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Video interview with Frank Rieger, Speaker of Chaos Computer Club

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How secure are our networks?

Frank Rieger: At the moment, not particularly secure. Sad to say, we're basically building our digital infrastructures on quicksand. In other words, the current status of IT security is such that we can't afford to simply carry on without being concerned about this issue.

What advice could you give businesses and governments that could help them improve cyber security?

Frank Rieger: I would advise governments to invest much more heavily in defenses, and to not rely so strongly on offensive capabilities. And I would advise businesses to think about their cyber security in terms of scenarios in which they bear full liability for security-related problems. At the moment, businesses don't have such liability, but they will have it, in all likelihood, at some point in the future.

Could artificial intelligence be of use to businesses in this area?

Frank Rieger: To some extent, perhaps. It can help them detect problems, including problems that are just developing. But I don't think artificial intelligence can be a universal answer, like some magic dust that you sprinkle on things to make them completely ok.

What potential do you see for artificial intelligence in this connection?

Frank Rieger: It definitively has a potential in terms of monitoring network health, i.e. in helping us to detect network failures, along with situations in which users are beginning to complain. Situations such as the router failures that Deutsche Telekom customers experienced, for example. Machine learning can certainly be of some use in helping us to recognize such situations. But we shouldn't be relying too much on AI for detecting direct attacks, because such strategies pit artificial intelligence against human intelligence. And I think it's going to take a while before artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence in such tasks.

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