil A. Al Nuaim, Omar Y. Al Thukair, and Sultan S. Al Sharif.


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