Last updated at Thu, 16 May 2024 17:52:49 GMT

Co-authored by Sabeen Malik and Laura Ellis

In the evolving world of artificial intelligence (AI), keeping our customers secure and maintaining their trust is our top priority. As AI technologies integrate more deeply into our daily operations and services, they bring a set of unique challenges that demand a robust management strategy:

  1. The Black Box Dilemma: AI models pose significant challenges in terms of transparency and predictability. This opaque nature can complicate efforts to diagnose and rectify issues, making predictability and reliability hard to achieve.
  2. Model Fragility: AI's performance is closely tied to the data it processes. Over time, subtle changes in data input—known as data drift—can degrade an AI system’s accuracy, necessitating constant monitoring and adjustments.
  3. Easy Access, Big Responsibility: The democratization of AI through cloud services means that powerful AI tools are just a few clicks away for developers. This ease of access underscores the need for rigorous security measures to prevent misuse and effectively manage vulnerabilities.
  4. Staying Ahead of the Curve: With AI regulation still in its formative stages, proactive development of self-regulatory frameworks like ours helps inform our future AI regulatory compliance frameworks; but most importantly, it builds trust among our customers. When thinking about AI’s promises and challenges, we know that trust is earned. But that trust is also is of concern for global policymakers, and that is why we are looking forward to engaging with NIST on discussions related to the AI Risk Management, Cyber Security, and Privacy frameworks. It’s also why we were an inaugural signer of the CISA Secure by Design Pledge to demonstrate to government stakeholders and customers our commitment to building things and understanding the stakes at large.

Our TRiSM (Trust, Risk, and Security Management) framework isn’t merely a component of our operations—it’s a foundational strategy that guides us in navigating the intricate landscape of AI with confidence and security.

How We Approach AI Security at Rapid7

Rapid7 leverages the best available technology to protect our customers' attack surfaces. Our mission drives us to keep abreast of the latest AI advancements to deliver optimal value to customers while effectively managing the inherent risks of the technology.

Innovation and scientific excellence are key aspects of our AI strategy. We strive for continuous improvement, leveraging the latest technological innovations and scientific research. By engaging with thought leaders and adopting best practices, we aim to stay at the forefront of AI technology, ensuring our solutions are not only effective but also pioneering and thoughtful.

Our AI principles center on transparency, fairness, safety, security, privacy, and accountability. These principles are not just guidelines; they are integral to how we build, deploy, and manage our AI systems. Accountability is a cornerstone of our strategy, and we hold ourselves responsible for the proper functioning of our AI systems so we can ensure they respect and embody our principles throughout their lifecycle. This includes ongoing oversight, regular audits, and adjustments as needed based on feedback and evolving standards.

We have leveraged a number of AI risk management frameworks to inform our approach.  Most notably, we have adopted the NIST AI Risk Management Framework and the Open Standard for Responsible AI. These frameworks help us comprehensively assess and manage AI risks, from the early stages of development through deployment and ongoing use. The NIST framework provides a thorough methodology for lifecycle risk management, while the Open Standard offers practical tools for evaluation and ensures that our AI systems are user-centric and responsible.

We are committed to ensuring that our AI deployments are not only technologically advanced but also adhere to the highest standards of security and ethical responsibility.

AI Integration in Action: Making It Work Day-to-Day

We take a practical approach to adhere to our AI TRiSM framework by integrating it into the daily operations of our existing technologies and processes, ensuring that AI enhances rather than complicates our security posture:

  1. Clear Rules: We have developed and implemented detailed enterprise-wide policies and operational procedures that govern the deployment and use of AI technologies. These guidelines ensure consistency and compliance across all departments and initiatives.
  2. Transparency Matters: We leverage our own tooling to gain visibility into our cloud security posture for AI.  We leverage InsightCloudSec solutions to provide comprehensive visibility into our AI deployments across various environments. This visibility is crucial for our security strategy, encapsulated by the philosophy, "You can’t protect what you can’t see." It allows us to monitor, evaluate, and adjust our AI resources proactively.
  3. Throughout the Development Lifecycle: We integrate rigorous AI evaluations at every phase of our software development lifecycle. From the initial development stages to production and through regular post-deployment assessments, our framework ensures that AI systems are safe, effective, and aligned with our ethical standards.
  4. Smart Governance: By embedding AI-specific governance protocols into our existing code and cloud configuration management systems, we maintain strict control over all AI-related activities. This integration ensures that our AI initiatives comply with established best practices and regulatory requirements.
  5. Empowering Our Team: We recognize the critical need for advanced AI skills in today’s tech landscape. To address this, we offer training programs and collaborative opportunities, which not only foster innovation but also ensure adherence to best practices. This approach empowers our teams to innovate confidently within a secure and supportive environment.

Integrating AI into our core processes enhances our operational security and underscores our commitment to ethical innovation. At Rapid7, we are dedicated to leading responsibly in the AI space, ensuring that our technological advancements positively contribute to our customers, company, and society.

Our AI TRiSM framework is not merely a set of policies—it's a proactive, strategic approach to securely and ethically harnessing new technologies. As we continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what’s possible with AI, we stay focused on setting a high bar for standards of responsible and secure AI usage, ensuring that our customers always receive the best technology solutions. Learn more here.