The Role of AI in Cybersecurity

Flashy sci-fi movies and talking robots may be the first things that come to mind when thinking of artificial intelligence (AI). But you may not be aware that AI is already all around us: from online purchase recommendations and self-driving cars to virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa and AI cybersecurity. Let’s take a look at how AI works.

Artificial intelligence is the science of making computers smarter. Complex algorithms allow computers to solve problems that were previously only solvable by humans. AI can learn to complete a specific task by going through vast amounts of data independently, a process that is called machine learning

AI does have its limitations, as it cannot transfer skills easily or grasp abstract concepts yet. But when it comes to cognitive tasks, it can help us tremendously. Especially in fields that could use new technologies to relieve some of its existing limitations, like cybersecurity. 

AI and Cybersecurity

Cyber security statistics show that the number of cyber-attacks is increasing every day. A recent study from the University of Maryland shows that one hacker attack happens every 39 seconds. It’s clear that present cybersecurity technologies aren’t 100% waterproof.

AI cybersecurity can complement cybersecurity experts by taking some workload off them. Machines are great at processing vast volumes of data quickly and picking out any strange or interesting information for people to examine. AI really is the building block for helping to discover cyber threats as it finds any issues quickly.

Threat Identification and Prediction

AI models can detect potential security threats, vulnerabilities, and malicious activities to stop them before causing any harm.  

Examples of this are California-based Avata Intelligence, which uses machine learning and security to predict future terrorist threats. Deep Instinct is another global cybersecurity platform that uses predictive analysis to detect variations in known malware code.

Network Security

There are two important aspects of network security: security settings and network topography. The first help differentiate legitimate and malicious connections, while the latter reduces the effect of disabled devices on the network’s performance.

Using AI in cybersecurity can help automate these procedures using network traffic patterns.

Password Protection and Authentication

Weak passwords are a huge security risk, making it easy for hackers to access personal details from your accounts. While having a strong password is a great first step, combining AI cybersecurity with biometric verifications can add an extra security layer. 

An excellent example is the iPhone’s Face ID. The built-in infrared sensors and neural engines detect 30.000 different reference points across the face, forming a vector model of a user’s facial features. AI then matches it with the stored data to confirm your identity.

Passwords alone are a weak security measure since it’s comparatively easy for cyber attackers to access personal accounts. Even though biometric verifications are used today as a good alternative, it’s still not completely secure. Using AI cybersecurity with biometric verifications can help eliminate the existing issues. By reducing the number of unauthorized logins, this combination offers more security to your accounts and files.)

Avoiding Human Errors

While it’s human to make mistakes, the strengths of AI in cybersecurity systems lie in its precision, especially when performing repetitive tasks. Human error is one of the main causes of data breaches, and AI can avoid this.

It’s important to note that AI isn’t a replacement for cybersecurity experts, but they can work together to create better security tools.

Benefits of Using AI in Cybersecurity

With so many uses for artificial intelligence in cybersecurity, it brings many benefits, including:

Processing

Big Data statistics show that there are 40 trillion gigabytes of data in 2020. The internet is growing exponentially, and people can’t keep up with the vast amount of data created every day. 

Because AI’s strengths lay in the speed and accuracy in which it can process data, it can help us filter through information to find any faults or dangers

(One of the main concerns with present cybersecurity is the amount of data that needs to be processed. AI can solve this, as it processes data much quicker.

Error-Free

Statistics show that technology replaced 800,000 jobs between 2001 and 2015 in the UK, but it also created 3.5 million new ones. Automation creates more jobs and opportunities. 

One of the main uses for artificial intelligence is automating easy and repetitive tasks in which humans tend to make mistakes. This gives the manual workforce time to concentrate on more critical jobs.

Identifying Small Cyber Threats

Cyber attackers use advanced techniques that make most threats go unnoticed by the human eyes. AI can recognize the slightest changes in network patterns and quickly identifies them.

Faster Detection and Response Time

AI detects incidents that can cause security threats in real-time and eliminate them quickly

Secure Authentication

Websites that allow users to log in or make payments need additional security. Incorporating AI authentication methods like facial recognition can help with this.

With so many benefits that come with AI, it comes as no surprise that it’s implemented in many new cybersecurity technologies. Let’s now look at the latest trends.

AI Cybersecurity Trends

With an ever-expanding online world, cybercriminals are more active than ever before. AI is emerging as a game-changer in the cybersecurity industry, helping professionals create smarter security building methods.

Coming up are some of the latest trends involving artificial intelligence in cybersecurity.

AI Against Cyberattacks

AI learns from patterns and past behavior, which enables it to be a great cyber defender. An example of AI in security can be found in the defense against spam/phishing emails. Learning from previous data, AI can protect us from any malicious activity. That’s why most of the top antivirus suites take advantage of AI.

AI in Improved Ecosystems

We can use AI’s contextual understanding to detect false-positives, helping businesses build a more secure cyber ecosystem. Utilizing AI cybersecurity lifts some work off any company’s security teams, allowing them to focus on tasks that require a human mind.

AI in EWS 

Early Warning Systems (EWS) has been used against cyber-attacks for a long time, but as the level of cyber threats increases, it needs some help. Combining traditional EWS with AI can create virtual sensors and sophisticated data manipulation for logic models.

These concepts can improve AI’s reliability, scalability, flexibility, and use against cyber threats. We can use AI to detect attacks from LANs and WANs to protect the network protocols from malicious activities.

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs)

Generative Adversarial Networks are two AI systems competing against each other. One of them simulates original content, whereas the other spots its mistakes. This technology helps improve cybersecurity systems and other networks alike. 

Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat?

So far we’ve looked only at the benefits of using this technology. Still, hackers using AI can be of great concern. 

Unethical Use

Hackers can develop AI-resistant malware using the same technology. This type of malware can understand the detection patterns used by cybersecurity professionals, allowing them to penetrate even the most secure solutions.

Data Poisoning

Cyber attackers can target data used to train the AI cybersecurity models. This threat can affect both the accuracy and performance of cyber threat detection systems.

False Detections

AI is still in its infancy. When used in cybersecurity, it has a lot to learn and process. Therefore, the chance of false-positive results is relatively high.

Wrap Up

Integrating AI and cybersecurity is the way forward, considering the increase in cyber attacks worldwide

AI can help the current cybersecurity technology automate threat detection and track down potential cyber-attacks within a limited time frame. Considering the robust and flexible characteristics of AI cybersecurity, it’s for sure that it can build a robust defense system.

But we can’t ignore that AI can also help malicious actors create new cyber threats. Even though AI has a long way ahead to reach its full potential, it will help us in unimaginable ways.

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Jothi Venkat

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