NSA Opens New “AI Security Center”

The National Security Agency (NSA) will launch a new artificial intelligence security center to protect U.S. AI systems and defend against external threats.

AI Security Center Opening Soon

Army Gen. Paul Nakasone said the center would be incorporated into the NSA’s Cybersecurity Collaboration Center, where it works with private industry and international partners to harden the U.S. defense-industrial base against threats from adversaries led by China and Russia.

“The AI Security Center will work closely with U.S. Industry, national labs, academia across the [intelligence community] and Department of Defense and select foreign partners,” Nakasone said during a discussion hosted by the National Press Club in Washington.

“We maintain an advantage in AI in the United States today. That AI advantage should not be taken for granted,” Nakasone said at the National Press Club, emphasizing the threat from Beijing.

The AI Security Center will become the focal point for developing best practices, evaluation methodology, and risk frameworks to promote the secure adoption of new AI capabilities across the national security enterprise and the defense industrial base.  

“The most obscure details can complete an intelligence estimate and that requires intelligence analysts who can comb through every piece of information, recognize a [pattern] and turn that data into information — and ultimately a finished analysis,” Alexander said. “AI and machine learning can take on the role of literally 1000s of lower-level analysts. It works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and the sheer amount of data collected allows for whole new methods of analysis.”

China has, in recent months, stepped up cyber operations focused on U.S. and allied institutions that may include pre-positioning malware designed to disrupt military communications, cybersecurity researchers say.

On Wednesday, the U.S. and Japan issued an alert saying Chinese hackers were targeting government, industrial, telecommunications and other entities that support their militaries.

Nakasone is to be succeeded as dual leader of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command by Air Force Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, his current deputy.

The job puts one individual in charge of both U.S. cyber-defense and offense as well as the gathering of what is known as signals intelligence through telecommunications surveillance. Nakasone has led both organizations since May 2018.

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