Written by Jonny Steiner

In Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 dystopian Sci-Fi classic Robocop, murdered Detroit police officer Alex Murphy is rebuilt into a cyborg supercop. While the OCP organization tries to suppress his humanity, it is precisely that humanity that helps elevate him above the purely robotic solutions like ED-209.

In the world of software development, where speed and quality are of the essence, many teams wish they had an internal Robocop that could tirelessly churn out flawless code at speed. The issue is that cutting-edge tools like AI-assisted code generators’ functions are more like ED-209. Sure, the promise of supercharged development exists, but unforeseen challenges still pop up. AI code generators supercharge development by automating repetitive tasks and generating code snippets, but security concerns abound.

Current software development practices focus on getting things done quickly, with speed coming before meticulous security checks. This leaves vulnerabilities hiding behind the scenes. Digging deeper into the security issues of generative AI, we will discuss ways to ensure the code built is fast and unbreachable.

Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law

AI-generated code promises to help developers increase coding speed and the release of new features. Generative AI models act like super assistants, automating repetitive tasks and suggesting code snippets, freeing up developers for more strategic work. It helps increase productivity, speed up the time to market, and lower development costs.

There is a flipside, of course. Unlike seasoned developers who can carefully examine their code for weaknesses like Murphy, AKA Robocop, AI-generated code lacks a human touch like ED-209. This can lead to hidden vulnerabilities sneaking into your software. It is as if when building a house, the builder would double-check the foundation for cracks, but an AI might miss it, leaving the home vulnerable to defects or attacks.

AI generates code based on the data it is trained on, which poses another concern. If the training data has vulnerabilities, they might get baked into your AI’s code. Where Robocop is still human, ED-209 was trained on faulty information, which left it glitchy and unusable.

At the same time, over-reliance on AI can create a knowledge gap for developers. Developers too dependent on AI to write code might not fully understand how it works, making it harder to identify and fix problems later on. Undoubtedly, AI is a powerful tool, but it is essential not to replace the critical thinking and expertise of human developers.

“Stay out of trouble”

Thousands of organizations worldwide already leverage continuous testing solutions. These tools are critical in catching bugs and ensuring features function flawlessly. However, when it comes to AI-generated code, there’s a need for an additional layer of security that goes beyond functionality and dives deep into the code itself.

That is where an Application Security solution like ours comes in. It acts as a security specialist guiding the entire development process. Where an organization’s continuous testing solution works as a quality assurance inspector, checking to ensure a new product works as intended, Digital.ai Application Security inspects and scrutinizes the materials and construction of the product to ensure it’s built with robust security features.

In the past, enterprises that added anti-tamper protections to their apps could not test the protected app because those protected apps, as designed, would crash when tested. This was because anti-tamper protections detected test harnesses and debuggers and shut down the app to protect it. Our single solution now integrates mobile application security–including protections against reverse engineering–into development pipelines while automating testing, allowing teams to embed security early in the delivery process while applying automated functional, accessibility, and performance testing.

Our solution integrates with our Continuous Testing solution and helps integrate security testing into the CICD pipeline. It frustrates threat actors’ analysis of apps by making decompiled apps more difficult to understand (prevent reverse engineering) and by making it more difficult to run modified apps (anti-tamper).

“They’ll fix you. They fix everything.”

Digital.ai Application Security, formerly Arxan, is your solution for securing mobile web and desktop applications. Our integration for AppSec and CT seamlessly integrates with our Continuous Testing solution to provide a better solution for automating the testing of secure apps.

Our Application Security solution seamlessly integrates with existing CI/CD pipelines, providing robust code obfuscation and anti-tamper mechanisms to ensure that security is deeply embedded in your development process, preventing unauthorized code manipulation and enhancing overall application integrity. It helps eliminate the need for disruptive manual interventions and allows you to identify and address security issues early in the development cycle, saving time and resources.

Digital.ai Application Security gives organizations the power to leverage AI with confidence. It ensures their applications go beyond functionality and are secure from emerging threats.

“Thank you for your cooperation. Good night.”

In the fast-paced world of software development, AI-generated code resembles the promise that OCP felt when releasing ED-209 in Robocop. They saw it as a replacement for human cops with supercharged speed and flawless execution. However, as Robocop’s humanity proves to be the superior difference to the cold, unfeeling robot, AI-generated code also needs protection, a security solution that tests beyond functionality.

Digital.ai Application Security applies advanced app hardening techniques, including obfuscation and anti-tamper, to both AI-generated and human-written code. Our solution stands out by enabling customers to automatically perform full functional, performance, and accessibility testing on secured apps, ensuring robust protection and integrity throughout the software lifecycle.

The new integration with Continuous Testing makes security checks a natural part of the development process. This eliminates disruptive manual interventions, allowing the team to catch and fix security issues early, which saves time and resources.

The solution empowers organizations to leverage the power of AI with confidence. Our advanced features identify logic flaws, potential manipulation of training data, and backdoors that could compromise your applications.

Being proactive when addressing risks gives businesses peace of mind, knowing their AI-powered applications are fast and functional but also secure and trustworthy.

The last thing you want is for the promise of AI-augmented development to dissolve into a dystopia. Choosing Digital.ai Application Security ensures applications are built with the security and efficiency businesses need, allowing developers to focus on what truly matters – delivering innovative products that serve the public trust.

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