The National Security Agency (NSA) is establishing a dedicated artificial intelligence security center as the government increasingly relies on AI in defense and intelligence systems. This center will protect the systems from theft, sabotage, and external AI-based threats. The announcement was made by outgoing director General Paul Nakasone, who stated that the division will operate within the existing Cybersecurity Collaboration Center. The NSA aims to collaborate with private industry, international partners, and the Department of Defense to safeguard the US from cyberattacks originating from various countries.
The NSA’s decision to focus on AI security comes in response to the growing importance of AI and the potential risks associated with poorly-secured AI models. The proliferation of generative AI technologies further adds to the national security challenge. The new security division will serve as the NSA’s hub for leveraging foreign intelligence insights and developing best practices, guidelines, and risk frameworks for AI security. It will also work closely with industry leaders, science labs, academic institutions, and international partners to ensure the secure development and adoption of AI within national security systems and the defense industrial base.
Outgoing director Paul Nakasone, who will soon be succeeded by Air Force Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, has had a successful tenure at the NSA and the US Cyber Command. With Nakasone’s departure, the establishment of the AI security center reflects the increasing importance of addressing AI-related threats to national security. By proactively protecting defense and intelligence systems from AI-based attacks and leveraging foreign intelligence insights, the NSA aims to maintain the integrity and security of critical infrastructure and data.