Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool that is revolutionizing many industries.
It can curate content and process data and personalize user experiences to generate brand loyalty. It can also protect a business from data breaches, hacks, and other internet-based threats.
Cybercrime is a serious problem for every single business. In 2022, over 420 million people were affected by data breaches alone.
Using AI for cybersecurity can not only prevent many of these attacks but also mitigate the damage when a successful attack occurs.
However, to use this technology to its fullest potential, business owners need to understand how AI-powered cybersecurity tools work and recognize their limitations as well.
In this blog, you’ll learn:
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What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting your digital assets. It includes things like real-time threat detection, anti-malware programs, and strong passwords that safeguard your system from online break-ins.
It also involves performing regular system updates to eliminate program vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers.
Employee training is a vital part of cybersecurity. Anyone who uses digital assets at work should know how to recognize common cyberattacks, such as phishing, spoofing, deceptive emails, and malware.
They should also know how to identify the signs of a ransomware attack and protect information from unauthorized seizure.
How Is AI Used in Cybersecurity?
AI is a process through which a machine can complete tasks that are typically performed by a human. It should not be confused with cybersecurity.
There are many AI applications that perform tasks not related to keeping digital systems secure. There are also traditional cybersecurity tools that don’t use artificial intelligence.
At the same time, AI and cybersecurity go hand in hand.
Business owners and even cybersecurity experts use AI to keep digital systems safe from many different types of threats. They also use it to predict potential cybersecurity problems that may arise in the future.
Understanding how AI is used in cybersecurity can help you get to know the tools you have at your disposal to keep your systems safe. It can also help you find ways to boost digital performance without compromising security.
AI in threat modeling
Threat modeling is the process of identifying potential threats and figuring out how to deal with them.
AI is highly effective in threat modeling because it can scan large quantities of data and spot potentially threatening actions that a human might miss.
AI performs faster threat modeling than traditional cybersecurity tools or a human cybersecurity expert. This limits the damage that a cyberattack could inflict because the threat is eliminated before it can access too much data.
Conversely, AI does well in identifying false positives. This is something that even cybersecurity experts struggle to do. Identifying false positives saves you time and enables you to focus on genuine threats.
AI in pattern recognition
Because AI can monitor large quantities of data, it can recognize patterns in user behavior. Furthermore, it can take action based on its findings.
Malicious employees cause 36 percent of data breaches in firms with more than 1,000 staff members and 44 percent of breaches in companies with fewer than 1,000 employees.
AI can prevent these hacks by flagging suspicious behavior before a breach takes place. It can also prevent the loss of valuable data by automatically blocking access based on potentially malicious behavior.
Because it continually monitors employee behavior, AI can detect unusual mouse activity and/or file movements. If the AI-based program determines that an account has been hacked, it can lock the user out of the account to prevent a breach.
AI in password management
The World Economic Forum estimates that a whopping 80 percent of breaches happen as a result of weak and/or stolen passwords.
This puts an entire company at risk because even the best cybersecurity measures can be circumvented when someone’s password is compromised.
Many companies and even websites use AI-based password selection programs that require users to choose secure passwords. Typical requirements include using at least one capital letter, a number, and/or a symbol.
AI and continuous monitoring
There is never a time of the day or night when a business doesn’t have to worry about data breaches. Thankfully, AI doesn’t rest. It’s on the job around the clock on every day of the year.
Continuous AI monitoring assesses potential threats and mitigates them. It alerts users to potential breaches in real time.
AI-powered incident response and recovery
AI-powered tools can catch potential breaches right away to limit the amount of damage that hackers can do to your system. Certain tools can also plan how to handle the incident response and digital asset recovery.
When recovery time is over, the system may recommend ways to prevent similar attacks.
The Benefits and Limitations of AI in Cybersecurity
Unfortunately, AI isn’t just available to legitimate business owners and cybersecurity experts. Hackers and cybercriminals have access to it as well. AI programs can create malicious code and hack weak passwords.
They can also create deepfake data and conduct stealth attacks.
The main benefit of using AI in cybersecurity is that it levels the playing field. It enables you to block increasingly sophisticated attacks.
It also stops attacks by highlighting vulnerabilities that may exist in the future. When used correctly, AI can help you stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.
- Cognito, an AI-based threat detection platform, uses stored data and machine learning techniques to identify and block attacks. This program enabled ED&F Man Holdings to find malware that had been hiding in its system for several years. Cognito also detected and blocked man-in-the-middle attacks.
- Energy Saving Trust uses Enterprise Immune System to detect attacks in real time. This tool, which uses machine learning technology, detected multiple unusual activities for the company’s security team to investigate.
Using AI for cybersecurity is a must in today’s world. At the same time, AI cybersecurity tools have their drawbacks. One problem is that they work better for large companies than small mom-and-pop businesses.
This is because AI cybersecurity tools rely on huge quantities of data to properly analyze behavioral patterns. Large companies can provide the big data needed to properly monitor network activity. Small business owners can’t.
Furthermore, it’s not easy to deploy and use AI cybersecurity tools. You’ll need help from an expert. For small and mid-sized businesses, this means hiring a cybersecurity company to install and monitor the tools.
This poses a privacy concern because loopholes in U.S. privacy laws allow many companies to use, share, or even sell your data without notifying you or asking for your permission.
How AI and Machine Learning Are Redefining Cybersecurity
AI and machine learning are fast becoming commonplace. The government and private sector use AI-based cybersecurity tools to predict future attacks, identify potential attacks in real time, and conduct damage control after breaches.
They are transforming the cybersecurity industry by enabling it to process data, catch vulnerabilities, and predict attacks faster and with greater accuracy.
Quantum computing will introduce further adjustments. Algorithms will be able to solve complex problems faster and more accurately than was possible in times past.
What’s more, quantum computing will help AI tools detect and prevent novel attacks. This is a huge step forward. Current AI-powered cybersecurity tools draw their information from existing data, so they struggle to identify new data breach tools and methodologies.
Will AI replace cybersecurity jobs?
New developments in the AI industry have caused some to wonder if human cybersecurity experts will become obsolete. However, current data shows that this is far from the case.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for information security analysts will grow by 35 percent in the coming years. While AI is changing how cybersecurity works, it will not eliminate the demand for human analysts or traditional cybersecurity tools.
Humans are still needed to monitor AI cybersecurity software. We also need real people to follow up on alerts and implement recommendations provided by the AI-based system.
Furthermore, human creativity and ingenuity can, in some cases, offer better protection against novel attacks than AI tools that rely on prior data.
AI has multiple benefits. It can accomplish things that humans can’t do. Artificial intelligence also completes tasks that humans can perform, but it does so more quickly and efficiently.
However, as a careful analysis of AI and cybersecurity shows, AI can’t replace human beings. This is true not just in cybersecurity, but also in other fields, including marketing and content creation.
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