Traditionally, cybersecurity has been accomplished through manual monitoring, threat detection, and incident response. However, with the increased amount of data available, the growing complexity of technology, and the increased sophistication of cyberattacks, manual monitoring, detection, and response isn’t enough. Fortunately, technological advancements have brought artificial intelligence (AI) to the forefront in every industry. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the role of AI in cybersecurity.
How AI Enhances Cybersecurity
Manual operations in cybersecurity are time-consuming and subject to human error, both of which can significantly impact the safety of your network and the data that resides on it. AI can be used to augment human workers in the following ways.
Automation of routine tasks
Many routine monitoring and detection tasks and incident response actions that humans do manually can be automated with AI. This greatly speeds up detection and response time and removes human error, ensuring any threats or attacks are dealt with swiftly and effectively. In addition, AI chatbots can be used at any stage of a cyberattack, with virtual assistants supporting human agents.
AI can monitor every part of your network at every moment of the day, during which time it is able to recognize patterns in behavior. This makes it possible for AI to detect anomalous behavior and potential threats in real-time. This also reduces the number of false positives your cybersecurity team receives, leaving them the resources they need to deal with legitimate threats.
AI makes it possible to scale cybersecurity operations quickly and easily as your business grows, removing the need to hire additional staff to meet increased demand. The only limitation to scaling with AI would be data availability.
Phishing is the most common way for cybercriminals to launch an attack because it can easily trick users into believing an email or other communication is from a trusted source. AI can be used to train employees on how to recognize phishing emails by sending out false yet realistic emails to employees. This can also be done throughout the year to determine the level of vigilance among employees and foster a culture of awareness.
How AI Threatens Cybersecurity
Keep in mind that cybercriminals also have access to AI technology, which gives them an advantage they didn’t have previously. Here are ways that AI can assist cyber criminals.
Automated malware attacks
AI can be used to create intelligent malware that can adjust its own code in real time to avoid detection. This type of malware is more difficult to predict and detect and carries a higher risk of significant data breaches and extensive system disruptions.
More convincing phishing attacks
AI can observe and learn a user’s personal information and writing style, which allows it to mimic that user much more authentically. This makes it more difficult to detect a phishing email that appears to be sent by a trusted contact or reputable source because the email will appear so genuine it is easy for the recipient to be deceived.
Deepfakes that are incredibly realistic
Generative AI has given rise to the ability of cybercriminals to create incredibly convincing deepfakes. They can generate images, videos, and audio recordings so genuine in their sound and appearance that the recipience is easily convinced it comes from a trusted source. This impersonation can cause a user to divulge sensitive information, and it can cause significant disruption in business operations.
The Ethics of Using AI in Cybersecurity
Finally, a discussion of the use of AI in cybersecurity is not complete without looking at the ethical considerations its use raises. These include the following.
Increased data bias
AI is designed to learn. The algorithms use historical data to look for patterns and make decisions. When the data used to train the AI is biased, this can lead to the AI algorithms carrying those biases forward and amplifying them. The result can be unintended discrimination against individuals and/or groups of people as the AI makes predictions or decisions that result in unfair outcomes. For this reason, it is critical that the data sets used to train AI algorithms are as free from bias as possible.
Lack of accountability and transparency
The more complex an AI algorithm is, the more difficult it is to understand the algorithm, including how it makes decisions and what biases it may have. This can reduce transparency into decisions, which can further impact accountability in the event of unfair or biased outcomes.
Ultimately, AI needs to be used in partnership with humans, who should always be the final stop when it comes to making decisions. AI can support your cybersecurity team and can be used to provide data and workable options, but it is up to your team to choose the right option for the given situation.
Contact Platinum Technologies today to learn how we can help you make the most of AI to meet your cybersecurity needs.